16 November 2017

Meet the 2017 Scribe Nonfiction Prize Shortlist – Claire Lowe

In the lead up to announcing The 2017 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers, we’re introducing you to every name and face on the shortlist. These are some of the brightest nonfiction minds in the country and they’re all aged 30 and under. Read their profiles on the Express Media blog to learn more about their writing journeys, love of nonfiction and their tips and tricks to writing the best real-life stories.

Claire Lowe, 28, Queensland
Excess Skin

How did you begin writing?

I first started writing in primary school. Sometimes I’d write fiction and sometimes I’d just keep a diary. It was an escape, and a way of coping with some pretty tough bullying that I experienced throughout my life.

Why do you write nonfiction?

Writing nonfiction has always been a sort of therapy for me. I also think it’s so important to share true human experiences. To me, it’s one of the best ways to spread understanding, empathy and compassion in the world.

Tell us a bit about your submission to the Scribe Prize…

Excess Skin is a very honest memoir about my decision to have weight loss surgery and the effect obesity has had on my life so far. It follows the first two years after my surgery, but also recalls significant moments from my past that have impacted on my future.

Why did you choose to write on this subject?

Having the weight loss surgery, losing the weight and then having to confront all the demons of my past has been such an overwhelming experience. One of the things that helped me, and continues to help me, is reading the stories of others who have been in similar situations. So I chose to write Excess Skin as a way to connect with, and help, anyone else in a situation similar to mine. I also wanted to challenge the role of women in society, and how society treats certain groups and minorities.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

There’s two pieces of writing advice I’ve been given that I just can’t choose from. The first was that writing is a muscle and you have to practice, practice and then practice some more to build it up.

The second was to write what you know. Start from some place true, even if its small, and build on that. Sure, if you’re a sci-fi writer then there’s little chance you’ve been trapped on a spaceship that’s being attacked by aliens. But I’m sure there have been times you’ve felt scared, alone, in awe of the world around, trapped–all you have to do is start from those small moments and let imagination do the rest.


Currently in her third and final year of a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Creative and Professional writing, Brisbane based writer Claire Lowe is looking forwarding to sharing her work with the world. As a kid, and an avid reader who lived in a world of imagination, novels were always her best friend. Now, as an adult and a burgeoning author, she is looking to create best friends and personal escapes for her readers. Inspired by local authors such as Helen Garner and Rebecca Sparrow, Claire writes mostly nonfiction and memoir with a creative twist. Claire hopes her writing adds some positivity to the world, even if it’s just one reader at a time.