Episode 1: Trent Dalton

Trent Dalton is a staff writer at The Weekend Australian Magazine.

Penmanship podcast episode 1: Trent Dalton, interviewed by Andrew McMillen, 2015He’s one of the most influential journalists in my life, and I’m honoured that he’s my first guest on Penmanship.

Trent’s writing moves and inspires me with shocking regularity. Judging by the volume of praise-filled letters to the editor published in The Weekend Australian Magazine following each of his stories, I’m not the only one.

Our interview touches on Trent’s upbringing in Bracken Ridge, Brisbane; his early interest in magazine journalism; working at an auto-electrical parts supplier for a year after finishing high school; studying creative writing at university; his first writing job at Brisbane News on a salary of $26,000; his pre-interview tactic of looking in the bathroom mirror and reciting a mantra misquoted from Reservoir Dogs; and his transition to writing feature stories with great emotional depth.

Previously, Trent was a staff writer at Qweekend and an assistant editor of The Courier-Mail. He has won a Walkley Award for excellence in journalism, been a three-time winner of the national News Awards Feature Journalist of the Year Award, and was named Queensland Journalist of the Year at the 2011 Clarion Awards for excellence in Queensland media. His journalism has twice been nominated for a United Nations of Australia Media Peace Award.

Trent Dalton on Twitter: @TrentDalton

Direct download | iTunes | Stitcher | Libsyn | YouTube

Show notes:

2.30 My interview with Trent in 2010
2.35 My interview with Trent in 2011
4.45 Trent’s first questions for prospective interviewees
5.45 Trent’s story about Wally and Lincoln Lewis, All The King’s Men, January 2015
8.30 Trent’s story about Chantelle Newbery, On The Edge, August 2014
9.40 Origin of Trent’s creativity
13.50 Trent’s early writing influences
15.50 Origin of Trent’s interest in magazine journalism
17.30 Cameron Crowe’s profile of Pearl Jam, Five Against The World, October 1993
22.10 Trent as a high school student
23.40 Realising he wanted to be a journalist
24.30 Finishing high school with OP16
26.40 Working at an auto-electrical parts supplier in Nudgee for a year
31.00 Moving to Toowoomba to study media production at University of Southern Cross
33.00 Starting a band, singing Nirvana covers
34.00 Beginning to think of himself as a writer
36.00 Trent’s email signature: ‘Writer’
37.00 Moving back to Brisbane to study creative writing at Queensland University of Technology
39.50 Trent’s lightbulb moment with his feature writing teacher, Kris Olsson
40.40 Brisbane News job offer in 2000
42.40 Working as a mail sorter at Australia Post
45.00 First writing job salary: $26,000
46.50 Building ambitions and goals within Brisbane News
48.00 Renée Zellweger interview + photo shoot
52.00 Trent shitting himself while interviewing celebrities
53.30 Anthony Hopkins interview – a life-changing moment
58.30 Trent’s pre-interview tactic of looking in the bathroom mirror and reciting a mantra misquoted from Reservoir Dogs: “You’re a fucking Beretta”
62.30 Transitioning to Qweekend magazine in 2006
65.30 Meeting Christine Middap, “the greatest magazine editor in Australia”
69.00 ‘Ordinary People’, Trent’s weekly column in Qweekend
74.00 Transitioning from writing bookends to features for Qweekend
78.00 Trent’s approach to reporting while on assignment
80.00 Interview techniques: prepared questions vs blank-slate approach
81.30 The Nerdist podcast interview with Paul McCartney. December 2014
83.30 Handling emotional moments in interviews
84.00 Trent’s story about the Stanley family, Losing Matty, February 2007
90.30 Staying grounded
92.00 The note that Trent keeps in his wallet
96.00 The next five years

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.