Hi, I’m Libby O’Loghlin. I’m a prize-winning novelist and short story writer, ghostwriter and narrative media producer. I’ve worked in TV, film, radio, digital and print publishing, and I’m an Aussie who grew up in the UK, the US, Malaysia and Australia. I’m a mother of two (Mr2002 and Ms1999), and I currently live in Switzerland.
I’m Co-Founder and Creative Director of The Woolf Quarterly , an online cultural mag that started as a newsletter for local writerly people in Zürich and is now a full-blown publication. (My Q&A’s with a bunch of interesting people are on my Conversations page.)
WriteCon Zürich (organised by The Woolf) has been running since 2010. We run pop-up workshops as well as regular annual events including panel discussions with publishing industry experts from both Switzerland and abroad.
I’m a co-founder and board member of The Powerhouse Network for Professional Women in Zürich. The network has three events per year and small, satellite skill-sharing groups that meet regularly in seven areas of the Zürich region.
Below you can find a more comprehensive run-down of the stuff that moves me.
Stories and narratives: As a fiction writer who has also worked across various narrative media over the years (screen and radio, as well as digital and print publishing), I have come to believe we are at heart storytelling animals and much can be achieved with a well-placed anecdote.
I have observed that unless they are constantly being revisited, stories—especially those about ourselves—can quickly become stale or, worse, hold us prisoner to the past or the future. Neither of which exists in the here-and-now.
It is precisely now, in this hyper connected, ‘liquid modern’ environment, that we can most benefit from learning the skills needed to see and interrupt, to reframe and let go of stories in order to reach peaceful coexistence with those around us—and with ourselves.
Communication: I’ve spent many years working in many industry sectors (corporate, political, academic, the arts), and almost as many bringing up headstrong, outside-the-box children. Over the years, I’ve come to value the ‘nonviolent communication’ teachings of Marshall Rosenberg to help me understand others and find ways to work through challenging interpersonal situations. I love practicing clean communications and am trying to teach my own kids how to cut through the noise and BS so they can communicate with compassion and emotional literacy.
Creativity and the Future of Work: ‘creative’ and ‘design’ thinking have become increasingly valued recently in many sectors, as the future of work starts to look far less compartmentalised or boundaried across time, locality and industry sector, and far more blended and collaborative in nature.
It is a wonderful evolution, and with any change comes challenge, and we are now faced with interesting productivity and communication challenges for those forming new collaborative teams. Over the years, I’ve come to notice that artists and writers and musicians often have highly-developed processes and skills for collaborating, for communicating ideas, for living with unknowns (the ‘gig’ culture), and even for surviving in environments where their skills go unseen and possibly undervalued (culturally, as well as in the financial economy). I’m particularly interested in helping people identify and reframe their skills as strengths, and to highlight the other economies that are at play in the so-called ‘creative life’.
Words and reading: I am an award-winning short story writer and novelist, as well as a long-time editor of fiction and non fiction. While I am prone to outbursts about misplaced apostrophes, I also adore emojis and colloquialisms and the fluidity of language, and I will readily admit that rules are made for breaking. Especially in the name of readability or a good laugh.
Words empower and open up worlds, and I wish literacy upon every child. When we read (and write) long fiction, we are exercising our focus and staying ability—skills that are becoming more and more valuable as demands on our attention increase with the online, muliti-tasking, context-switching nature of our lives.
Feminism: Am woman. Have daughter. Nuff said.
Please take a look around the Rowing Girl site and join in the discussion. You can also join my mailing list to receive monthly round-ups of goings-on, and juicy snippets of conversations with other ‘people with projects’.