Phelan Files from Japan

A feature on the Japanese town of Obama is expected to appear in this weekend’s Sunday Herald newspaper – written by a former staffer who has just moved to Japan, to work freelance for the next six-to-12 months.

Stephen Phelan left for Japan earlier this week and is planning to write a non-fiction book. Specialising in arts and culture, he says this is the best time to embark on such a career change. He was a staff writer – assigned to the Seven Days supplement, which was later folded into the magazine – until December, when he went freelance.

He told “Budgets have been getting tighter and so getting commissions has been harder. It’s not that I think I can do better in Japan, but I am sure I won’t be doing much worse. So, I’ll be pitching as many news stories, travel pieces and features as I can from over here – and hopefully act as an occasional correspondent for my old colleagues at the Herald and Sunday Herald – while also working on something [the book] I’ve been promising to have a crack at for years. I’ve only been at it six days and already I feel a bit better.”

As well as The Herald and Sunday Herald, Phelan has also written for The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Tribune (Ireland) and The Age (Australia). He is based in Kanazawa.

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