My writing journey

Phoebe Tay
As I look back on the past year, I ask myself What have I learnt as a writer? and How have I grown as a result of my experiences? The year 2012 brought many surprising opportunities for me to develop my writing skills and to grow as a writer in unexpected ways. Many doors were opened, giving me clear direction for 2013 to pursue my Masters in Writing and Literature at Deakin University.
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Phoebe Tay on 25/01/2013
Girl using a type writer whilst sitting cross legged on the floor

Developing your writing skills can lead to great opportunities

As a child, I found much delight and satisfaction in writing short stories as a hobby. In 2010, I decided to take my interest in writing more seriously, entering my short stories into various writing competitions. Whilst I did not win any competitions, having a deadline to work towards gave me much needed motivation and the act of finishing each story awarded me a sense of personal fulfillment. Since then, many more opportunities have come in the form of paid writing contracts and involvement in the Melbourne Writer's Festival (MWF).

Open doors

At around the time when I decided to make writing a commitment in 2010, Deaf Arts Network part of Arts Access Victoria announced that the MWF was organizing a Deaf Can Write workshop for Deaf people interested in writing and facilitated by experienced author, Arnold Zable. Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreters would also be present, providing full access to the workshop. I was excited and wasted no time in registering. Meeting other Deaf people interested in writing, and learning more about the craft of writing, was very worthwhile. In 2012, the MWF held an event called Through Deaf eyes. Five Deaf writers, including myself, were involved in a series of 5 workshops with Arnold Zable, which culminated in a performance of our stories during the event. The whole process pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and to share my story openly, developing self-confidence in being heard as a writer. If this opportunity should come my way again, I would gladly put my hand up to be involved.

Writing for DiVine

As 2011 drew to a close, I applied to be a DiVine freelance writer for 2012 as I saw they were recruiting new contributors. I was successful in my application and landed a 12-month writing contract. As a writer for DiVine, I have been given many opportunities to try different styles of writing on a variety of topics such as travel writing, news writing, non-fiction writing and more. I have learnt how to adapt my writing to suit these different styles. I have also had the chance to visit events and interview people when covering stories. It has been challenging at times, but receiving feedback and training from the editor has helped me to learn much on the job.

Back to university

With all the opportunities I've had to develop my writing skills over the past 3 years, I've found that my passion for writing has grown. I want to take my writing skills to a new level and have applied to study a Masters of Writing and Literature at Deakin University, part-time, for 2013. Much to my delight, I have been accepted into the course. I can hardly contain my excitement as to what is to come. Opportunities abound!

Readers comments (2)

Congratulations Phoebe on your acceptance into the Masters course at Deakin. I wish you lots of joy in your writing adventures and I look forward to reading more of your work both on DiVine and beyond.

Thank you Caitlin! :)

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