Carol Fallows was editor of Slimming Health & Nutrition magazine when she first met Bronwyn. She wrote:
Bron started to write for ‘Slimming’ when Martin advertised in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ for a writer. It was not long after Aidan was born, so it must have been 1978. Bron and I became friends when Sam and her daughter Anna were born in 1979. We found that even though we were approaching parenting from completely different directions we had much in common and from the beginning our conversations were very much about bringing up kids and parenting as well as about writing. Bron taught me a great deal about writing and many a time I would phone her just to discuss a problem I had at work. We had very different parenting styles but our basic philosophy was the same and we spent hours discussing the pros and cons of working away from home and working at home, child care, playgroups – and just about everything that came into parenting. This continued as our children grew up and we were both very much in touch with what they were doing.
In 1981 we established ‘Parents’ magazine and Bron started writing for the magazine in its first year.
In one year (1992) stories Bron wrote for the magazine were:
- “Who did your child hurt today?’ A story on how racial and other prejudices are learned today
- ” The Brag Time Band” … navigating the murky waters of talking about your children
- “Taming the Monsters”… what to do when children are afraid.
- “Shall we Dance?” a report on dance classes.
- “Two Year Old Terrors” A look at toddler tyranny and the power of the terrible twos.
- “Gifted Children. Seven good reasons why you probably have one” An interview with Howard Gardner an American professor about his revolutionary definition of intelligence.
- “The Aggressive Preschooler. Strategies for exasperated parents”
My conversations with Bron fuelled many stories in ‘Parents magazine’ – not just the stories she wrote. She was an enormous asset to the magazine because she could write about any topic and she could write serious investigative stories one moment and humour the next. She always wanted to do a ‘funny’ column along the lines of ‘Storming Around’ for the magazine but I could never see how it would fit and when ‘Sydney’s Child’ began she asked if I would mind if she submitted the funny columns to them. I said that was fine but I would prefer that she used a pen-name – that is how the name ‘Frances Storm’ was born.
Jenna Price at ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ was a reader of ‘Parents’ and it must have been in the late 1980s that she began to write parenting stories regularly for the SMH. This raised her profile enormously and it was from here that her work with the adolescent unit at Westmead and the commissioning came for ‘Anna’s Story’ and her new role as a champion of teenage issues.