I’m a writer and journalist living in Sydney, where I report on the Guardian’s foreign desk and write a very serious fortnightly column about animals. It has been read more than a million times in 12 months. I have also reported from Lebanon, South Africa, Australia and the Federated States of Micronesia for the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Monthly, London Review of Books and others. My reporting on Micronesia is supported by the New South Wales Government through Create NSW. I’m on Twitter @helenrsullivan.
My first book, which is non-fiction, will be published by Scribner / Simon & Schuster Australia in 2023. It is called Freak of Nature.
The piece I wrote on the Great Barrier Reef for the New Yorker was anthologised in Best Australian Science Writing 2019 and shortlisted for the Bragg UNSW Prize for Science Writing; a piece I wrote on a Syrian Seed Bank was anthologised in the 2022 Best Australian Science Writing and was a runner-up for that year’s Bragg Prize. My pieces for the New York Times appeared twice on the front pages of the international edition.
I have a Master’s in Climate Change and Development at SOAS University of London. Previously, I was a freelance journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, where I covered the national economic protests for the New Yorker.
From 2015 - 2016 I was the Communications Specialist at the United Nations, for UN Women, in their South Africa office, which also covers Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia.
I founded a South African print literary magazine called Prufrock, which was one of a handful that published long-form non-fiction, short stories and poetry in many of South Africa’s 11 official languages.