Broede Carmody, and Gillian Terzis, both journalists by day and editors, by night and respectively for Voice Works and The Lifted Brow by night, offered attendees at 'Next Gen: Future Voices' gave insights into their lives as young emerging writers. They focused on four issues in particular.
The second issue they tackled was publishing. If you’re a fellow writer like me, you’ll understand the anxiety we get when it comes to publishing our work. As we speak I am already thinking about how I’m going to submit this to my editor (freaking out here!). In all seriousness, Broede explains the difference he sees between creative writers and ‘news writers’ (A.K.A. journalists). Aspiring journalists are “always on the hunt to get their work out, get experience and pick up internships”. Creative writers “like to keep their work to themselves because it’s more personal to them, they’re always saying that it’s not 100% yet”, but truth is, Broede says, “your work will never be 100% but no matter what, you should submit your work and have a fresh pair of eyes looking at your work so you can receive feedback”. So, for the creative writers out there, don’t hold back! For any writer really, it’s okay to share your work and ask for constructive criticism, it can only help you improve.
The third issue canvassed was the difference between their day jobs and their hobby jobs.
Gillian discussed the constant battles she has faced in the journalism industry. She claims that at times, especially early in her career, she found herself continuously climbing the ladder, fighting to get her work online and earn a few hundred dollars, but with no end to her climb.
Gillian and Broede agreed on this exhausting aspect of being a journalist and also agreed that their hobby helped get them through those down times. They expressed how glad they were that they do creative writing because it allows them to fall back on something when they’re feeling down about their day job.
Gillian also shared with us that being an editor at The Lifted Brow has allowed her to make new connections and help young writers showcase their talent. She strongly encourages emerging writers to get involved in literary journals even if it is voluntary work. It gives them a strong sense of belonging and support, which is essential.
The fourth and final issue they spoke about was rejection letters, or as Broede likes to sugar call them, “feedback letters”. Broede looks positively on rejection suggesting that they often contain constructive feedback on your work.
Gillian suggests that from her experience “feedback letters” aren’t always as mean as people think they might be. Rejection letters don’t necessarily mean that your work was no good or not good enough. Gillian says that usually your work may not be accepted because it does not suit the genre of the publication you’re applying for, or maybe they can’t fit it in. Broede emphasises that although you may feel down in the dumps about being rejected, think about it in the long-term; the feedback you receive will help you to improve your writing. Their main advice for young writers was never stop trying, always keep submitting your work, get feedback on it and make connections because that is the only way you will succeed in this exhausting field.
Edited by Cassie Chilcott