I am a freelance writer and reporter from the Highlands of Scotland.
Previously I’ve worked as a contributing editor for The Week magazine, and as reporter in London for The Sunday Times and the Telegraph. I have also contributed to publications including Granta, The Guardian, The Observer, FT Weekend, New Statesman, Telegraph Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, and others.
I went freelance in 2012 to spend that winter living in Arctic Finland, training huskies and fjord ponies. Conditions were tough: temperatures dropped to -40ºC and the sun did not rise at all between 6 December and 6 January (during what is called the ‘polar night‘).
But the experience was unlike any other. That winter saw the strongest northern lights in 50 years, and as part of my work I regularly encountered the local Sami people who continue to make their livelihoods from reindeer herding. I wrote about these experiences for a cover story in the Telegraph Magazine, and won the 2013 Independent on Sunday/Bradt prize for travel writing.
Since then I’ve moved to Edinburgh where I campaigned for Scottish independence (I wrote about the reasons for my support, as well as about the movement more generally), using it as a base for wider travel – not least during the research of my first book, Thicker Than Water, which was published in June 2016.
Thicker Than Water is a work of narrative non-fiction – part memoir, part travelogue, part history book – in which I uncover the true legacy of my great-great-great uncle, once celebrated as an explorer and pioneer, but more recently identified as the ringleader of a number of brutal massacres of the Gunaikurnai aboriginal people of south east Australia.
More information about that project can be found here. It was featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Scotland, and ABC Radio National, as well as widely across regional and national press. The Times, which described it as “stunning… a thrilling debut,” chose it as one of the books of the year.
Recently I have been fortunate enough to receive financial support from Creative Scotland, towards what will hopefully be a new book project. Details in due course.
I am always looking for more freelance work, particularly opportunities for ‘longread’-type features, memoir or travel journalism. If you are interested in commissioning me, why not get in touch?