Melissa Coffey

Writer- Poet - Editor


A Melbourne-based freelance editor, published writer & spoken word performer, I hold a BA (Hons) in Theatre Studies, minoring in Media Studies. I believe as writers we're always an apprentice to our craft - I seek to continuously develop my work through further learning. My short stories, poetry & creative non-fiction are published (sometimes in cognito) in numerous international & Australian anthologies (The Mammoth Book series, Stringybark Stories), literary journals (The Last Girls Club, The Aurora Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Writing in a Woman's Voice, Not Very Quiet, Illura Press) and online.

An active writer on since 2020, my poetry, personal essays & articles are regularly curated and I am a Top Writer in Poetry. As a developmental editor and former theatre director, I enjoy writing about creativity and writing craft. My fiction and poetry often explore themes of desire, power, transformation & sexuality, sometimes via a feminist lens. In August 2021, I joined Scrittura as an editor, a publication showcasing poetry & prose poems.

Passionate about the power of spoken word, I've performed at theatre and spoken word events, exhibitions and festivals over the last two decades. My poems have travelled the world, appearing in art exhibitions from Shiraz, Iran to London and Argentina. A return Feature performer at Melbourne’s "Mother Tongue: Women Speak", I've also been a guest performer at One Billion Rising fundraiser (2014), speaking out against sexual violence towards women.

Current projects include working on my first poetry collection & planning a series of local poetry workshops. For inquiries about projects, collaborations or editing services, please message me via Twitter.



The Aurora Journal
Molten Summer Reverie - The Aurora Journal

Hot colours of molten summer run together like no other season in recollection. Revolving days like childhood bicycle wheels-ghosted frames worn out by endless mid-afternoon adventures, buried in nostalgia's waterholes where you swam, diving deep in dappled shadows; buried in the undergrowth of gullies you flew down on dusty tracks, your brother always in front.

Sky Collection - Medium (Curated by Distributors)
A Sextet of Sails: For my Father

Shells glimmer; I follow curving stories with my feet; strewn on the sand, waiting to be reclaimed by the sea; beached like you, in final years, marooned in stagnant waters; a sailor without a boat to sail - away from landlocked cares

Not Very Quiet

We are bound, she and I, by inevitable threads; by the incessant warp of economy, by the indifferent weft of fate, the thread spins, the world turns

On Writing, Reading & Creativity

Inspired Writer - Medium (Curated by Distributors - Creative Non-Fiction Essay)
Written on the Shelf: What a Bookshelf Reveals about a Writer's Story

My bookshelf is tall and stately, wood stained the colour of honey, lending warmth and personality to my living-room. The old-fashioned angular cornices at the top are reminiscent of the Victorian era. Knowing my life-long love for books, my father gave it to me one Christmas many years ago.

Scrittura in Medium (Curated by Medium Distributors)
Poetry Workshop: Revising Drafts for Depth

In the secret writing life of a poet, there are often more unfinished than complete poems. Stray verses in random notebooks. Tantalizing poem titles, accompanied by a few lines and phrases on an otherwise daunting blank page. Fragments of ideas in our heads that we've yet to capture on paper.

Memoir / Fiction

Age of Empathy - Medium (Curated & Featured as Top 10 Medium Editor's Picks)
Motherlines: A Memoir on Lineage, Loss and Secrets

I have my mother's hands. My memory of the day this was discovered is vivid; drenched in sunlight, in the midst of eternal-seeming summer holidays. I was fourteen. My mother and I had weathered the long drive down the Queensland coast with nothing but the glare and the radio for company. As with every visit, we just managed not to miss the sign and the gravel-spattered road that limped off the highway.

The Junction - Medium
The Price for Fire: A re-imagining of the Pandora Myth

You think you know me, but you do not. I wear the tattered threads of a myth, frayed and tangled through the centuries.You think I represent the immutable curse of ignorant feminine curiosity. You think I released illness and death into the world because I couldn’t resist opening a box to see what was inside. You think I walked into this story as a hapless little girl.

Scrittura in Medium (Curated by Distributors)
A Room of Her Own

Caught in the clench of my walls, she sits, her frailty clinging to my solidity, like the dust, weary upon my floorboards. Her thoughts, sprawling unkempt in corners, grown mute as those motes marking misspent days, and nights made darker by more than mere absence of light.