The National Youth Week interview we have for you today is Chiara Grassia! She’s a writer and a self-proclaimed music geek, currently the sub-editor and social media manager for BMA Magazine, co-curator of the Museum of Democracy’s Zine Lounge, producer of workshop afternoon ‘Write On’ at Gorman Arts Centre, and co-founder of the Canberra Zine Emporium.
What is a typical work day like for you?
Most days usually include a lot of e-mails, phone calls, editing, writing copy and keeping an eye on social media going-ons. All balanced out with copious amounts of tea, coffee, music and the occasional The Thick Of It episode.
What advice do you have for people just starting out in your field?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or reach out to people, particularly if you enjoy their work. I’m quiet, but unassumingly persistent. Send e-mails and follow them up. I’m very fortunate at that the moment that all my paid work revolves around, and is that result of being involved with, things I’m passionate about. Such as writing for BMA for ages (I e-mailed them when I was 14 and they generously took me under their wing) and co-founding the Canberra Zine Emporium (CZE), where I’ve helped organise zine fairs, and a book launch. Follow your gut.
Do you have any exciting things coming up?
‘Write On’ – an afternoon of free DIY/self-publishing workshops aimed at a youth audience, is on Sunday April 6 at Gorman Arts Centre. I’m going to be co-running a few workshops at the Museum of Democracy’s Zine Lounge for kids in the April school holidays. I’ll also be skipping winter and hanging out in Portland, OR in the US, helping out at Rock ‘n Roll Camp For Girls (again) and going to as many shows as possible.
We love recommendations – anything caught your eye lately? Maybe it’s a book you couldn’t put down, or a film that you wanted to immediately rewatch, or a website that made it to your bookmarks.
Sara Gran’s Claire DeWitt series– she’s the world’s greatest private eye with a stubborn tendency to solve cases on her own terms. She also dreams clues, which is great. Pair it with Kelly Link’s excellent short story ‘Girl Detective’, when you’re suffering from DeWitt withdrawals (I am). I also love podcasts – particularly when doing non-writing tasks such as drawing or zining. In particular, Destination DIY, Low Times, Bitch Media and the Guardian’s Music Weekly are always interesting, intelligent and a good source of ideas.
You can catch Chiara tomorrow (6th of April) at the Gorman Arts Centre at the Write On workshops, or at the Canberra Zine Emporium.
This interview is part of a series for National Youth Week 2014 called Writerly Types. Click here for yesterday’s interview with Andrew Galan.