Penny Flanagan

Freelance writer


Penny Flanagan

Freelance writer: opinion, humour, news and social commentary. As seen in: The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Choice Magazine,,, and


I traded a Spotify subscription for 24/7 access to my teens' location

My 15 year old son has gone into the city to play pool. I’m trying to read in bed, but I can’t relax until he’s home safe. If I sound neurotic to you, it’s probably because you don’t have a teenager. I have three teenage sons: Eldest (19), Twin One (15) and Twin Two (15). If this were the author's son, and it was after dark, she would be onto his whereabouts.

Penny Flanagan swears off customer loyalty programs

Every time I try to buy something, the salesperson puts up a virtual road block. It's the ultimate consumer buzz-kill because there's no way to make this question go away quickly. If you answer 'no' it gives them an immediate opening to bore your pants off with all the reasons you should be a member.

The school run is a twice-daily fresh hell for parents

When Penny Flanagan read that a school mum lost it at pick-up and ended up in court, she wasn't surprised. When I saw this headline on page three of The Daily Telegraph, my only thought was, “No sh**, Sherlock.”. It didn’t surprise me that the mum in question “was so annoyed by a (young girl’s) criticism of her parking abilities that she threw an object at her head …”.

The how to work a baby guide every new parent really needs in their life

It is a fact often lamented by weary first-time parents that babies do not come with an instruction booklet. If they did come with an instruction booklet, here’s what it might say. Congratulations! You have made a person! We strongly encourage you to name this person as soon as possible: the more you delay, the harder it will become to settle on a name and the more your family and friends will:

Confessions of an e-commerce addict

And somehow Google, browser cookies and my Facebook data have created the perfect storm for cheap clothing sites from China to exploit my weakness. They know exactly what I want before I even want it. When an ad for a floaty “cotton blend” top appeared on my Facebook feed I couldn’t look away. And to seal the deal, it was endorsed by one of my most stylish Facebook “friends.”.

11 things 20-somethings shouldn’t wear

THERE are a lot of articles going around with this title: “## things 40 something women should never wear.”. And 20 per cent of those articles are all right-on, “Hey ladies, don’t wear the weight of other people’s expectations,” while the other 80 per cent are actually a list of things we over-40s shouldn’t be wearing.

‘I Tried The 5 Most Popular Weight Loss Regimes And Here’s What Happened’

Exercise and its daily execution is the enduring conundrum of modern life. If you are looking for the exercise regime that will suit you, this list might help you with what not to choose. People who claim to love exercise are liars. I would argue they love the results exercise brings, but the not actual execution.

11 ways to be socially awkward

THERE are many ways to be socially awkward. I know this, because I am an expert. Throughout my life I have uncovered myriad ways to create a portable miasma of vague discomfort. If you are a novice and you would like to learn how to do it, you’ve come to the right place. I have tried and tested all of these methods and I can guarantee that these moments will not only be awkward at the time, but they will revisit you throughout your life to remind you what an enormously awkward goober you really are.

In defense of Sam Armytage's "giant granny pants"

Recently, Samantha Armytage was heckled by the Daily Mail for wearing granny pants. Australia's granny pant wearers say 'enough is enough'. No really, this is an actual story that hit the internet today from The Daily Mail - a story about Sam Armytage's alleged 'granny pants'. It seems in the digital world, any random thought that goes through someone's head as they are perving on some stalker pics of a newsreader, now qualifies as 'news.'

Seven things parents should never do in cafes

THERE is a certain attitude among parents (and I know, because I am one) that because we are suffering by the hands of our children, so too must everyone around us. This has led to some particularly entitled behaviour in cafes and restaurants around Sydney. As the self-appointed arbiter of “parents in cafes behaviour”, I think it’s time we all took a good, long, hard look at ourselves.

New calls to require families with kids to sit separately on planes

A RECENT survey from Airfare Watchdog revealed something those of us with kids already knew: 52% of travellers dread being near us and find us so annoying with our pesky kids that they want us to travel in a separate section of the plane, reports Kidspot. “More than half (52 per cent) feel that families with young children (age 10 and under) should be required to sit in a separate section of the plane.”.

Confessions of a real estate writer: Why those ads are so terrible

IF YOU’VE been in the market for a home you’ve probably had the misfortune of experiencing my loathsome work as a real estate copywriter. Yes, I am the person who writes things like: “Immaculately renovated two bedroom home with seamless open flow to sun-drenched north-facing deck and garden.”. At this point you are probably appalled to discover that they actually employ “professional” writers to spit out that guff.


Penny Flanagan

Penny Flanagan is a Sydney-based writer. She is the author of three novels, 'Changing The Sky' (Hodder Headline, 1993) 'Sing To Me' (Penguin Books, 1998) 'Surviving Hal' (Puncher & Wattmann, 2019) and has had various short stories published in Meanjin, Imago and Picador New Writing anthologies. She is a prolific contributor to many high profile digital platforms such as - The Sydney Morning Herald,,, and Her specialty is humour and opinion but her skill is versatility: she can write in any style on any topic.



  • writing
  • editing
  • copy proofing
  • social media strategy
  • digital strategy
  • video content
  • video editing