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Claire Scobie, Presenter

Dr Claire Scobie is author of The Pagoda Tree, a novel chosen by Good Reading Magazine as one of their Best Fiction Reads of 2013.

In 2006 Claire published her first book Last Seen in Lhasa, a compelling travel memoir that won the Dolman Best Travel Book Award. So far, it has been translated into German, Dutch and Korean. She writes for numerous publications including The Daily Telegraph and The Observer Magazine in the UK and is a contributor to The Sydney Morning Herald, Sun-Herald, marie claire and Qantas: The Australian Way magazine. She’s gone on the trail of rhino poachers in Assam, done heli-fishing in Patagonia and crossed the Tanami Track in Australia.

She started her career as a journalist working for London’s Telegraph Magazine. In 1997, after winning a national award as Best Young Woman Journalist of the Year, Claire went to Tibet in search of a rare red lily. Six more journeys to Tibet followed, resulting in her acclaimed travel memoir Last Seen in Lhasa (Random House) about her friendship with a wandering Tibetan nun.

She teaches writing workshops across Australia, mentors writers and appears at international literary festivals as a speaker and facilitator. In September 2010 she appeared on ABC TV’s First Tuesday Book Club in ‘On the Road’, a special show dedicated to travel writing.

Claire has taught journalism at Macquarie University in Sydney and been a judge in the Australian Society of Travel Writers Travel Journalism Awards. Since 2008 she has been a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. She is currently working on two new books, a novel and a second travel memoir, and in 2013 completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts.

Claire blogs at

Twitter: @clairescobie

Claire's books include:

Teaches these courses

Creative Writing Stage 1 grid

Creative Writing Stage 1

Want to write fiction? Want it to be amazing? Dive into a supportive environment of creativity, information and inspiration!

Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques at the Australian Writers' Centre

Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques

Advance your fiction writing skills, story and characters to a whole new level.

Travel Memoir grid

Travel Memoir

Travelling to or living in a unique location? Write about it! Learn the essentials to ‘armchair travel’ writing and make your story stand out.

Testimonials about this presenter

  • “Claire is a fantastic presenter. She had a genuine interest and intuitive understanding of each of our stories and was able to offer very insightful suggestions. The exercises, while challenging, were incredibly useful as they taught me more about my own ability to write. If you are seriously thinking about writing, Travel Memoir is the course to do.“

    - Margarita Steinhardt

    “I most enjoyed Claire’s knowledge and how good she was with understanding all the needs of the students. She was knowledgable, attentive and encouraging and give us advice on how we can get mentored. If you are interested in writing, it’s a must!“

    - Carla Francis

    “Claire was well-prepared and managed us well (the talkers vs quiet ones). She kept me stimulated all day, both days of the course. Gorgeous location! Great presenter. Useful content.”

    - Christine Gabriel

    “Claire Scobie was great – skillful, enthusiastic and encouraging. Her presentation was very stimulating and most enjoyable! I’ve done two courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre now and they were both great value for money and very practical.”

    - Judith Thomson

    ““Claire was fabulous. She was incredibly knowledgable, as well as thoughtful, honest, gentle and approachable. I certainly recommend Travel Memoir. If you are interested in writing and travel then you have a lot to gain by taking the course. It opened my eyes, taught me a lot about writing and encouraged me along my own writing path.“”

    - Ali Rolleston