Clare Mendes worked as an advertising copywriter for several years before turning to creative writing. She also wrote scripts for TV (including Neighbours, q.v.), and has conducted workshops on play and scriptwriting. Melbourne-based Mendes was the Executive Officer of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Victoria) in 1997, during which time she was instrumental in starting Rat Readings - a forum for new works by Melbourne writers held at the Water Rat Hotel on Monday nights.
An active volunteer for organizations such as the International Womens Development Agency and Australian Volunteers International, she has used her skills to edit and write articles for their publications, using experience gained in Indonesia during her 1997 Asialink Residency Program award.
A Race across Burning Soil1997single work novel An Australian classic in the making, A Race Across Burning Soil is the story of Patrick and Sheila, inhabitants of Violet Town, a bush settlement. We follow these two, in their own voices, through the decades of their lives. From Patrick's first youthful affection for his fellow student and tutor, Sheila, and her complete antagonism towards him, through their respective separate adult lives. Patrick grows from the gawky, love-addled adolescent into a fine young man. Sheila moves to Melbourne and becomes a great success story. During her adulthood, Sheila comes, finally, to rely on Patrick and to realise the love he has for her. She tries to reciprocate but cannot, trapped within her growing madness. HarperCollins Media Release
A daily television drama series set in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough, Neighbours chronicles the lives of the residents of Ramsay Street. The series initially revolved around three families: the Ramsays (at number 24 Ramsay Street), the Robinsons (at number 26), and the Clarkes (at number 28). The scope of the series has since broadened to include new Ramsay Street familes.