Photograph by Laki Sideris
Photograph by Laki Sideris

Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing and Editing) (2006)

How did you get to where you are today?

When I started at Box Hill, I had no idea what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I had a love of language and I had a decent turn-of-phrase. I enjoyed writing creatively and so I enrolled in the course looking to enhance my creative skills. I soon learned that there were many opportunities to work within the publishing industry other than as a writer and so I followed the trail of breadcrumbs.

After Box Hill, I landed a job at John Wiley as a publishing assistant. I got this job in the old-fashioned way, by sending my resume to every publishing house in Melbourne and ringing them up until one agreed to meet me. And once you are in, opportunities are easier to see. Wiley encouraged me to further my study, which I did completing a Grad Dip in editing and publishing at RMIT followed by a Master of Communication in 2009.

I really just opened my eyes and took what opportunities that came my way. I have been open to doing things that might not have been apparent when I initially embarked on a career in publishing. When my studies led me to the Master of Communication at RMIT, these opportunities broadened from Publishing to Communications eventually leading to my new job at Monash University. I have always tried to continually improve my skill-set too, whether that is through further study or taking on new tasks at work. And with technology advancing as fast as it is, I find that this is the only way to keep on top.

Do you still write recreationally?
Yes, however not as much as I would like.

If so, where do you get your creative inspiration from?
Creative inspiration is tough to pin down; most of my stuff is a response to events in my life, the birth of my daughter, the death of my father or a bad cup of coffee. As I said though, I haven’t written much lately.

Have you had your work published?
Sadly, I am still unrequited in that field. Although I haven’t tried to have anything published for a long time. Of course, I write a lot of corporate copy for my job.

What’s something that most people don’t know about publishing?
How tough it actually is. I always hear people say how greedy publishers are and how the internet will make them redundant. This ignores the work done by a publisher in the shaping of a manuscript, which all costs money. The truth is that publishing is a niche industry and for every Harry Potter making megabucks, there are hundreds of titles that have bombed and cost publishers quite a bit. Most publishers work on very tight margins that are getting tighter.