National Youth Week / Writerly Types

Writerly Types: Rosanna Stevens

Have you been enjoying our National Youth Week profiles? We’ve got one more for you. But before we jump into that, let’s give a huge thanks to our wonderful intern Sophie Lovell who has curated this series – thanks, Sophie!

Our Writerly Type profile today is with Rosanna Stevens. You may recognise the name. Rosanna used to head up the communications here at the ACT Writers Centre. Nowadays, she’s a writrepreneur (we love this term and may steal it from her…). She writes and she also organises events, runs workshops, and plays the cello.



What is a typical work day like for you?
Irregular – that’s something that happens when you freelance, I think. Suddenly you’re working all the time, but those hours might be from 10am-5pm or midday to midnight. I think it’s really important to embrace whatever workload you have — the idea that a 9 to 5 job is the only way to work is crazy and unrealistic. Feeling great about what you do, and feeling as though what you do is making a difference to yourself and those around you is so much more valuable and exciting than deciding to a job that means you can work when everyone else does because that’s the Right Way to Be.

What advice do you have for people just starting out in your field?
I would say, always remember why you love the friends you have and look for people who you connect with, from all walks of life. As you go into the world, don’t only make friends in your industry. Some of the most exciting and interesting writers I have met have such amazing stories and are so unafraid to write in the way they do because they haven’t compared themselves to other people, and they aren’t afraid to be themselves. There’s no worse feeling than not being yourself because you’re worried people won’t like that version of you. It will affect the way you write, and the way you look at the world.

Do you have any exciting things coming up?
Yeah, I do! I have two essays coming out over the next two months, about two totally different things. One is due to hit shelves any second now in The Griffith REVIEW, and the other essay is going to appear in The Lifted Brow in May-ish. The first essay is about the ways non-Indigenous Australians need to begin to appreciate the significance and intelligence of Indigenous Australian music, song and people. The second essay is about periods, and by periods, I don’t mean full stops. Read the first one if you’re wanting to engage with a whole new paradigm. Read the second one if you’re wanting to learn about how I survived getting my period on an interstate bus.

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.
If you haven’t found yourself a copy of new zine Ripple Tank, go and find an edition – it’s from Canberra! The first one recently came out, and it’s an amazing example of what a young, determined, creative mind can achieve with the support of local talent, and the theme is really great, but I won’t give anything else away. I’m also really glad The ReReaders podcast has kicked off again. The Director of the Emerging Writers Festival, Sam Twyford-Moore, is joined by two new co-hosts to talk culture after a two-year hiatus. Equal third-first on the list is my current favourite Canadian blog, Hazlitt, which is run by Random House. It recently featured a really great piece about Eleanor Catton and her views on ageism. Also, when I’m feeling like I need a friend for a pep-talk, I always visit Amy Poehler.


Rosanna is one of the co-founders of Scissors Paper Pen. You can find her on Twitter.

This interview is part of a series for National Youth Week 2014 called Writerly Types. Click here for yesterday’s interview with Farz Edraki.

One thought on “Writerly Types: Rosanna Stevens

  1. Hi Rosie

    I never knew you played the cell! I want to hear that. 😉

    Like your comments.



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