Screen grab of a text message with the following text: "Can't talk. Ruining the lives of fictional teens."

A portrait of Alex Fairhill
Alex Fairhill - just before a cat
crashed the shoot.
Okay, maybe I can ‘talk’ for a minute or two. It’ll give those teens a chance to regroup for their next defensive play.

I’m Alex. After finishing a Master of Arts in Writing and Literature a couple of years ago I began writing fiction full-time. I worked as a journalist for almost twenty years and love what I’m doing now – I can make stuff up and not get into trouble. Not that I made stuff up as a journo, because that would be wrong, and unethical, and illegal. 

I write for kids and teenagers, and also short stories for adults, freelance work and magazine articles. But fiction is the fun part. I feel like part of me is missing if I don’t spend time writing.

My childhood dreams of writing fiction were put on hold when my first full-length manuscript – a novel I started in year 10 – was cruelly deleted by a parent running a virus scan. Okay, it was an accident, but it still hurt. But it was probably a good thing because the story was not good. At all.
It was about a band in a country town that was basically an early nineties version of the Partridge Family. They wore white leather suits with fringes. Some stories are not meant to be published.
I believe fiction can tell stories that non-fiction fact can’t, exposing readers to issues and perspectives they might not otherwise see.

I have a strong interest in stories about trauma and social issues, how they’re written and how they impact the reader. My academic work has examined how fiction can give a voice to marginalised groups, including those facing legal restrictions through other channels, and the role fiction plays in identity formation. It’s an area I’m keen to pursue as a PhD in future.

But I love reading humour – the drier the better; I’m a sucker for a love story with strong characters and will pick up just about anything. 

I live on a rural property in western Victoria with two humans, two dogs, two cats and (currently) two fish.

Fun facts

I make up songs, and often sing out loud without realising. I’ve learnt this behaviour is okay in private, but will get you arrested in public.

I was once busted by a former prime minister carrying a slab of beer into the offices of the national broadcaster. One long bushy eyebrow was raised.

As a sports reporter, I covered everything from canoeing to lawn bowls to AFL to the Australian Open to international cricket. I may have fallen asleep for 15 minutes logging shots for a Test match. It did not affect the story. The next wicket woke me up.

Got a question for me? Add it to the comments below.

Social media Twitter: @AlexFairhill 
Blog: www.alexfairhill.blogspot.com (but you already know that, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this page)

Professional memberships:
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Writers Victoria
Children's Book Council of Australia
Golden Key Society


  1. What's the best book you've read this year?

  2. Good question! I liked so many for very different reasons. Melina Marchetta's On the Jellicoe Road is brilliant; One True Thing by Nicole Hayes for topical realism and great characters; Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is another with fantastic, well-rounded characters. One that was brilliantly written in terms of tackling an important issue was Inexcusable by Chris Lynch, which is written from the POV of the alleged rapist, Keir. It's an uncomfortable, confronting read, but the way Lynch draws the reader into Keir's life, then forces you away from him is masterful.

  3. Having said that, a lot of my reading centred around topics and units for my Masters degree, which I've just finished, so I'll have more time to read now and I'm ready to delve into a wider range of genres.