'Oddball' is my writing speciality.
So once said an editor of mine. I’m OK with that – odd things are intriguing. The more unconventional, the better, I reckon.
I’ve worked as a journalist since 2005. Below is a small and far from exhaustive selection of my previously published stories: sometimes odd, hopefully often intriguing.
I’ve written for more than 30 publications worldwide.
Magazines & newspapers
- Pip, the Australian Permaculture Magazine
- Spaces [books]
- New Internationalist
- Woman’s Day
- The Courier-Mail
- The Adelaide Review
- The Big Issue
- Smith Journal
- Slow Mag
- Collective Mag
- Barossa Living
- International Living
- ABC Everday (monthly column)
- The Guardian
- Dumbo Feather
- SBS Food
- El País
- The New Daily
- Global Post
- Affect Magazine
- One Green Planet
- Krakow Post
- Something You Said
- Kill Your Darlings
- The Lifted Brow
- International Traveller
- Australian Traveller
- TNT Magazine
- Let’s Go with Ryanair
- Baltic Outlook
“Koren is a dream to work with – not only is she a great writer but she is quick, very reliable and always the right style. She is professional but super-friendly – I’d recommend her in a heartbeat (though secretly want to keep her for myself…).”
“With no word of a lie, I can say that Koren is one of our easiest freelancers to work with. She is speedy, enthusiastic and proactive – and her writing’s great too. Plus, she’s ace company for a chat over a cup of tea!”
“Koren is excellent to work with. She always comes in on tone, on deadline, and clean as a whistle.”
“Koren is professional, timely and very easy to work with. Her stories are well-written and reported, and she is always willing to put in any extra work required to make sure that they’re perfect.”
“Koren is an extremely versatile writer: she’s equally at home in the pages of tabloids, literary magazines, and political blogs. She delivers clean, sharp copy on deadline, and she responds promptly and insightfully to edits. Koren is a writer of great talent and even greater dedication.”
“Koren is a gifted reporter with a honed instinct for what makes a good story and a talent for fluid writing. She’s a pleasure to work with.”
Sustainable living & gardening
‘Life Swaps’ 10-part ethical living series for The Guardian Australia
Ten stories with easy and actionable tips for creating a life that’s better for our planet – focusing on all areas of life, from technology and shopping to eating and travelling.
Monthly gardening column for ABC Everyday
Each month I write a column for our national broadcaster, alternating between first-person pieces about things I’ve learned in my own garden and interviews with urban Aussie gardeners growing organic food in interesting and clever ways.
How to compost in small spaces for frankie magazine
Chucking a compost caddy on your kitchen bench or setting up a balcony worm farm doesn’t exactly feel like a grand save-the-world act. But it can make a huge environmental difference.
The rhythm of nature for Peppermint Magazine
During a month-long volunteering trip to England’s Fern Verrow biodynamic farm, I got a very hands-on lesson in the world’s oldest consciously organic approach to farming.
Trash is for Tossers for frankie magazine
Lauren Singer lives a completely waste-free life in New York City.
Let there be light for Peppermint
Dubbed the “solar mamas”, the unorthodox training these women go through is all thanks to 70-year-old Indian social activist Bunker Roy and his global Barefoot College.
Food waste feasts hit the road to help refugees for SBS Food
Inspired by dumpster divers handing out free meals in Melbourne, an Amsterdam collective is helping feed asylum seekers with food rescued from the rubbish.
Unconventional lives + cool projects
Future Library for frankie magazine
Berlin-based artist Katie Paterson is growing books for people who haven’t even been born yet, via her ambitious century-long Future Library project.
Eye, Human for The Lifted Brow
Spanish-Brit cyborg Neil Harbisson found a doctor willing to drill straight through his skull to permanently implant a piece of technology beneath his occipital bone.
Abandonment issues for Smith Journal
Shane Thoms spends most of his spare time and cash chasing photos of neglected buildings around the world. His trips are often illegal, and can result in a faceful of mould.
Reclaiming ‘butch’: ‘It’s surprising how much of a taboo it still is’ for The Guardian Australia
“People use ‘butch” as a way of insulting queer women,” says Esther Godoy, who has launched a new publication aiming to change that.
How to do what you love for a living: An interview with director Darcy Prendergast for Junkee
Darcy Prendergast spends his days blowing things up, animating insane lives for plasticine figurines and creating mind-boggling videos for Australian rock stars.
Lament for a lost sister revives ancient art form for The Courier-Mail
How the seven Aboriginal sisters of Northeast Arnhem Land, in Australia’s Northern Territory, revived the lost art of keening.
Single mother by choice: Inside the rising trend for The New Daily
Sophie Harper found herself on the phone to a fertility clinic the day after turning 38: her self-imposed deadline was up.
Art on a limb for frankie magazine
Taking their cue from the spectacle industry, this Canadian couple are transforming ugly prosthetics into avant-garde fashion.
The smell detective for Smith Journal
In the not-too-distant future, we might all be able to travel back in time — via smell.
Paint it big for frankie magazine
Scampering up and down ladders and scaling heights is all in a day’s work for Barcelona-based artists Zosen Bandido and Mina Hamada.
Spanish culture and quirks
Down the worm hole in Madrid’s hall of creepy crawlers for Narratively
Worms, crickets, snakes and cash heists – it’s all just another day at Madrid’s Expoterraria international reptile fair.
You may find this Spanish Christmas tradition a little hard to stomach for GlobalPost
Figurines depicting pooping celebrities and world leaders are carrying on a centuries-old tradition in Barcelona.
This Spanish family physician wants you to know more about illegal drugs for GlobalPost
Meet Dr X, who’s fighting taboos with the help of drug marketplaces on the ‘deep web.’
What’s with the Spanish mullet? for El País
Why the great Spanish mullet is more than just a hairdo, it’s a way of life.
Spain’s unlikely squatters for New Internationalist
In apartments dotted across Spain, grassroots anti-eviction group Platform for Mortgage Affected People is attempting to engineer its own solution to the country’s housing crisis.
How Cat Woman become mayor of Madrid for GlobalPost
Manuela Carmena rose from relative obscurity to unexpected power, thanks to a street art campaign and the internet.
Tasmania’s Valley of the Giants for Australian Traveller
I discover a centuries-old forest housing the world’s tallest hardwoods, with a little help from a flea market map.
The silent treatment for Slow magazine
Two European countries are pushing the idea that travelling quietly can help slow us down and make us more aware of what’s around us.
Total nudity is non-negotiable at the Friedrichsbad bathhouse for Escape
A 17-stage succession of saunas, showers and healing thermal spas is absolutely worth a few hours in the nuddy beside a bunch of strangers.
Art and soul in South Australia for Australian Traveller
A pitstop at the Tjatu Gallery in Australia’s Red Centre makes for a special discovery of land, culture and people.
Lady Elliot Island: The hidden side of the Great Barrier Reef for Escape
Off Queensland’s coastline lies an island so tiny it’s dissected entirely in two by a little airstrip that feels almost too short for safe landing.
Eco Retreat Il Fontanaro is more than an Italian postcard for The Adelaide Review
While staying at an Italian organic farm, I learn the owners’ incredible tale of a lifelong dream almost cut down by a last-minute tragedy.
A traveller’s tale of trusting in the kindness of strangers for International Traveller
“Bam! A shot straight into my denuded behind as the knot of morning travellers watched on. Regrettably, I would bare my backside for many more strangers before the month was out.”
Take a Game of Thrones walking tour in the Croatian fortress city of Dubrovnik for Escape
I headed to King’s Landing and managed to take the Iron Throne without spilling a single drop of blood.
Animals and animal rights
Spain is Africa’s animal-trafficking gateway to Europe for GlobalPost
A small Spanish primate rescue centre has become a key player in the fight to halt illegal animal trading through the Iberian Peninsula.
Smart milk for Qweekend (exclusive cover story)
In a dairy north-west of Brisbane, an unlikely source is set to deliver a healthy alternative to the white stuff usually produced by cows.
Weeding out animal cruelty for The Courier-Mail
The remarkable story of Sue and Rod Weeding, British expats who gave up their sunshine-and-relaxation retirement to open a sanctuary for abused horses in Spain.
Meet Adelaide’s koala rescue squad for The Adelaide Review
“Suddenly, Montarello’s phone starts pinging with terrible pictures: a koala had been attacked by a dog. Worse yet, she had a joey in her pouch – a baby now destined to become an orphan.”
All the love gone bad: On men and music lost for Kill Your Darlings
A personal essay exploring the links between music and memory.
You can call me Koren for The Big Issue
A rant against all the mere mortals who dare to mispronounce my name.
The Christmas poo for frankie
It’s rather undignified, but I’ve always had a certain scatological obsession. So imagine my joy when I realised my adopted home of Spain shares the same preoccupation.
The pain in Spain for The Big Issue
On dealing with the fetid assortment of cleanliness-related horrors that came with living in a Spanish sharehouse.
Mediterranean misadventures for The Big Issue
Invited on a hiking trip in Spain, things took a turn for the unexpected…