Funny things can happen when you put something out into the universe. This time last week the closest I had come to being a published writer was brushing up against the suede-patched jacket of Clive Hamilton at the Sydney Writers Festival. Since then, after moronically declaring to the world my innermost dreams and desires, something strange has taken place. People are milling around to help. And I have my first story! Rhonda Whatserface would be proud.
The week of my community working its magic began with two shout outs on other blogs, one from the very fetching and cunning linguist, the mild cat herself. And the other from Pam Wilson, on her very useful resource for aspiring writers ‘WriteSmart’, and who gave me the confidence to get this off the ground (although starting to regret not heeding her advice about creating a slightly more realistic pitching goal. Say, ten, instead of one hundred). Thanks ladies!
Then, lots of pitch fever subscriptions, support, ideas and feedback from friends, some very helpful and some not so helpful (e.g living as a bag lady for a week, thanks Laura). A link to a writing job for an ad agency, although the logo itself put me off lunch. A link to calls for submissions for articles for the Body Image magazine, Consume (a little cruelly named I thought, but each to their own). An offer of introduction to some big wigs at in the Travel Writing world (Woot woot!). And then, a small miracle. An email from a multi-talented songbird called Maeve who I met at a mate’s wedding in March. Between me being the Groom’s Best Woman and her official serenading duties, I didn’t have time to find out she was an editor. But she read Pitch Fever this week and dropped me a line yesterday looking for writers to contribute to ‘Made you Look’, the annual publication for the government campaign ‘Don’t DIS my ABILITY’.
Its a refreshing approach to a subject matter which is often steeped in condescending clichés such as ’inspirational’ or ‘brave’. This little rag is right up my alley – fresh, funny, fabulously designed and making a real difference for people with a disability. Maeve mentioned she had 3 stories ready to go, with case studies lined up, they just needed to be interviewed, researched and written. Copy deadlines are a mere 3 weeks away, so I best get cracking. I promise no puns this time.
Its small, and I’m not sure if this technically counts as a pitch, as the story ideas have been given to me, but I’m running with it, as my first commissioned (and paid!) collection of words on paper. Protests can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
So! It seems all this time I’ve spent socialising and building up an amazing network of mates over the years has been useful afterall (I told you, Dad). I wonder if all that wine guzzled in the name of networking is retrospectively tax-deductible?