Taking five with Helen Scheuerer

WriterseditlogoTell us a little bit about yourself and your creative endeavours.

I’m a creative writer and editor from Sydney. Right now, I’m pursuing publication of my first novel, while running Writer’s Edit—the online literary magazine I founded in 2013. I’m also currently managing the production and publication of our second creative writing anthology Kindling Volume II.

Creative endeavours besides all that? Through Writer’s Edit, I’d love to establish a literary community that nurtures new talent, and publishes beautiful books.

How do you fuel your muse & keep yourself inspired to do all the things that you do?

I’m lucky enough that the writers I work with for Writer’s Edit are all incredibly inspiring people, who are all passionate about the craft. Surrounding myself with people like this means I’m constantly stimulated and always immersed in the industry—which I find super motivating. Another thing I’m trying to do more often is give myself permission to take time off when I’m feeling burnt out. When I come back to work, my batteries are re-charged and I’m more enthusiastic than ever.

Do you keep yourself to a schedule?

Definitely. I’m big on routine and planning. I try to start work everyday at 8.30am. In the morning, I do article editing, answering emails and social media. I take a short lunch break and then get stuck into more creative tasks in the afternoon/evening.

At Writer’s Edit, we have a content schedule, social media schedule and solid processes for everything, which makes keeping to a routine a lot easier. Throughout each day, I work from a pretty extensive to-do list as well. This kind of structure really helps me stay focused and productive—there’s nothing I hate more than feeling like I’ve wasted a day.

How can one contribute to Writer’s Edit? Can we send in a pitch?

Glad you asked! For creative writing, we publish an annual print anthology called Kindling. This features short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and writing advice. The Writer’s Edit site publishes articles on writing, book reviews, author interview and industry-related features. We accept complete submissions as well as pitches here, and we pride ourselves on getting back to everyone who reaches out to us.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

When I was majoring in creative writing at uni, I didn’t really understand how important it was to contribute to a writing community and so when I finished my degree, I felt a little lost. My advice would be this:

  • Contribute to a publication. Not only does this provide you with material for your portfolio, but it gives you experience in editorial processes, working with content management systems and it may also mean you make some really valuable connections in the literary world.
  • Make friends with other writers. Whether this is through a writers’ group, a website or a uni degree, being friends with other writers means support, advice, brainstorming sessions and people who understand why you’re not working a typical 9-5 job. They’ll save your sanity, I promise.
  • Never underestimate the value of good editing.

Helen Scheuerer is a creative writer/novelist from Sydney, and the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit. She has a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong and a Masters in Publishing from The University of Sydney. With work published in the UK as well as Australia, Helen also freelances for a number of websites while she works on her own fiction and manages Writer’s Edit. She chronicles her writing process and current work over at HelenScheuerer.com

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