Jay began writing as a teenager, and followed his passion to RMIT. Now, he’s about to publish his award-winning manuscript and has more on the way.
When I was 14, I was “sick” at home from school watching a movie called Novocaine, and I didn’t like the ending so I started writing a manuscript that sought to resolve it in a way that I would be happy with. Thankfully the manuscript has been lost, but it inspired me to keep writing and eventually I did an Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing and a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) at RMIT, before finally enrolling in a Master of Writing and Publishing. RMIT’s hands-on, practical approach appealed to me as the best way to develop my skills and see my craft in action.
The highlight of the degree is definitely the lecturers – they’re all brilliant and they take the time to impart their knowledge on us. Another positive has been seriously workshopping my writing with other students and lecturers who respect the craft of writing, which has made my writing better and given me valuable insight into my own work. I’ve also gained skills in editing, proofreading, copywriting, project management and IT, among many other areas.
As part of my masters, I completed a volunteer placement in the marketing and communications team at TEDxMelbourne and TEDxDocklands, which helped me understand what it’s like to work in the industry. I’m now working as a copywriter and copyeditor, and I also have a few freelance clients as a creative writer.
As a writer, I used to flail about without direction and without really knowing what I was doing. Now I’ve learnt how to take writing seriously and have an understanding of how to treat it like a profession.
Throughout my degrees I have been working on my manuscript Ironbark, which was recently picked up by Scribe Publications for a hopeful 2018 publication. One of my greatest achievements was being recognised by my peers when Ironbark was shortlisted for the Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. With the knowledge and skills I’ve developed at RMIT, my eventual goal is to start a publishing house of my own working with LGBTIQA+ fiction and nonfiction literature.
I love what I do because it gives me the opportunity to share alternative perspectives with people who might not otherwise encounter them.