‘A lively, exuberant storyteller’

Carlos Amato, Mail & Guardian cartoonist

Photography © Daniel Manners

Tiara Walters bio

In 2021, I mark 21 years as an award-winning storyteller and journalist.

When I started my career as a natural-science journalist some two decades ago, I believed we had to save the planet.

Yet, it is we who need saving. And we – a madly inventive, tech-savvy mammal capable of writing triumphant symphonies and peering back to the beginnings of the known universe – are worth saving.

That’s why I feel fortunate to work as a senior investigative science journalist for Daily Maverick, joint winner of the Global Shining Light investigative journalism awards with 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa.

Here my mission is to investigate the latest developments in international sciences, what they highlight about our relationship with the cosmos during the Anthropocene, and how science may be weaponised by vested interests.

Recently, my investigative series, “Battleground Antarctica”, showed that vague scientific legislation under the Antarctic Treaty may be encouraging those same hydrocarbon habits that this treaty is begging us to drop. In 2020, colleague Don Pinnock and I broke the global news of US research pinpointing pangolins as a possible ‘transition’ source of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I often appear as a commentator on television and radio networks, and have also worked as a broadcast journalist, book editor, proofreader and writer in all kinds of genres. Please see my latest writing for more.

Tiara raison d'etre

Happy clients say:

She deserves her tiara.

– Branko Brkić, founder & editor, Daily Maverick

I was privileged to have Tiara edit my memoir, The Twinkling of an Eye. I was asked by many people how I could allow a professional editor to work with the extremely sensitive content of my son’s death from a brain tumour – but Tiara paid attention to the smallest detail. I was greatly reassured by the incredible amount of time, and emotional energy, she gave to the accurate telling of my story.

– Sue Brown, author

Beautifully told. A sense of true aestheticism. I felt understood in my own grief.

– Karina Szczurek, widow of novelist André P. Brink
Author (The Fifth Mrs Brink) on Twinkling of an Eye

My undying gratitude to Tiara who edited the final version of my memoir, Queen of the Free State, for her warmth and understanding, meticulous eye, intuitive and sensitive suggestions, all of which helped bring coherence to the chapters – seriously, how can I ever thank you?

– Jennifer Friedman, author

Tiara worked with me on a number of books for Tafelberg Publishers. I was completely satisfied with her editing/proofreading: thorough, thoughtful, effective and on time.

– Annie de Beer, publishing specialist

Tiara has contributed to Sunday Times Lifestyle since 2005. She is a gifted interviewer and a lively, exuberant storyteller.  Her memorable pieces have ranged from the secret lives of Uber drivers to the obsessions of long-distance swimmers. She is a pleasure to work with: energetic, punctual and pleasant.

– Carlos Amato, former editor, Sunday Times Lifestyle
Cartoonist, Mail & Guardian

Want a good all-rounder who’s fun to work with? Tiara’s the one.

 – Don Pinnock, author/former editor of Getaway Magazine

I have always been impressed by Tiara’s dedication to her work. She pays attention to detail, and has an excellent command of the English language as well as the concepts involved. She is interactive and co-operative and always a pleasure to have on the freelance staff. Tiara is a first-class copy editor.

– Patrick Bulger, chief subeditor, Sunday Times

The relationship between journalist and copy editor is often touchy, particularly on newspapers where the march of the deadline is constant. But Tiara’s sensitive line changes and feedback pointedly improved my work for Sunday Times Lifestyle in its final form. Her vibrant personality also helped. She understood what a sentence needed to do and be to achieve a kind of perfection.

–  Sean O’Toole, journalist, art critic

Tiara has worked under considerable pressure at times, but she has always managed to keep her sense of humour.

 – Susan Smuts, legal editor, Sunday Times