FIRST DRAFT NAILER
Ever since I wrote my first manuscript at the age of six (a heavily plagiarised James and the Giant Apple), I've have had an affinity for weaving words. Growing up in South Africa, my family would often find me with my nose stuck in a book or a pen in my hand.
Whether I was reading or writing stories, words were my thing. And they still are.
When I finished school I felt torn between my two great loves, theatre and journalism. Theatre won and I spent three years singing, dancing and acting my way to a musical theatre qualification from Tshwane University. At 21, I moved to Australia confident that the Melbourne stage would welcome me with open arms.
It didn't. Hundreds of auditions, rejections and diets later, I realised I'd pursued an unrequited love. Luckily, the words were still there, waiting for me.
Back to uni I went, completing a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. While studying, a lecturer encouraged me to start submitting feature articles to newspapers.
My first submission was not only accepted, it was published as a political essay in the Insight section of The Saturday Age.
It was 2008 and print was still booming so I got a regular gig writing op-eds for Fairfax covering everything from politics to fashion.
My growing portfolio helped me nab a corporate communications role in the government health sector. Within a year, I was promoted to a management position, overseeing a diverse team of comms professionals and working directly with the CEO and Board Chair.
Determined to keep learning and growing, I went back to uni to complete a Master of Communication (note: I probably wouldn't recommend juggling a day job, freelance writing, postgrad study and two kids under two if you can help it).
In an attempt to pursue that elusive thing called balance, I launched Blue Budgie in 2016. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and demand for my services has grown beyond anything I ever imagined.
I've earned a reputation for delivering exceptional first draft copy that connects with audiences in a fun and authentic way.
I proudly partner with leading digital agencies to deliver optimum outcomes for businesses across IT, engineering, health, interior design, construction, e-commerce, finance and executive coaching. As you can probably tell, I love variety.
I've also established myself as one of Mamamia’s most trusted health and parenting writers, producing over 200 sponsored articles for high profile clients including Coles, Woolworths, Foxtel, Myer, Telstra, Disney and Westfield.
From time to time, I still find myself tap dancing while typing. But I know that sitting at my laptop, weaving sentences with soul, is exactly where I'm meant to be.
MY (OFFICIAL) BIO
Jacqui McCallum is a copywriter and communications advisor to some of Australia’s most influential CEOs and entrepreneurs.
After initially pursuing a career in musical theatre (and failing miserably), Jacqui put her tap shoes in the hobby basket and got her laptop out. She quickly found her feet as a columnist for The Age newspaper writing on everything from politics to fashion. Her growing portfolio led to a communications role in the health sector where she was promoted up the ranks to manage a team of communication experts.
The birth of her children made Jacqui reassess her career and she launched her own communications business, Blue Budgie in pursuit of that elusive thing called balance. Thanks to word of mouth, Jacqui is now the go-to copywriter for leading digital agencies as well as international and local brands.
Somewhere in the middle of the busyness, Jacqui managed to complete a Master of Communication at RMIT University (while staying relatively sane) and write an award-winning short story.
When she’s not weaving words, you’ll find Jacqui shopping for homewares, singing in the occasional show, watching trashy reality television or running after her incredibly energetic and accident-prone sons, Maxwell and Hugo.