As I go into my fourth post-university year (and indeed, post-seventeen-straight-years-of-education-of-any-kind), it’s quite clear that 2018 has been my most productive yet.
Most of the achievements I’m about to list have already been detailed on the Portfolio page, but allow me to roll around in my productivity a little bit.
In March, I performed as a featured poet at the South Coast Writers Centre’s International Women’s Day, which was my first gig as a performing poet outside of Enough Said Poetry Slam.
In May, I published my zine Equidistant, illustrated by Sydney artist Erin O’Brien. I had so much fun creating a collaborative project with drawings based on my short poems, and have since sold several dozen copies online, to friends, and at numerous poetry slams.
I continued to write more poetry than ever before and performed in the Enough Said open mic throughout the year as they bounced around different venues in Wollongong following the closure of Jane’s Cafe. I placed 2nd twice, receiving the special prize of a personal poem written during the slam by the amazing Emily Crocker using prompts from the crowd.
In October, I was invited to do performance and typewriter poetry in the Local Tent at Yours & Owls Music Festival. This was a hugely fun gig, and I loved tapping out spontaneous 5-minute poems for pinging festival patrons, even knowing they’d probably get used to wipe up gozleme grease or get crushed in a mosh.
In November, I performed as a solo poet and in a group at Enough Said’s last event of the year, as part of the Wollongong Writers Festival. It was my first time writing a poem with other people, and I was blown away by how constructive and communicative Zoe, John and Jamilla were. We scored the highest of all the group projects, and I couldn’t be prouder of us and what we created.
In 2018 was the very first Heroines Fest; a small writers festivals for sharing stories of women, both historical and speculative, run by Dr Sarah Nicholson of The Neo Perennial Press. They also published an anthology. I volunteered on the day to help run ticketing and mic running for the events, and was also invited to read some of my poetry in the closing part of the festival.
Finding work in Sydney for the first time, I commuted for six weeks to The Rocks to work as the Social Media & Marketing Officer for Word Travels—the International Performing Writers Association—leading up to the Australian Poetry Slam, as part of the Story-Fest ’18 weekend. It was an intense time of hiring interns, pitching radio marketing campaigns and working late hours, then a flurry of event volunteering during the festival itself.
Another new festival for me was the Feminist Writers Festival, which was in Sydney for the first time, in October of 2018. In the role of Volunteer Coordinator for the first time, I spent the two months preceding it involved in a lot of rostering and emailing, and was flat out for the duration of the festival, which was hosted by UTS. The organisers Emma and Nikki were wonderful to work with, and whilst I was exhausted by the end of it, it was a very rewarding experience.
This isn’t even everything I did in 2018, but it’s a snapshot of the things I’m most proud of. Writing this blog reminds me that it’s important to keep track of your achievements to avoid feeling unaccomplished. Being a creator and not working full-time often leads to feeling like I don’t do much of anything at all, but of course that isn’t true.
I’ll be remembering this as I go into 2019, and looking out for the next slew of opportunities to test my abilities, collaborate with new people, and do new things I can be just as proud of.