I'm so happy to have been published in The Guardian for the Stream Team Column writing about my favourite movie Stir of Echoes. This gig came about because Stephanie Convery, Deputy Culture editor, posted on a Facebook group I follow Binder Full of Australian Women seeking women to pitch. I was so excited because I'm looking for opportunities to hone my freelance writing skills.
This column is about writing about a TV show or movie that is being streamed in Australia and came about because of lockdown and the only entertainment available was our screens. I cast my mind to think about my favourite movies. While there are a few that I've watched and re-watched every year this is the one that was available on Stan and I knew the most.
I pitched to Stephanie and she asked to see the article. My spidey senses tingled at the challenge. I re-watched the movie and made notes throughout. Over the weekend I spent 5 hours, on and off, crafting the review. This is not my usual genre and I found it quite challenging. There was a point during the process where I wanted to give in, thought I wasn't capable as imposter syndrome came creeping in. But I am nothing if not persistent. So I finished and submitted.
I waited. After a few days I followed up, as Stephanie had indicated she didn't mind. I waited another week. I followed up again. I waited another three days, getting convinced I'd fucked the whole thing up and it wasn't publishable. Just when I had given into despair, Stephanie emailed me. She'd copyedited it, restructuring slightly and tightened it so it was more about the plot, and it was being published.
So there you go, a publication story that is all able trying, persisting, and being patient (which is not my strong suite).
It has been my long-held dream to write freelance articles and I've been kicking that goal over the past two years. It was form of therapy after the loss of my parents and now has morphed into a regular hunger. You can click on the photos to go to the article.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Brimbank Writers and Readers Festival (#BWRF) 2020 will launch online next month! BWRF is an annual event that encourages a love of reading and literature, storytelling, celebrates creativity and diversity, and promotes lifelong learning.
Brought to you by @brimbank City Council and @brimbanklibraries with principle sponsor Victoria University @vupolytechnic, filmed at The #BoweryTheatre, videos produced by @cinespaceinc.
Due to COVID-19, the Festival is taking place online with a series of videos featuring six authors in intimate conversation.
⭐ Imbi Neeme @imbineeme
⭐ Victoria Nicole Cini
⭐ Amra Pajalic @amrapajalicauthor
⭐ Dmetri Kakmi @dmetrikakmi
⭐ Olympia Panagiotopoulos @olympiapanagiotopoulos
⭐ Leonard Kopilas
⭐ Sherryl Clark @sherrylwriter
⭐ Carmel Reilly
⭐ Anna George
For full program here
#WeAreBrimbank #BCreative #onlinefestival #Brimbank #council #localcouncil #community #westmelbourne #festival #writer #writers #authors #authortalk #Melbourne #Melbournewriter #Melbourneauthor #literaryarts #literature #MelbWest #LoveTheWest #MelbournesWest
I can now go public. Things Nobody Knows But Me has been shortlisted for the 2020 National Biography Award. There were 89 entries submitted for the Award this year.
As a shortlisted author I will receive $2,000. The winner of the overall prize will receive $25,000 and there is also a $5,000 prize for the best debut biography/memoir.
As we are currently in lockdown I did what any person would do, I dressed up and made a video about the announcement.
The announcement was preceded by a conversation between Robert Tickner AO, author of the recently released biography Ten Doors Down, and Caroline Baum, author of Only Me. Among other things our guests will discuss the contemporary relevance and significance of biography and memoir, and the trials and tribulations of sharing complex and highly personal stories. This was a great conversation. Thank you Robert and Caroline.
Then the shortlisted authors were announced.
Were it not for the lockdown, people would gather in Federation Square this Saturday to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. @AmraPajalic remembers the events that began on 11 July 1995.
Read my article on Overland here.
#Srebrenica #SrebrenicaGenocide #Srebrenica25
Attached is a document that community activist Senada Bosnic Ekic created to promote this event.
The purpose of art is to feel, to process emotions, to learn new things about yourself and others, to learn empathy and compassion, and to feel more alive and more deeply. And when a piece of art comes into your life at just the right time it is magic.
Just finished watching season 1 of Zoey's Playlist and I feel cleansed. It's a musical show about a girl whose father is diagnosed with a fatal degenerative health condition so she goes to do a MRI to test herself and ends up with a magical power of hearing people's emotion through songs.
It is such a beautiful and magical show and so uplifting, and yet I cried during every single episode. Sometimes up to two or three times. These were not regular cries, but body shaking, can barely breathe crying. And as I watched the last episode I realised why I connected with this show so much.
I never got the chance to say goodbye to any of my parents. My biological father died when I was four years old. He went overseas to say goodbye after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and got so sick, he died and was buried there. My stepfather committed suicide at the end of 2018. My mother passed away suddenly from hypertension at the end of the last year.
I never got the chance to say a proper goodbye to any of my parents. To prepare, to grieve, to process. They died so suddenly, leaving me with such profound shock and trauma.
After my biological father died my mother said that I became different, I was so angry. After my stepfather died I jumped into caring for my mother, and had no time to pause. And then when my mother passed the weight of all these losses weighed me down.
I feel like I'm only just breaking through and processing. Slightly coming back to myself. But I can see that this will be a long journey.
Anyway, this is a long post but there are three things I want you to know:
1. Art matters. Books, TV shows, music, movies, art, dance and anything I didn't cover-it matters. Support art wherever you can.
2. Hold those you love close. I have learnt deeper empathy and love through my losses. I appreciate the loved ones in my life more.
3. Watch Zoey's Playlist. Your life will be uplifted from the experience. It's on Stan and it's been renewed for a second season.
Writing articles has been my bucket list for so long. In the past six months I have managed to write an article a month. After remote teaching the staffroom was abuzz with conversations about whether we'll be pushed to remote teach more and I kept reflecting on who are the winners and who are the losers in this teaching model. Here is my first byline in The Guardian about my experience. And the rest of my articles in the post below.
I hated remote teaching during the Covid-19 lockdown. It should never replace the classroom, The Guardian, 08.06.20
I'm a Teacher and Remote Teaching Makes Me Feel Like a Failure, SBS Voices, 01.05.20
Starting over-finding the true measure of success to avoid burnout, AEU Magazine, 01.04.20
How my mother's Bi Polar disorder affected me, SBS Voices, 13.03.20
Saying Goodbye to My mother After her unexpected death, SBS Voices, 03.02.20
Searching for a message from my mother after she died. SBS Voices, 12.12.19
My high school counsellor transformed my life forever, SBS, 27.11.19
Growing up Under the Shadow of my mother's bi polar, SBS Voices, 14.06.19
Allies in Creative Writing, Southerly, 24.05.19
The life-changing impact of seeing yourself in fiction: Representation for Muslims, Bronzeville Bee, 23.05.19
Have read 19 out of 40 books so far for my 2020 Reading Challenge. I am two books behind my schedule. I need to stop reading such big books. Just finished Torched by my friend Kimberley Starr and this is a beautifully written novel about a community impacted by fire, and a mother and son bond. #amreading
Had a online chat with @zoyajpatel for @express_media toolkit and it was so wonderful to engage in my author life and talk about my memoir #thingsnobodyknowsbutme and the writing process. I also loved the opportunity to put some make up on and take a nice photo of my blue lockdown hair. So yes, I'm superficial and doing a humble brag. You can judge me, but I have blue hair and I just don't care. #lockdown #writingcommunity
View my interview here.
I am an author, reader and teacher.