Hello! I'm Helen. I write for the New Yorker, London Review of Books, New York Times and the Guardian, where I have a column called The Nature of, in which I profile a different animal (or the occasional inanimate object) every two weeks. It has been read 2.8 million times in two years. I have twice been shortlisted for the Bragg Prize for Science Writing and my work features in three of the annual The Best Australian Science Writing anthologies. I live in Sydney, where I am a reporter on the Guardian’s foreign desk.
My first book, a memoir called Freak of Nature, will be published by Scribner / Simon & Schuster Australia in 2024. I am represented by the Wylie Agency in London. You can read some of my writing below.
The New Yorker
A Syrian Seed Bank’s Fight to Survive (Anthologised in The Best Australian Science Writing 2022; Runner-up for the Bragg Prize for Science Writing)
A Tiny Coral Paradise in the Great Barrier Reef Reckons with Climate Change (Anthologised in The Best Australian Science Writing 2019; Nominated for Bragg Prize for Science Writing, 2019).
London Review Of Books
Column: The Nature of...
A Stingray; A Swan; The Moon; A Snail; A Cuckoo; A Christmas Beetle; An Oyster; An Elephant Seal; A Dragonfly; A Megabat; A Bee; A baboon ; A Praying Mantis; A Scottish Highland Cow; A Singing Fish; A Donkey; A Glow-worm; A Daddy Longlegs ; A Komodo Dragon; An African Painted Dog ; A Hummingbird Moth; A Narwhal; A Norwegian Lemming
Opinion, reviews and culture:
Collected Stories by Shirley Hazzard
In the months my husband and I were apart, the world changed completely
What I learned from breaking my foot during a pandemic
She never forgot the fight. I never forgot the boots: my sister found an heirloom we thought was gone forever
Australia’s best beaches: Flat Rock, Bondi
How I fell in love with Badedas
The film Moonstruck
Braidwood celebrates bushranger past with replay of Clarke gang's capture
The New York Times
Can the world’s strangest mammal survive? (front page, New York Times international edition; also published in The Seattle Times)
Some of Australia’s Smallest Species Could Be Lost to Wildfires (also published in The Independent and Seattle Times)
In Lebanon, the Hyena’s Main Fear Is Fear Itself (front page, New York Times international edition; also published in The Independent)