Newsletter #11
Hello dear readers, and welcome to our final newsletter for semester one. From lockdowns to celebrity appearances, this semester has been a wild one. We are so grateful to everyone who took time from their day to peruse our newsletter. Thank you for enduring genre rants and river-related ramblings; your support means everything, whether you are a long-term subscriber or new to the ScratchThat scene. 

We are pleased to announce that Ella Prendergast is the winner of last week's giveaway! Enjoy your books Ella, and thank you to everyone who subscribed. 

Once again, this issue features the wonderful work of Rhiannon Lobley. Look out for her six pieces as you read on. You can find Rhiannon on Instagram at @nandles.
ScratchThat Issue Five launches tomorrow! Our launch event is tomorrow, Friday June 4, at 5pm at The Grove Bar on Kelvin Grove campus. Join us for an end-of-semester party like no other, including live readings, artist interviews, and a FREE DRINK upon entry. Check out our event page for more info.
We hope to see you there!

ScratchThat would like give a big thank you to the QUT Literary Salon for being a great ally in the Brisbane writing scene. We appreciate the generous contribution you have made to our Issue Five launch event and we look forward to working together in the future.
Thank you and farewell from Isabel, Grace and Ellie. We've had an amazing time crafting the ScratchThat newsletters over the last four months and can't wait to see what happens in the second half of 2021.
What we've been consuming
Grace:
While "Pride" trends on social media, Brisbane won’t be holding its annual festival until later in the year. However, in the spirit of every-month-is-Pride-month, I have selected a few choice Australian LGBTQ+ recommendations:
 
Nevo Zisin’s autobiography, Finding Nevo: How I Confused Everyone, delves into the subject of gender identity. Zisin gives an account of their transition and deconstructs ideas of binary gender divisions, all while maintaining a personable, versatile style. 
 
Alex the Astronaut is a folk-pop artist from Sydney. Her 2017 release Not Worth Hiding, which tells the story of how she learned to embrace her sexuality, coincided with the Vote Yes movement and became something of an anthem. Her songs are highly descriptive and emotive, making use of genre to create heartfelt and often narrative-based music. 

Sandra Pankhurst’s biography, The Trauma Cleaner, is greatly deserving of its acclaim. Written by Sarah Krasnostein, this book uses stunning emotional clarity to portray the life of Sandra; the trans woman who built Australia’s largest trauma cleaning service. (She is also the subject of Holy Holy’s song Sandra, conveniently creating a perfect reading soundtrack.)
 
 
Ellie:
As Brisbane slips into its winter finery and exams charge towards us like a runaway freight train, I am reminded of how very little attention I pay to time passing by. Six months into 2021, I have no idea where my spare time is going. It most certainly is not going to reading new books or seeing art shows – I’ve definitely left the house recently, but it’s been to restock on caffeine and pastries.

As such, I have very few recommendations this week, but I do have some advice for the stressed among us (that I am sure the stress-free will appreciate as well). Spend some time admiring the beautiful Brisbane sunsets – they’re stunning at this time of year. Enjoy the brisk morning air and the way your toes ache against the cold floor when you get out of bed. Summer will be back in all its sticky horrificness before we know it, so I intend on embracing this winter with my entire mind, body, and soul. (It might be the only way I get through this exam block.)

 

Isabel:

For our final newsletter, I'm coming through with two album recommendations -- Men I Trust's Oncle Jazz and Bad Girls by Donna Summer. Two different albums from two different decades. In a word, they are transcendent.
Once Jazz makes you want to rest peacefully on a porch swing and stare out at a foggy green forest, or maybe share a ride along the coast with a kind stranger in an old car with the roof off. It's quite versatile -- lots of daydream scenarios come to mind when you listen. 
Listening to Bad Girls, you're suddenly transported to a dark nightclub surrounded by sweaty people dancing in your favourite platform shoes and tightest flared pants with your closest friends being semi-blinded by multicoloured strobe lights.  
Listen for yourself and let the music transport you from your boring train ride to wherever that squishy pink ball inside your cranium conjures up. 
A platter of ponderings
Isabel:

My friends sip their sickly-sweet drinks as they wait, yet again, for me to hurriedly smear some makeup on my face before we go out for the night. I’m terminally late, something I inherited from my mother, a woman who is adamant that 'time is just a number'.
 
If you were to ask my friends to describe me, I’m certain “always late” would make the list, if not top it. I’ve been tagged in the “you can invite one friend to the function, if they’re late you get a million dollars” Facebook posts. I’ve been told that parties start at six when they really don’t start until seven. The fact that this is my stand-out character trait might be a little depressing if I really think about. So, I don’t really think about it. 
 
This sort of anti-punctuality is not limited to my social life. 
 
A slightly embarrassing truth about me: I have never finished (or started, if we’re being honest here) an assignment at an appropriate time in all my years of schooling. Every essay, every poster, every portfolio – a scrambled mess put together the day it was due. I once brought a friend to tears because she feared I wouldn’t get an assignment handed in on time. I have very vivid memories of my parents up late at the kitchen table helping me scrape together an assignment on Argentina, begging me not to make this last-minute-assignment-thing a pattern. Needless to say, the next few years were… not ideal for them. My timeliness hasn’t improved. I would argue that it’s only gotten worse. 
 
A pattern has emerged over the years: weeks before the assignment is due, I’m fine, I’m relaxed and focused on other things – I know I have plenty of time to work on my assignment. The days leading up to the assignment, I realise how much work there is to do and how thus far I have accomplished nothing, immediately I am overwhelmed, too stressed to focus and actually do something productive. The due date arrives, stress evaporates, I power through the whole assignment. Stuff it, I think, I just need to get something – anything – down and hand it in. This almost never ends well for me. At least, it doesn’t end as well as it could have, had I done the work in a timely manner. 
 
This is a cautionary tale, and I will leave you with one piece of advice: whatever it is you’re doing, for the love of god, don’t leave it until the last minute.

Hear from the ScratchThat team!
Issues Four and Five of ScratchThat could not have been so successful without each and every member. We asked for someone from each team to let us in on what they've been up to.
Editorial Board
The ScratchThat editorial board has had an amazing semester. With so many incredible submissions, it’s been a great opportunity to experience and share their talent with ScratchThat readers, and none of what the team has achieved would have been possible without these artists and everyone’s continued support of the magazine.
Production
My name is Darcie and I work on the Production Team for ScratchThat. The Production Team and I are all visual artists of sorts and we’ve been in our element creating anything aesthetic for ScratchThat. We’ve loved putting our heads together to create something we’re all proud of, especially the artworks for the written submissions!
Copyediting
I cannot describe the joy I felt over the last two issues of ScratchThat. The copy editing team did a phenomenal job of making sure everything was spick and span, and my fellow copy editors made editing enjoyable again. Also, interviewing Jackie French was pretty cool, highlight of my career.
 
Podcast

This semester we have taken our podcast to new heights, landing on every major podcast platform. Season 3 will take our total release to over 90 minutes, meaning we will have created a feature film’s equivalent of drama. I couldn’t be prouder of the quality, integrity and creative talents of everyone who has touched this process – and there is no better way to celebrate this than with the release of Condemned, our 3-part series premiering tomorrow.

The bar has been raised for Blatherskite this semester, and possible expansion is on the cards. If you are a writer, actor, or otherwise dramatically inclined, do keep your ear to the ground and consider applying to join ScratchThat if you want to be part of the next big thing.

Finally I wanted to thank everyone who has contributed to Blatherskite to get it to where it is, and remind you to subscribe wherever you find your podcasts!
Social Media
Hi! I’m Steph, and I’ve been ScratchThat’s social media manager for the past two issues. Working on ScratchThat’s social media team this semester has been such a great time - being able to take part in cultivating the magazine’s online identity, and watching it grow in follower base on all platforms has been incredibly rewarding, and I’m so thrilled to be able to be a part of something so great.
Video


This semester, the video team worked on artist interviews, including local band Blue Savannah Underworld. Despite hitting multiple Covid-related speed bumps, the production quality was really high and the experience was very rewarding. 
Writing advice from Jackie French
George C, one of our incredible ScratchThat members (who has been a force to be reckoned with on our podcast and copyediting teams), was fortunate enough to interview legendary Australian author Jackie French. We'd like to share with you some advice French had for us creatives:
 
Write the book that you need to write, don't bother about the genre ... your job is to communicate whatever you feel is important to the reader.
 
Publishing in Australia is incestuous; everyone knows everyone else ... never, ever be nasty to anyone because sometimes your career is going to come back and bite you.

Thank you to George and Jackie! You can find the rest of the interview in Issue Five, so be sure to have a look when it's released!
Writing and art prompts just for you

Character death is fun. When done well, it can be devastating; empathetic readers have the ability to grieve characters like real people. Often, the most catastrophic deaths occur when they are least expected. 
 
Here is an exercise: take a project you’ve been working on and kill the main character. Do it in the middle of their arc, their development, their sentence. What happens to the remaining characters? What holes are left in their lives? How does the story itself change?

Everybody has a favourite meal. Sweet, savoury, sour, bitter -- there's something for everyone. 
Food has been a central component in art, writing, and music throughout history, from da Vinci's The Last Supper to Rihanna's Birthday Cake
Create something centring around your favourite food. Think of all the senses you employ when you are around food. Consider the sense of community and culture food inspires.
In 2020, many snippets of media that “predicted the future” were brought to light. A Raymond Carver poem, various episodes of The Simpsons, that one Tumblr post. Some of them are eerily accurate.
 
Write, draw, create a prediction. It may involve natural disasters or not-so-natural disasters, the deterioration of corporations or their domination. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be right.
Happy scratching!
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