Samantha Turnbull Writer, mother, anti-princess

Jellyfish in Byron Bay

The non-hipster-mum-on-a-budget guide to Byron Bay

I’ve lived in ‘the Bay’ for about 15 years. That means I’m nowhere close to being a local… never really will be, but my kids are born and bred (they’ll just have to cop their mum being called a ‘blow-in’ – yawn).

I love it here, but have to deal with almost daily slandering of the place from colleagues and family who live in surrounding towns.

One relo called it ‘Nimbin by the sea’ at Christmas lunch… but I wasn’t sure if he meant it as a criticism or compliment, because the dude was actually from Nimbin himself.

I get why some people loathe it – it’s expensive, it’s busy, it’s a bit of a scene… but it’s not all of those things all of the time.Read More

Toothless daughter

I’m getting ‘a little work done’

I’m of the age where I’m noticing a lot of my friends are having ‘a little work done.’

New boobs, tummy tucks, smoothed out foreheads, fuller lips.

Some of it is hugely obvious. Some of it is subtle. Some I’m sure I haven’t noticed.Read More

Writing tips with a grain of salt

Something distressing happened to me a few months back.

I lost my writing time.Read More


Someone has to do it…

I was at a party the other night, speaking to a school teacher (as you do when you’re a children’s author and have been visiting a lot of schools), when her husband walked past.

She grabbed his forearm and nodded in my direction.

“—, you should meet Sam,” she said. “She writes children’s books.”

The man, without making eye contact, shrugged his shoulders and said: “Someone has to, I s’pose.”Read More

‘Boys are just violent’

I turned my back for a moment to put down the baby.

As I swung around with a towel to dry my daughter, a boy from her swimming lesson swung too. He punched her in the cheek and she stood, stunned.Read More

Book Five dedication

Book Five dedication

The Northern Star is a newspaper based in Lismore – about 45 minutes inland from the better known Byron Bay.

I got my first full-time journalism job at a radio station in the same building as The Star, but I always wanted to move downstairs to work on the paper… it seemed to be where the cool kids hung.Read More

Daddy and daughter

‘Silly Daddy’

Me: “I’d love it if you could give the toilet a good clean while I take the kids to the show.”

Bruce: “OK, how do you do that?”

Me: “Pour toilet cleaner in bowl. Scrub with toilet brush.”

Bruce: “What if poo gets on the toilet brush?”

Me: “Don’t put it in your mouth.”
Read More

Australian Poetry Slam

Slam update

‘Real men don’t hit women… unless…’

So, those were my first words at this year’s NSW finals of the Australian Poetry Slam.Read More

Home truths

I don’t know where home is.Read More