What I’ve been doing lately…

On a bit of a random thought, I decided to enter the Scissors Paper Pen Blog competition this year. They were after four young writers (read: under 30 – huzzah for a birthday late in the year!) from our local area to attend a local alternative art and underground culture festival that was planned for 14th – 24th March 2013. The You Are Here Festival is a 10 day extravaganza of art, dance, writing, poetry, drama and all sorts of other creativeness.

To enter, I had to provide a cover email (I was oh so professional! – see my letter below) and two examples of non-fiction writing. I included with it my review of The Book Thief and an article I wrote about my favourite indie author Lindsay Buroker. Apparently, they liked my application so much, that they created a new prize for me and one other lucky person.


Here’s my cover letter… I went with very casual as you can see, but it seemed to work.

Dear creators of Scissors Paper Pen,
Please find enclosed my cover letter as requested in your ‘Looking for Papercuts’ blog post.
I am a part-time journalism and professional communication student at CIT who also works full time as a technical writer. I live with my husband, am an aspiring author of a horror/science-fiction novel and an avid book reader, reviewer and blogger.
I’m currently 29, so happily, I just make it into the young writers category. Attached, I have included two pieces of my non-fiction work for your perusal. The first is an article I wrote about one of my all time favourite independently published authors, Lindsay Buroker and the second is a book review I wrote after reading a particularly moving book. If you’d like to see more examples of my writing, feel free to stop by my blog (link below) and say hi.
I’ve had a look at the line up for the You Are Here Festival and I am awed by the line up of talent and the varying platforms it takes. I know, that I will certainly be making an appearance at this festival, be it to write reviews with you and BMA or just for my own enjoyment. Thank you for this fantastic opportunity.
Warm regards,

You can find me on:

My blog




So with my entry sent off I waited, and surprise surprise when the little email came back saying I’d won a slightly different prize, to the one on offer, I was stoked.

The four papercutters won:

Review writers will have places put aside to attend You Are Here events they would most like to review. Successful applicants will attend a two-hour training session with BMA Editor Ashley Thomas Scissors Paper Pen blog staff. Their work will be co-edited, and published on the Scissors Paper Pen blog, as well as potentially being featured on the Buzzcuts, HerCanberra, Lip Magazine, or RiotACT websites, and in BMA magazine. Because of You Are Here festival’s brief life, writers will work to tight deadlines, and garner invaluable experience working with editors, learning to appreciate and articulate their own opinions, and working with other writers and artists. Most importantly, successful applicants will have the opportunity to find their reviews writing skills polished and published.

What I got instead:

The Riot ACT were happy to take on two writers. They wanted writers who had experience blogging before, but also writers who were willing to take the review writing experience on in a more developed manner than that which we’re offering with Papercuts. This means a proper journalistic experience at a festival: 24hr turnovers for reviews, ensuring that if an event is to be repeated during the festival the review writer attends the premiere performance of that event and not a later one, being prepared to take photos at events to supplement reviews, and being prepared to take on constructive feedback from Editors. It’s almost like a journalistic/review writing internship.

So, armed with this, I attended the two hour training session with the blog staff. I didn’t get to meet the guys from the-RiotACT, nor the BMA editor, I’m hoping the four papercutters have by now. I don’t get the opportunity to have my reviews published in print through BMA or the other magazines, but I’m able to submit other things to them if I wish for consideration. The festival started on the 14th of March and so far I’ve attended six events, and reviewed five of them. I have one last event to attend later this week.

I’ll share with you my reviews over the coming days!


9 thoughts on “What I’ve been doing lately…

  1. Congratulations! Sounds like you’ve been having a great time…the start of something big, maybe?

  2. How exciting!!! Johnboy (John Griffiths) from RiotACT is great. I’ve never actually met him, but we’ve emailed a few times and I’ve read a lot of what he writes. HerCanberra is always on the lookout for articles (I know a few people who send them in) and I had one published before my Soul’s Child book launch. Amanda Whitley is a friend of my daughter and she loves getting articles for HerCanberra. I’m sure she’d love your blog. Very well done, indeed! I’m looking forward to hearing more 😀

    • Wow! You are totally connected Dianne! I am starting to see that there are all these awesome publications here that are accepting submissions that I didn’t know about!

      Some of my reviews are already up on the RiotACT, but I will be posting them on my blog too in the coming days 🙂

  3. Well done coffee2words. A well deserved win.

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