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About us

Story is like breath. It’s vital to life. Through story we connect, grow, buy, sell, remember and try to forget.

We want your story to be remembered. Our story advice and guidance will connect you to your audience, whether you’re a writer, business or family.

As a collection of writers, editors and story coaches, A story to tell can help your voice be heard amid the accumulation of false facts and nothing, nowhere narratives. Are you sick of them too?

We’re all about restoring story to its rightful place. We value stories and the storytellers. Get in touch to discuss your plans for your story.

 

Ann Bolch

I loved writing as a child. Apparently I used to pen stories on scrap paper before I could actually form the letters.

As an experienced writer and editor and qualified teacher, I enjoy engaging with people to get the best from their ideas. Over the years I’ve developed skills in the art of writing and editing fiction; non-fiction, including journalism, essays and memoirs; ghostwriting and copywriting.

One of my favourite contributions to the writing community is empowering writers of all levels to connect with their work. I do this one on one and through workshops.

A story to tell brings my passions and skills together. My aim is that you will leave this site feeling more confident and clear about the skills you have and the skills you need to develop your ideas. Think big. Be curious. Explore. If you need help bringing your story to life, contact us.

Qualifications:

  • Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) Accreditation 2012
  • Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, RMIT 2011
  • Diploma of Education, ACU 1998
  • Bachelor of Arts (Outdoor Education), Latrobe University 1992.
 

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Alina Golovachenko

As Administrative and Creative Support person, I'm your friendly first point of contact who listens to your needs then puts you in touch with one of our professional writers, editors and coaches.

My background is in project coordination, writing and visual arts.

At school I used to read aloud stories I’d written that the other kids couldn’t hear over my own laughing. Later as a freelance journalist my stories and photos appeared in publications, such as The Age, The Australian, Rolling Stone, Westerly and The Planthunter.

In the university sector I helped coordinate library redevelopments, national data projects and research centres, and gathered a lot of material for future writing projects!.

These days I incorporate my experience in writing, photography and organisation into my working life. To me this is a perfect mix. I am passionate about the work I am involved in, allowing the people I work with to get on with their writing, editing and coaching.

What’s not to love?

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David Brewster

Writing was possibly the furthest thing from my mind when I started my career, probably because English was my least favourite subject at school. It took me a long time to understand that school English and ‘real life’ English are two very different creatures.

The first twenty years of my career were spent in business and industry. For about half that time I was a line manager in the food manufacturing sector. Then I spent a decade working in various management consulting roles across a wide range of industries. I began writing and editing full time about seven years ago.

Today I work with people, largely in business, who need their ideas translated into the written word but are struggling to achieve this. I have a strong belief that business writing should be clear and readable and should avoid buzzwords and jargon at all costs.

My writing experience includes two books of my own and ten books ghostwritten with clients. I have also assisted many others to pull books and blog posts into shape. In addition, I have built good experience in self-publishing and am able to assist my clients in navigating that process.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (UNSW)
  • Grad Dip in Information Management (Swinburne)
  • Certificate of Professional Writing and Editing (RMIT).
 

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Jo Scanlan

Looking back, I was always going to end up as a writer, editor, or both. Starting school and finding out about reading and books was an electric epiphany.

But first I had to reject all vocational advice and become a teacher. Here’s the thing: my love affair with language and literature was matched by my interest in food and health (oh, and a history buff also lurks within). Teaching English and home economics made sense.

Teaching was good to me. But while on family leave I studied professional writing and editing. Bingo! I’d struck it rich and was determined to work in the field. Now after a fruitful decade as Publications Manager for a teachers’ association (producing educational texts, membership periodicals, marketing materials and much more), I am freelancing as both writer and editor.

So far my bread and butter has been writing VCE curriculum and editing a professional journal. I’ve also written a novel about a Melbourne family during World War I. The work is diverse and challenging: I enjoy climbing learning curves and delivering a job well done.

What could be better than working closely with people and messing about with words? I am so happy to be here.

Qualifications:

  • Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, RMIT
  • Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Deakin University.

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Lu Sexton

I came to editing the long way round via theatre, street music, and clown, community arts and events. The through-line of my career is creative collaboration, which is my favourite way of working.

When working with a writer my sole purpose is to help the writing become the best it can be. A writer can often be too close to their own work to be able to see its power or its potential. And because they know their writing inside out, it can be hard for them to gauge what the reader knows, or needs to know.

When editing fiction it’s my job to be the first reader then clearly articulate my reading experience so the writer can make informed choices about what to do next. It’s not about telling the writer what to do — it’s about posing questions, pointing out opportunities, reflecting. With technical writing I can be more interventionist but am still sensitive with my feedback and suggestions.

I have been freelancing since 2009, editing anything from short stories to epic page-turners, policy documents to information guides. I also bring three years’ experience working in corporate editing for local government, where I refined the art of untangling multi-authored documents — a challenge I really enjoy.

Qualifications:

  • Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) Accreditation 2014
  • Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, RMIT 2012
  • Diploma Performing Arts in Dramatic Art (Animateur) VCA 1987.
 

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Heather Kelly

Having studied the sciences in Year 11 and the humanities in Year 12, I could not decide on my direction, so I completed a BA in politics, philosophy and geography at Melbourne University.

Having no idea of what editors do, by a very lucky circumstance I was interviewed for an editing job and found that the breadth of my studies was considered a great asset, rather than a liability.

I was taken on as a trainee at Melbourne University Press (MUP) and was immediately in love with the whole process of editing and creating books. A manager there once said to me that when books get in your blood you never get rid of them. And so it has turned out to be. (I still love the smell of a new book!)

I like nothing better than to sit at my computer with the first page of a new work in front of me, not knowing what I am going to learn today.

My career has included:

  • Working as an editor for many publishing companies
  • Five years as Senior Editor at the federal government’s Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research
  • Several years at content production company Media Giants, editing and proofreading websites, magazines and books.

I’ve also edited memoirs, novels, an academic journal and many annual reports for a variety of environmental and health organisations.

I would love to help you improve your writing, in whatever form it is – and I will learn from you in the process, I am sure.

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Richard Holt

I came to writing through reviews of visual art and I still combine writing and visual art with my text-based installations, including the Flashing the Square projects in both the 2013 and 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival.

WI write for children and young adults, having been a recipient of a Maurice Saxby Mentorship for children’s writers in 2009. I’m currently completing a three-novel series for older children. Extensively published, with both non-fiction and fiction appearing in a range of mainstream and alternative journals, I also have a passion for microfiction and dabble in poetry. Two of my sonnets were selected in the prestigious Inkerman and Blunt Australian Love Poems collection.

I was Bayside Writer in Residence in 2011/12 and am a regular mentor and writing tutor for the contributors to Roomers magazine, a literary outlet for writers living in rooming houses or suffering other forms of housing stress.

I enjoy writing across genres and am passionate about the craft of writing in all its forms. When not writing, I’m also a sports nut, artist, father, basketball coach (carn the Snakes) and occasional musician.

Qualifications:

  • Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing, RMIT
  • Graduate Diploma, Information Management & Library Studies, RMIT
  • BA in Fine Art (painting), RMIT
  • BA (English & Philosophy), University of Melbourne.

Listen to what Richard has to say about story and the art of generating material so you’ve ‘always got something on the go’. A great way to avoid the old (lower your voice to a whisper) writer’s block.

 

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Nicola Dunnicliff-Wells

My childhood image of a ‘writer’ – holed up in an attic, alone – didn’t appeal, despite writing being one of my favourite activities.

At university, I followed my father into science – then, missing English, subsequently chose journalism and humanities subjects for all my electives.

After ten years wandering the vocational wilderness, combined interests in writing and bicycle touring landed me a job writing and editing cycling guidebooks for travel publisher Lonely Planet.

By then I knew the publishing world was where I wanted to stay. Being holed up at my desk wasn’t so bad, and writing had turned out not to be the isolating profession I’d once imagined.

I studied Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT (loved it!), became editor of a bike magazine, and have since combined a freelance writing and editing career with raising three children.

Non-fiction is my bag – writing and editing magazine stories, science features, guidebooks, manuals, opinion, submissions for prizes and awards, and corporate publications.

On the side, I’ve developed and taught a series of adult bicycle skills courses, where the requirements and rewards are remarkably similar to those associated with writing and editing: patience, collaboration, creative communication, and the satisfaction of helping someone achieve a goal.

Qualifications:

  • Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, RMIT
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours in Ecology), Deakin University.

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As you can see, we're a passionate and experienced bunch!

If you're serious about getting that story down, contact us via one of the methods listed at the foot of this page.

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