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


Dear Uber driver, please don't rate me down for not feeling chatty

I reckon I’m a model Uber rider. I’ve never vomited in an Uber, I don’t stink up the car with food, I say "please" and "thank you" and I’m always ready to go when they arrive. Sometimes I even stand outside my house and wave them in like an air traffic controller because I know the location pin on the app can be a bit screwy.

'I was fleeced by stealth by the local gym chain'

It all started when the gym was run by the then blue-branded Fitness First. I joined up, frequented it three times a week for about six months, then got existentially depressed by the cardio room and cancelled my membership. I’d tried phoning my cancellation in but was told I had to go to the website.

Takata airbags being recalled after being ‘fixed’

JANE Toakley is a model “recall citizen”. She should be, she’s had a lot of experience. Her 2011 Corolla Hatch has been the subject of three recalls in the past two years. In July 2016 it was recalled on a leaking fuel tank issue, then in December 2017 it was subject to the worldwide Takata airbag recall.

Joel Salom reveals his circus disaster stories

WHEN audiences file into a circus tent or gather around a charismatic street performer they don’t always expect an “off-script” performance that could go horribly wrong at any moment. But circus tents and street pitches are the last frontiers of OH & S. Professional performer and comic juggler, Joel Salom has taken this high risk attitude from the streets of Australia to the prestigious festivals of Europe.

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.”.


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.



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  • social media strategy
  • digital strategy
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