Miranda Luby

“I always wanted to be a writer. My other passion is animals – who’d have thought I’d get to marry these two loves? I’m currently the Senior Reporter for Werribee Open Range Zoo. Work as a writer has taken me to more than 50 countries but I call the Surf Coast my home.”

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We had the pleasure of interviewing award-winning writer Miranda Luby.

“I can remember being on my bed in tears. ‘I’ll never find a job in writing,’ I’d said to my Mum. She told me to believe in myself and that I was on the right path. Remembering this makes me appreciate how far I’ve come. I finally gained an internship at the Geelong Addy. After 6 weeks, someone left and I was hired. I wrote for GT magazine for 4 years and had a wonderful female leader and mentor in Kylie Oliver. This is where I started to learn about story telling.

“I wanted to pursue writing more broadly so I left my job and began freelancing. I’d encourage anyone to give it a go if you have the passion and drive. It’s hard to make a living writing. But if it’s what you love, the work is out there for you.

“I’ve written for publications like BBC Travel, National Geographic, Nourish Magazine, The New York Post and Daily Life. I built up a portfolio.

“I’ve also always wanted to write fiction. When I was young I use to copy out pages of The Baby Sitters Club and pass them off as my own. Mum pretended to believe me.

“At first I was scared of failing but I eventually realised I would be more disappointed if I never tried, so I did an online course. I spent hours tapping out horrible short stories and entering competitions. Eventually I achieved a few short listings and then started winning some, which was a real thrill. Bloomsbury UK (Harry Potter’s Publisher) published one of my short stories for children in an e-book anthology of re-imagined fairy tales (think Snow White set at NASA). I also have a story (inspired by sea dragons) in Margaret River Press’ beautiful annual print anthology. Now I’m working on two novels, both of which I’ve been awarded scholarships for.

“The twist is, I’ve always been passionate about animals, so last year I pursued a Certificate II in Animal Studies. A couple of months ago a writing job came up at Werribee Zoo – now I believe in fate.”

Find out more about Miranda here: https://www.mirandaluby.com/

“This was a lesson in pursuing what you love. You don’t have to explain plans to anyone. It might take a long time but at least you are doing what you love.”

Story: Jacqui Bennett Photo credit: Cormac Hanrahan