Blaise van Hecke was the mother hen at Busybird Publishing. When not writing short stories, novels or memoirs, she could found in nature hugging trees, talking to the river or travelling.

Blaise lived and breathed books and publishing and was a huge advocate for the arts. She relished working with people to realise their publishing dream and believed that books could save the world.

You can learn more about Blaise on The Blaise van Hecke Legacy page.


Kev Howlett is an aviation nut who will tell you what plane is flying overhead, if you’re listening. He wanted to be a jet pilot until he found out you need 20/20 vision. That’s lucky for Busybird Publishing because he is an ace on photoshop and an excellent photographer and graphic designer.

When not creating awesome covers and layouts, you’ll find him drawing, playing guitar, travelling or striving for a faster 5kms run. He’s always trying his best to perfect his dad jokes, which is unfortunate for our interns.

Kev is also passionate about travel and has published Walk With Me, a coffee table book about his hike to Mt Everest Base Camp in 2014.


Les Zigomanis is an author, screenwriter, and speaker.

He has three published novels: Just Another Week in Suburbia (Pantera Press 2017), explores the questions of trust, fidelity, and how well you can ever truly know another person; while August Falling (Pantera Press 2018) is a story about unconditional acceptance, reclaiming the past, and finding a way forward. As ‘Lazaros Zigomanis’, he wrote the YA novel Pride (Busybird Publishing 2017), a story about dreams, coming of age, community, love, and racism.

He is also an accomplished screenwriter, with screenplays that have placed in over eighty international competitions.

As an editor, Les specialises in structural editing. His services are sought by established writers everywhere.


Kate Landers is a highly respected bookkeeper who is much in demand. At Busybird, she will politely chase up our invoices, keep our finances in order and, most importantly, feed Oscar jam sandwiches until he’s prancing around, begging for more.

When Kate’s not bookkeeping, you can find her gorging on chocolate or tirelessly volunteering at Lower Plenty Primary School.

Kate enjoys craft and cutting paper into small pieces. She can also take a good photograph (she was taught by the best – hint hint).

Laura McCluskey is a writer, editor, actor, and theatre producer.

When she’s not daydreaming about becoming the next Marvel superhero, she’s the Artistic Director for Three Fates Theatre Company.

For her own writing Laura has been shortlisted for several competitions, and as an editor her career highlights include Pride by Les Zigomanis and Heartbreak in the Himalayas by Dr Ray Hodgson. You can find her on LinkedIn.


Meg Hellyer is a freelance editor and writer based in south-east Victoria, out near the Dandenong Ranges. She completed her Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing in 2011.

She primarily specialises in editing memoir, autobiography and self-help books, but also has experience in writing for a range of publications – including The Australia Times Fiction Magazine, Ferntree Gully News, ArtsHub Melbourne and The 1812 Theatre. She also currently writes for CH Smith Marine in Fairfield.

She is otherwise a word nerd who enjoys bushwalking, fantasy/sci-fi films, and terrible jokes with terrible puns. Find out more here.


Scott Vandervalk has been a freelance editor for over eight years, and his projects range across the globe, from educational textbooks to biographies, self-help books and roleplaying games, amongst many other texts. Scott has previously worked in science research and education support in schools. He’s worked as an associate editor for Aurealis magazine for over eight years, and was previously lead editor for 21D magazine. His creative interests include reading and writing, and gaming in all of its forms, particularly exploring the different ways we can tell stories through games.

Find our more about Scott here.


Oscar is the morale officer at Busybird Publishing. Besides smacking constantly of cuteness, he goes from desk to desk, bringing company and asking for little in return other than the occasional pat and scratch of his belly. His specialty is charging the door whenever it opens, barking in his deep baritone, while wagging his tail excitedly.

Around lunchtime, Oscar will check out what you’re eating, and sit by you with big, imploring eyes, asking for just a taste. He’s also known to go foraging in bags for food … or anything chewable. Oscar’s plans for the future are to sleep, eat, and run around more.


Solonge (Shell) Brave is a professional historian who specialises in recording life interviews. She holds a Master’s in Biography and Life Writing and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) majoring in English Literature. She is a member of the Professional Historians Association and a former committee member of the Oral History Association of Victoria.

She is a part-time in event management working with a team of civil engineers and records, edits and produces life stories interviews as her side gig.

Shell is a fan of biographies, true stories, nature walks and song writing. She is a familiar face at Busybird  – a former intern-turned-editor; she is now the mainstay at our Open Mic Nights greeting the tribe at the door.


Anna Bilbrough is an early writer, freelance editor, English tutor and musician based in Ballarat. Anna’s writing, both in prose and song form, focuses on the intersections of mind and body, time and place, and memory and reality. Anna is currently working on her own family history novel.

As an editor, Anna has worked on self-help books, young adult novels, memoirs and business books. With her love of words, phrasing and precision, Anna has helped authors tighten their prose and polish their work.

You can find links to Anna’s published works here.


Joey To has been a freelance editor since 2014 after completing his postgrad studies (Grad. Cert. in Professional Writing). His experience as an engineer and a law clerk enables him to analyse and clarify texts, so he is comfortable in editing both fiction and non-fiction. 

He has worked on memoirs, self-help books, short stories, academic papers and articles such as book reviews. 

Joey’s short stories are featured in Aphelion, Perihelion and 50-Word Stories, amongst other e-zines. He has won multiple awards, including Bloomsbury Short Sentence (June & July 2013). His short-fiction illustrations are featured in The Story Shack. Find out more about Joey here.