Writing has taken me on a wild ride over the past decade.

It all began in 2005, as a cadet journalist interviewing grape growers in muddy Barossa Valley vineyards (naturally, I remain rather partial to shiraz). Three years later I scooted up to Brisbane and, while reporting for The Courier-Mail, covered everything from hospital crises and government system meltdowns to unprecedented natural disasters and landmark Aboriginal land title claims.

Itchy feet compelled me to swap Queensland politics for freelancing in 2013, when I made a small move to the opposite side of the world and adopted Spain as my home for the next four years.

In that time, I became a regular contributor for a range of publications including frankie magazine, Smith Journal, Peppermint Magazine, The Guardian and SALife. I also picked up a bunch of highly awesome non-profit and business clients, and coached aspiring writers on exactly how to get started as a successful freelancer.

Now I’m back in South Australia, still writing (albeit only occasionally now) and still thoroughly fascinated by people who live in ways that are considered strange or unusual by broader society.

** Please note: as I’m now working full-time as a digital storyteller for RSPCA South Australia, I’m not currently taking on any new clients. **

Koren Helbig reporting on the Queensland floods

Reporting on the 2011 Queensland floods.

I’ve written for more than 30 publications worldwide.

Magazines and newspapers

  • frankie
  • Smith Journal
  • Peppermint
  • Slow
  • Spaces [book]
  • Collective
  • Woman’s Day
  • New Internationalist
  • SAweekend
  • Qweekend
  • The Courier-Mail
  • The Adelaide Review
  • SALife
  • The Big Issue
  • Pip, the Australian Permaculture Magazine
  • Barossa Living
  • International Living

Online

  • The Guardian
  • SBS Food
  • Narratively
  • Junkee
  • El País
  • The New Daily
  • Global Post
  • Affect Magazine
  • One Green Planet
  • Dumbo Feather
  • Krakow Post
  • Something You Said

Literary journals

  • Kill Your Darlings
  • The Lifted Brow

Travel publications

  • International Traveller
  • Escape
  • Australian Traveller
  • TNT Magazine
  • Let’s Go with Ryanair
  • Baltic Outlook

Before freelancing, I was a political reporter.

Koren Helbig interviewing former Queensland deputy premier Andrew Fraser

Interviewing former Queensland deputy premier Andrew Fraser aboard the government jet.

In my last salaried gig before going freelance, I wrote politics for Brisbane’s daily newspaper, The Courier-Mail.

I reported from Queensland Parliament and all corners of that vast 1.7 million square kilometre state. I experienced the frenetic pace of an election campaign.

I learned to type like the wind on my iPhone to file breaking news fast but correct for online, to delve deeper and push issues forward for the newspaper and to cultivate contacts until I unearthed exclusive stories. It was fast-paced fun.

While at The Courier-Mail I was twice named a finalist in the Queensland Clarion awards for journalism excellence and won the Yooralla Media Award for disability coverage two years in a row.

Then I moved to Spain, almost on a whim.

In 2012, after spending a mere five days in Spain, I decided on a move. I knew barely a scrap of Spanish beyond hola, yet my mind was set. I would soon call that boisterous, disorganised, vivacious country home.

When I arrived in the summer of 2013, I didn’t know a soul and still had precious little Spanish under my belt. But I could write.

During four years living in the little Mediterranean seaside city of Alicante, I honed my eye for the weird and wonderful. I wrote about a Catalan man who got a cyborg ocular implant, Catwoman being crowned Madrid mayor, a Valencian guy’s paella-based wiki and Madrid’s so-called “Dr X”, a family physician specialising in illegal drugs.

And I eventually learnt Spanish, of course.

In early 2017 I finally moved back home, settling in a quiet suburb within South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide. Soon after, I scored an excellent full-time gig as a digital storyteller for RSPCA South Australia. I now spend my days helping animals and my evenings working on our sprawling organic veggie patch and garden. What could be better?

Over the years, I’ve learned a whole lot more than just writing.

I’m particularly good at:

  • Writing long-form magazine features and hard news journalism.

  • Coordinating media campaigns, including writing press releases and social media posts, leading fundraisers and managing events.

  • Editing all types of copy until the message truly shines.

  • Overhauling outdated, half finished or otherwise craptastic websites into something that actually works. (I’m best with WordPress and Squarespace, but know Joomla, too).

  • Creating newsletters, EDM journeys and mailing list opt-ins, especially on Mailchimp and Pardot.

  • Taking photographs for both online and print use.

And I’ve got some nifty skills:

  • I’m professional. I’ve been a journalist for 13 years so I fully understand the editorial process. I don’t stop working until everyone’s happy.

  • I file clean copy. I turn in crisp stories free of grammar and spelling errors. I probably have my Journalism and Literature degrees to thank for that.
  • I’m punctual. I don’t miss deadlines.
  • I take my own photographs. And if I can’t shoot something suitable, I find quality, high-resolution, properly captioned alternatives. (I can shoot and edit video, too.)

  • I’m versatile. I can write to suit almost any style and tone. Except for sports stuff. I don’t really know anything about sport and don’t care to learn, thanks.

I gravitate towards people who truly love what they do.

I reckon they have this wicked energy about them, a brand of passion and purpose that’s totally infectious. That’s why I interview and write stories about passionate people doing good, and that’s why they’re behind the businesses I work with.

They make my job easy, really. So catching is their spirited enthusiasm that I reckon it can’t help but flow through my words and into the lives of readers.

And you know the funny thing? That makes me really love what I do, too.