About McKinley

I am an editor, writer and Tolkien apologist based in Melbourne, Australia.

I specialise in what might be called ‘user-centric’ writing: I’m able to put myself in the place of the intended audience and structure language in ways that will be intuitive to them.

Blog post: How to use wayfinding principles in document design

I’m a strong advocate for plain English and accessibility. Good ideas deserve to be intelligible to a wide audience, and even when writing for a highly sophisticated reader, clear language will usually be more powerful.

Blog post: The generosity of plain English

I work on strategic documents for government departments, thought leadership pieces for corporate clients, and major reports for research organisations.

I also produce a weekly newsletter and write stories about wizards.

Current work:

Previous work:

  • Editor at Listverse
  • Sub-editor at  Uro Media, a high-end architecture publisher
  • Contributor to Unpaved, online home for Melbourne’s country, folk & bluegrass music scene
  • Sub-editor for Das Superpaper, an emerging and contemporary art media project

I have also copy-edited many books on history and culture for Monash University Publishing, including Making Chinese Australia: Urban elites, newspapers and the formation of Chinese-Australian identity, 1892–1912.

One of the best parts of editing is the opportunity to learn about incredibly diverse topics. Did you know there is a snail that builds itself iron armour by absorbing particles arising from hydrothermal vents? Amazing.