My first “published” writing was an Enid Blyton, Famous Five-Secret Seven-style adventure story, Sand Island. It was 1972, and I was ten.
I wrote and illustrated the story, my aunt (the only one in our family who owned a typewriter) typed up the manuscript, and my father helped me bind and cover the book. And my treasured first and only edition still exists.
Fifty-Plus Years of Writing
In the fifty-plus years since, I’ve continued writing: fiction and nonfiction, short stories, articles, travel journals and diaries. I’ve dabbled with writing novels and radio plays and even penned a stand-up comedy script. I’ve written letters and posted, tweeted and blogged my observations on life, the universe and … well, perhaps not everything!
Much of my writing is shared on Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. My book reviews and articles have also appeared in newspapers and elsewhere online. And in 2020, I published my début collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story, and in 2021 Twelve Furious Months, twelve stories written for the Furious Fiction writing competition.
Selection of Writing
The following is a selection of my writing, fiction and nonfiction, short and long-form, published and undiscovered “rough gems”. I hope you enjoy reading them.
In April 2015, I answered a tweet from Writing NSW (formerly the NSW Writers’ Centre) seeking interest from potential book reviewers. And I soon found I enjoyed the review process because it made me think about a book from different angles.
WRITING ON DOGS
When I first met my dear old dog, Harry, he was six months old, the last of his litter, hiding under a kitchen table. And when the breeder dragged him out, he flopped his black Labrador head on my leg and looked up at me with his worried, brown eyes.
My early short stories were blatant attempts to be published in lifestyle magazines or to win writing competitions. But despite such riveting titles as, An Album of Memories and Tender Reunion, magazine editors did not rush to publish my material. And then I discovered the Ian St James Awards.
I started “travel writing”, recording journals of my travels when I left Australia in 1987 for two years abroad in England and Europe. I kept writing journals and diaries on my daily life in England and wider travels in the UK, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa until I returned to Australia in 1996.
Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of a dad and dog owner, Robert Fairhead. A writer-editor at the Tall And True writers' website, Robert also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads storytelling podcast. In addition, his book reviews and other writing have appeared in various print and online media, and he's published several collections of short stories. Please contact Robert for further details.