I’ve been seeing a few people writing their achievements this decade and I started writing mine. Things are tough at the moment and this reminds me of how much I have survived and how resilient I am—something that brings me comfort at the moment.
Most people are beginning their decade in 2010, but I’m beginning in 2009 because that’s when the two most important things happened to me. My ten years began with the birth of my beautiful daughter and ended with the death of my mother.
It has been tumultuous and personally and professionally challenging and rewarding. This is life. Full of light and dark. All we can do is keep moving forward and living.
2009 Birth of daughter, publication of debut novel The Good Daughter, won a literary prize, shortlisted for a few more
2010 received first grant from Creative Victoria, received funding to be writer in residence at two different high schools in Western suburbs, completed and had second book rejected.
2011 received funding from State Government to co-write and produce publication What a Muslim Woman Looks Like
2012 suffered a miscarriage and complications, was the year of Blood and Pestilence, completed another artist in residence at a high school
2013 delivering workshops, facilitating writing group, studying, working part time as home transcriber
2014 publication of anthology Growing up Muslim in Australia that I co-edited, first year as a high school teacher, published Amir: Friend on Loan, published a romance novel under pen name
2015 published second romance novel under pen name that I wrote in a year while working full time as a teacher, Coming of Age shortlisted for prizes, panel member on Creative Victoria grants panel, my daughter began primary school
2016 memoir extract published in Rebellious Daughters Anthology, bought my dream house
2017 delivering workshops on how to apply for grant applications, Victorian Premier's Award for Unpublished Manuscript judge and convenor, turned 40, celebrated 20th wedding anniversary, wrote a novel that didn’t go anywhere
2018 started my PhD at LaTrobe, my stepfather committed suicide
2019 publication of my memoir Things Nobody Knows But Me, my mother died.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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