Writer. Web designer. Artist. And one-time teenage tipster.
I’ve always been a writer; I was writing stories and poems in an exercise book well before I started school. Fiction writing was my first love and I have been winning awards for my short stories since I was a teenager.
As a teenager I lived for horses and writing, and decided I wanted to be a racing journalist, which nicely combined the two interests. The world of horse-racing is much more friendly these days towards women; back then women jockeys were still being called – cringe! – jockettes(!) or lady jockeys. Jobs in the industry for females were usually those of a lowly strapper (racehorse attendant). As for female journalists or tipsters: no.
Still, I was keen. I sent letters to racing magazines which were published, unedited. I had an unpaid job as “The Teenaged Radio Tipster” when I was 16 which only lasted six weeks as too many of my chosen horses finished out of the placings. Whoops! Never mind, I could write well, and was innocent enough to believe that writing was what journalism is all about.
Well, yes and no. Journalism is knowing what questions to ask and when, how to draw your subject out, how to turn a rebuff into a positive by thinking on your feet. It’s about getting your research right. It’s about people, not just writing.
I never did get a job in the racing industry as a journalist; I’d grown out of the horse-racing world somewhat by the time I was in my early twenties. But I still write, I still work with people to get the story and translate raw facts and good quotes into something people actually want to read.
My writing projects take many forms these days, and I received some lovely international feedback for my series of articles on the Sydney 2000 Olympics for the La Jolla Light newspaper in San Diego, California. Still on the non-fiction side I’ve also written “plain English” training courses for software programs for my previous employer and other clients, and continue to write newsletters for current clients and proof read for journalists contributing to The Australian and specific defence industry publications. Before forming Arion Productions in 2000, I spent 13 years in a corporate communications role in the defence industry.
I’m an adaptable writer with a passion for the English language and an obsession for correct punctuation. My husband, a former journalist, calls me The Grammar Nazi. I have sworn a vendetta against extraneous and incorrectly-used apostrophes (e.g. Apostrophe Man Strike’s Again!) and long to rescue abused semi-colons and colons from tragic misuse. You’ll find grammar tips and discussion scattered through my blog.
In the mid 1990s I was working for a multinational as a Corporate Communications Manager, and this coincided with the internet starting to come of age. I was asked to design our company’s first website, and fell in love with web design then and there, even though it was very rudimentary stuff with few bells and whistles. With hot and cold software engineers on tap to learn from, I soon became proficient. I learned graphic design part time before launching my own business in December 2000.
Now my clients range from large multinational corporations to SOHO businesses. A sample of my writing and editing abilities and those of my associates is available on request and subject to my clients’ approval. I’m also responsible for the written content (as well as design and photography) of www.rydebusiness.com.au.
Together with my fellow writing associates I offer fiction and non-fiction authors assistance with copy-editing their work. Do you have a fantastic story to tell, but would like to polish it before finding a publisher or an agent? We can help you produce a manuscript without dampening your writing style or personality. And if you’re a publisher who takes on freelance copywriters, contact me if you need an editor!
I currently write fiction and review books under the name Caroline Sully, and have been successful under that name in literary competitions with short stories in recent years, however my fiction has lately taken a backseat to business writing. I am working on both a non-fiction book and book of short stories at the moment, and will trumpet an announcement here on this site when they are available to buy.
Back in my childhood I used to illustrate my own stories and write and draw my own comic strips. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve rekindled my love of drawing. Working on a computer to create graphic images is one thing; holding a stick of oil pastel in your hand, or its messier cousin the soft pastel, is another. Liberating. Joyful. Physical in a way a mouse or a drawing tablet isn’t. Having said that, some of my computer art is selling on Zazzle and CafePress. I tend to draw funky landscapes, and cats, and layer colour pretty heavily onto the paper. If you’re interested in seeing what I do, check out my art portfolio.