Newsletter #14
Welcome back, dear readers, you're just in time to peruse our fourteenth newsletter. Read on and allow your eyes to examine exquisite poetry, exceptional illustrations (courtesy of one of ScratchThat's most beloved artists, Rhiannon Lobley) and all the usual ScratchThat goodness. 

We are asking you guys to submit some content for us to publish in the newsletter! If you have something that you love, but it has been rejected by others, please send it or an extract of it to us!
We love reading and want to hear more from our audience, so again, don’t hold back!
The only condition is that it must be 600 words or less.
You may have noticed this newsletter was brought to you a day early. This was by no mistake. Tomorrow, Friday the 10th of September, ScratchThat is Launching issue #6! The ScratchThat team has worked inconceivably hard to ensure the content in this issue is unlike anything you have seen before. It is time to hold your breath and get ready to have your minds blown, but like, in an entirely good way.

Don't forget to join us for the launch event! We'll be grooving at the Grove Bar from 5pm this Friday and we can't wait to see you all there. 

In the meantime, while you count down the hours, enjoy our latest newsletter (with a few new surprises!)
Happy Scratching!
 
QUT Literary Salon
Hey ScratchThat fans! Jackson here for your latest Lit Salon news - our September Pride salon falls on the very day this newsletter is released, so we hope everyone that attended had a great time! We're setting our sights into October now for a spooky salon all about the theme: Sins. Submissions are open now for prose from 400-1200 words, or poetry suites with 4 poems maximum. Stay tuned on our socials for future Sins inspiration, and we can't wait to see your work! Check out the linktree on our instagram account for the submission link!

Please follow us at @qutlitsalon on Instagram and The QUT Literary Salon on Facebook to stay up to date.

Spilled Ink

A platter of ponderings #1
Spilled Ink this week will be showcasing poetry offcuts from the oncoming issue of ScratchThat magazine, and poetry from within the team itself. Our first Platter of Ponderings is presented to you by Steph Markwell, a member of the ScratchThat team in the form of poetry. Continue on to read Catch the Buz
Steph Markwell

Catch the BUZ

Waiting for the bus
Fish out of water
Beer battered and lightly fried
Sitting inside my skull
but miles from my body
 
Astral projecting my way home
cosmic limbs wrapped around a porcelain throne
I let forth my royal decree
in tones of green and beige
 
Beer before grass, you’re on your arse
I quietly remind myself
as the world spins around me
My dad taught me that
long before I was old enough to know how either felt
but from the look on his face, it had seemed important
 
A man yells at me from across the street
and I can’t quite tell what it is he said
Slurs and pick-up lines and ravings about aliens
all fall short of reaching me
Four lane streets are just
a little too wide for dialogue
 
He stares at me for a moment
Our eyes connect
and he begins walking away
arms thrashing about like a dying Sim
I wonder what he wanted me to know?
That I’m a faggot?
That my hair looks nice?
That the little grey men abducted Harold Holt in December of ’67?
That none of those things really matter?
 
Here comes the bus
                                     and
                                                 there goes the bus
 
Limp marionette limbs moving too slowly to grab the attention
of an absentminded driver
who just wants to be at home
and honestly
who can blame them?







Make A Selection 
What we've been consuming
Sophie:
If you're anything like me and get motion sick so often your brain is constantly a spinning glob of jelly, I recommend reading on...
I have tried uncountable times to work on assessments whilst commuting to and from uni on the train, and each time it never works because the nausea takes over after looking at a screen for too long. I've tried reading, and that too never works. Recently I decided to take on the Podcasts app that never gets used on my phone and was delighted by what I found. One podcast that stood out to me as interesting and very informative is: So You Want to Be a Writer. This is a fantastic Australian podcast series that talks about what it is like in the real life of writers. It not only goes through pretty much everything to expect and shows some interesting perspectives, but it also introduces you to many Australian writers and their journeys. If you’re looking to write as a career path, and have no idea what that is going to look like, I urge you to check it out (especially if you're looking to entertain yourself without needing to spew on a train).
 
Jackson:
In all honesty, i've found it really difficult to consume this fortnight. The uni stress is major right now, and I just haven't been sleeping enough to give my full attention to a novel or even a verse novel. However, reading something throughout the day - especially in the morning with a short journal session - always helps me feel more at peace. i've been keeping Richard Siken's poetry book Crush with me everywhere i go lately (literally just shoving it in my tote bag). i'll read a poem in the morning when i wake up, then i'll re-read it later in the day on the train (sorry Sophie) or before bed, and even just getting through one poem a day has kept my writing brain in-tact (mostly). i think for a neurotic brain like me, my healthiest habit is being able to keep open that door to escaping into fiction - into Siken's world where there's something about his most abstract lines that say everything i need to hear. i've seen people say that Crush is about panic, and i agree. it's about the panic that gay people feel about themselves, their lovers, their lives, their friends and their jobs, everything. In terms of music, aldn's album greenhouse has got me feeling very reflective, in my brooding soft boy arc, particularly with i'm alright, and precious
 

Isabel:

Lately I've been reading a lot of Chen Chen. He has a poetry book -- and an award winning one at that -- When I Grow Up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities. But because I've been unable to get my greasy little paws on a copy yet, I'm stuck with the next best thing; google. I google his name -- Chen Chen -- and then I sift through every possible thing I can click on. Poem in Noisy Mouthfuls, I'm Not a Religious Person But, Self-Portrait as So Much Potential. Chen Chen's poetry is relentlessly tender and at times, almost absurd. But in a wonderful way! I don't know anyone else who could write such a gorgeous poem talking repeatedly about pooping (Winter).
 
A platter of ponderings #2
Jackson Machado-Nunes
Our next Platter of Ponderings is presented to you by Jackson from your very own Newsletter team. Continue on to read A2 and After 'Evil Miffy' by Stephen Bird, both of which were previously rejected by an online poetry journal (we won't disclose which...)

After 'Evil Miffy' by Stephen Bird

Helium, helium, helium
I’m helium high, delirium
Take me sweet stranger – helium and I
Gumdrop of plum – beg for a try
20’s on my shoulders, and a rope on my tongue
I count the scribbled clouds, but not every one
I’m helium high, high as the bird
2 wingless beasts.
         describe me –
         evil,
         fatal,
         word.

A2

i waited for You
Like trees through Winter for Spring.
i won’t let You go ~



Allen & Unwin
The Allen & Unwin Undergraduate writer's prize is about to close! You only have until the 17th of September to snag this incredible opportunity to get noticed by one of Australia's most esteemed publishing houses. Applications are open to all QUT students enrolled in a creative writing undergraduate degree. The winner receives:
  • a study stipend of $200
  • publication in ScratchThat magazine
  • invaluable editing assistance and an opportunity to explore your future writing aspirations in an exclusive meeting with a senior editor from Allen and Unwin
We wish all submitters the best! And if your piece gets rejected, send it our way ;)
A platter of ponderings #3
Dacia Morrall

This Platter of Ponderings is presented to you by Dacia Morrall. This is a special surprise, as Dacia Morrall is one of you guys! Continue on to read The Boy with No Dreams.
 

The Boy with No Dreams

A room with no name
Holds a boy with no dreams
He sits on his chair
As he silently screams
His frustrations at
His PC screen
Ignoring the world and
Letting off steam.
 
This boy with no dreams
In a room with no name
Insists that his life
Is constantly stained
With the mistakes of others
As they tackle the strain
Of living a life
Dictated by pain.
 
A room with no name
Holds a boy with no dreams
He sits on his chair
As he silently screams
At the people
Sitting off screen
That control his decisions, that
Destroys self-esteem.

Mixed Bag

Writing and art prompts just for you

Send us your work!

We'd love to see what you come up with using our writing prompts below, so if you're interested in being featured in a future issue of our newsletter - send us an excerpt of no more than 600 words for the chance to see your work next issue, and possibly win an armful of fantastic Australian books! Send your prose (fiction or non-fiction), poetry, or anything you like to our Submissions Form. We're also very interested in scouting pieces that have been previously rejected from competitions or journals in the past, so send us those too. Happy Scratching!

Non-Fiction Writing Prompt
 
Let's talk about expectations this fortnight in our non-fiction writing. Life is expectations in a blender at times, with dull moments and inspiration to continue between. What did you think the pandemic would become when it first began? What were your worst expectations? Maybe you thought it would be a quick news story and then we'd be over it - write about that. Maybe you're mad at Covid-19, or the way the government has handled things, or the way that people have handled things. Maybe you're still mad over online learning, tell us about that. Write about how you expected life to change when you turned 18 and how maybe it did change in every way that you possibly imagined, and how everything is better because of it. Did you expect the best and get the best? Did your own expectations break your heart? If you get time this fortnight to unwind and reflect, reflect on expectations with us. 
Fiction Writing Prompt
 
Let's get those creative juices flowing this week with an idea inspired by an exercise I undertook in a tutorial recently where we took minor characters from our own lives and wrote a sentence about how they stood out to us. So this fortnight - let's give some love to the minor characters of our lives. Whether you're a party animal with a god complex and everyone you meet is minor to you, or if you're a textbook introvert with only your closest friends on your instagram feed - we've all met people in passing that stood out to us. We all have people that we knew for a minute and then they were gone. Write something about a minor character in your life. This can be creative non-fiction too! Maybe you want to get into the mind of this person and describe yourself or a moment in time that was more yours than theirs, maybe you want to give them their own fictional story or backstory, go wild!
Happy scratching!