Newsletter #17
Hello friends and welcome to the last newsletter you’ll receive from our current team. The Newsletter team wants to congratulate everyone for making it this far and sticking along with us. We hope our newsletters have provided content that inspires, encourages and motivates all of you.
For the last time this year, read along for some interesting content from us!
Creative content brought to you by: Jess Woods
Visual art brought to you by: Rhiannon Lobley

Happy Scratching everyone!
ScratchThat Magazine issue seven is out today! After weeks of hard work the ScratchThat team would love for you to join us for our lunch event today (27th of October) at the Grove Bar. We'll be there from 5pm til 8pm. If you're thinking of joining us, you can look forward to live readings, drinks and other exciting news to be announced... we hope to see you there!

      QUT Literary Salon      
Hey ScratchThat fans! Jackson here again with some Lit Salon tea. Our final salon, and most glamorous of them all, is just around the corner - scheduled to be at Avid Reader on the 12th of November from 6pm-9pm! Originally this was a ticketed event at $15 entry, but Avid Reader said 'think again' and have offered to allow everybody in for free! We want this to be the ultimate salon of the year, and a chance to truly celebrate the achievements of the team and all of the readers throughout the year, so if you're free, please join us! 

Submissions are currently open through the linktree in our bios (or the link below) with NO THEME! Feel free to send us whatever writing you like! We're also on the hunt for the next two presidents that will take the reigns for 2022. The new presidents will be announced at our final salon. Fill out the Google form in our instagram bio if you're interested! Applications close on the 1st of November. 
Don't forget to submit your writing to us HERE for our final salon - submissions close in November. Good luck!

Guidelines:
- Single submissions only
- For prose, word limits between 400-1200 words
- A maximum suite of 4, for poetry
- All submissions should be made via our Google form.

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

Make A Selection 

What we've been consuming
Sophie:
To be completely honest, I’ve found it hard to consume much these past couple of weeks as the uni assessments keep rolling in, but I do have an interesting suggestion for you all…
I may not be very artistic, but I do admire many different artists. Since it is ‘Inktober’ I’d like to talk about one of my favourite artists, Shawn Coss, and his art surrounding mental health. Google ‘Inktober’ or ‘mental health art’ and chances are, his scarily accurate sketches will be right near the top of the search bar. Coss decided a few years ago to take Inktober and make art depicting different mental illnesses for each day of the month. His sketches became famous pretty quickly because they are so relatable and showcase each mental disorder in very accurate representations. Sometimes I like to look at his art to stir up some inspiration in my writings, and if you’re ever stuck on writing something deep, I suggest you go and check it out too!
 
Jackson:
I'm still feeling rather allergic to books unfortunately. I just need that quick page turn that you get from poetry books or graphic novels - if I'm on the page for a whole minute I get antsy. I finished You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski this week, and I went into it really wanting something that I could just consume and not care about, something I could throw two-stars to on Goodreads, and for a while it really did just seem like pointless poems from another white guy. I did wind up rating it two-stars, but just between you and I...I wound up enjoying it. I'm not trying to embark on my misogynist arc I swear, but there was something really mindlessly entertaining about his disdain for everything, and this almost Rock-and-Roll-esque lifestyle that he found himself in after his writing took off. Equally as interesting was the amount of people on Goodreads that think that Bukowski would have been their friend - that think that mysteriously they would be the person that he'd finally care about more than alcohol and 'whores' as Bukowski puts it. 
 

Isabel:

Like any fourteen year old girl with access to the internet mourning her childhood and impatiently awaiting the thrills that allegedly came with young adulthood, I had a Tumblr account. And like any teenage girl with a Tumblr account, I listened to Lana Del Ray. This experience (along with anecdotes I've collected from my peers over the years) has cemented in me the belief that The Lana Del Ray Phase is an integral part of teenage girlhood. If you weren't laying in your backyard at 8pm on a school night imagining a future where you're living in Brooklyn with a boyfriend who's pretty, cool but not as cool as you... then what were you doing, exactly? If it wasn't obvious by now, LDR is a pretty nostalgic artist for me. Which is why I listen every time she drops a new album -- Blue Banisters being the most recent example. My final content recommendation is somewhat of a two-headed snake. I request that in the next couple of weeks you either:
a) listen to Lana's new album, or 
b) listen to something nostalgic from your teenage years, whatever you were obsessed with in high school. 

 


2021 Creative Writing Showcase
The official Creative Writing Gala for 2021 is almost upon us - and the Newsletter Team is here to dish all things location, time, and dress code. Mark your calendars for Friday the 5th of November (1 week and 2 days after our Issue #7 launch). The night will run from 6:00pm - 7:30pm on QUT Kelvin Grove campus at The Glasshouse - right beside LaBoite Theatre (6-8 Musk Avenue). The night will be all about celebrating the writing of QUT's talented students, and congratulating the amazing graduating class of 2021 - alongside some special events.
 
The showcase will consist of debates, the launch of ScratchThat's printed publication, student readings and the awarding of prizes including the Allen and Unwin Writers Prize and the annual Kellie Van Meurs Memorial Scholarship.
 
The ScratchThat team is so excited to finally be launching our very own printed zine, which is an idea that's been thrown around the classroom for several semesters now. Our Circa 2021 Zine will be like an All-Star Moments of ScratchThat for the year, and we really think you're going to love it. But what to wear? Just like a job interview - you couldn't possibly overdress. This is the closest thing us creative writers are going to get to a Met Gala, so dress up! Sources say that Rohan Wilson will be wearing a suit. We hope to see you there to snag yourself a copy of ScratchThat's very first print run, and for a night of absolute celebration.

Remember to RSVP through Eventbrite HERE! 


Allen & Unwin
"Make something pretty while you can"
An Interview with the 2021 Allen & Unwin Undergraduate Prize Shortlist: Ciaran Greig, Rebekah Roma, and Hannah Vesey
This week I got to touch base with my two Lit Salon social media besties: Ciaran and Bex! As well as our fave, increasingly prolific author who you may know from the Lit Salon's Brisbania Salon, or ScratchThat's Issue #6 Launch, Hannah! We talked all things fame, fortune, and distaster. Grab yourself a snack (we indulged in some Clinkers during our inteview), and read on!
 
Jackson: How was your professional interview? How do you feel after that?

Hannah: Bit nervous.
 
Jackson: Yep. Warmed up though?

Bex: Haha, yes!

Ciaran: I didn't realise it was going on the A&U social media - none of us realised until now. Also didn't realise that Rohan already knew who won the prize.
 
Jackson: I know, right? Bombshell. I submitted as well and it only kinda of just hit me that the Creative Writing Faculty has now read my work. Now I'm like...what if I offended them...

Bex: Oh my god, what did you write?
 
Jackson: No, seriously nothing crazy. There was a blowjob scene in a church...

Bex: Oh that's fine. Do you think they read it blind?

Ciaran: I think they read it blind. That's why I was wondering if Emily O'Grady was a judge, because I wonder if she would have known my piece, from the Evie Wyld quotes. Ella (Jeffery) would have known because she marked it. 

Jackson: How high were your hopes that you were gonna get chosen? Did you feel it was going to happen intuitively?

Hannah: I knew it was a good piece. I just didn't know that it was THAT good. I had 0 hopes of getting shortlisted.

Bex: I was almost at the point where I was thinking "if you don't get picked from these writers in your faculty, writing's not for you" *laughs*. So I'm glad that I got picked because I was like "Eh, it's your last go..."

Ciaran: Sometimes you need that confidence boost. 

Bex: Yeah, so that was really nice. Because I was definitely feeling a bit downtrodden before this.

Hannah: There is that feeling that if you can't succeed in uni - then what's it going to be like in the big bad world.

Bex: Yeah, totally.

Ciaran: I guess I was a bit more confident this year, because I was happy with the piece. The one I submitted last year - I didn't mind it, but I just kind of submitted it for practice. I thought I liked this piece a lot more than my one from last year.

 Jackson: So Bex, did your piece start for an assignment?

Bex: Yes. I think it was in a portfolio for Australian Voices (unit), where you had to write a response to that mimicking a voice or something.

Ciaran: I did that too!

Bex: Yeah. I went "oh that's actually some really good bones" and I extrapolated it out.

Jackson: Did you continue it with Allen & Unwin in mind?

Bex: No - it was just going to be a piece for my collection that I'm doing, but then the prize came up and I went "this is my favourite piece that I have right at the moment, I'll throw it in."

Jackson: Nice. Ciaran and Hannah, how did your pieces start?

Ciaran: Mine was also for an Australian Voices assignment. I kind of got to the end of it and I really liked it and thought "if I can edit this, and if I send it off and get a good mark" - that's my tip actually for people next year - is that what I did this year is write something for an assignment, and if my tutor likes it I'll submit it for the prize. So that's a good idea - like in semester 1 think about what you might submit for later in the year. Get it marked.

Bex: Get the feedback.

Ciaran: Get the feedback! Implement the feedback over the holidays - which I didn't do. 

Bex: *laughs*

Ciaran: I took the day off. But that's a good plan - people for next year. Write something you like, get the feedback in class and from tutors. This wound up being the only one that I really really really liked that I wrote this year, so. 

Jackson: And it got you here - yay! Hannah how did yours originate?

Hannah: I was going through this real dry period in terms of inspiration and I was - you know, not eating, worrying myself sick thinking "I can't be a writer"
 
Ciaran: Aw Hannah. You're such a great writer though.

Jackson: Oh slaying the game, really!

Hannah: Thanks so much guys. Yeah - then I started thinking about this Laura Elvery story where this girl is going with her Mum to her neighbours house to watch the moon-landing and I was thinking "what things could people be doing while they're watching the moon-landing?" and I thought "breaking up while watching the moon-landing" could be a fun place.

Jackson: What does it mean to you guys to be a finalist? Or even a winner? Not even just on an Allen & Unwin level, but in life?

Ciaran: It feels really special. To be shortlisted with Hannah and Bex who I really admire as writers, it's really special.

Bex: And I think considering how much respect I have for both of you as writers, and also the faculty as the judging panel - the fact that they liked my work and saw potential in it, and by extension me as a writer, has warmed my heart.

Hannah: I guess, like I said, I was questioning myself a lot before this happened, so having this nice little bit of affirmation it's like - yeah, I can do this. I'm good enough at this to keep going and I believe in myself. And I kind of see you guys as my overlords too.
 
Ciaran and Bex: *laughs*

Jackson: Well it's great that this came at such a good time for you too. 
 
Ciaran: That reminds me of last year, because when I was shortlisted last year I was so not confident with my writing. But getting shortlisted gave me the confidence to go for the Lit Salon, and also go for another position, and so many things have followed that too like I've made a best friend, and met you guys and so many people that I love working with and spend a lot of time with now. There's just so many opportunities that have come from submitting once to this prize and being shortlisted. So, Hannah, it's ok - this is the start of a new era.

Bex: Sincerely, your overlords. 

Hannah: *laughs*

Jackson: How do you guys feel about fame? How famous would you want to get as a writer?

Bex: I don't want to be famous.

Ciaran: Not even a little bit? You love being an instagram influencer.

Bex: Yeah ok let me re-phrase. Let me conceptualise this differently. I don't want people to be judging and critiquing everything I do...but I want people to fear and respect me *laughs* intellectually! Fear and respect over fame.

Hannah: I guess if I'm respected and admired within the Brisbane writing community, or maybe even the Australian writing community for my output, then for me that's enough. I don't want paparazzi chasing me down the street or anything.

Jackson: Yeah, we saw what happened to Britney. Do you guys have a quote that you've always wanted to say in an interview? Like - that headline that just hits.

Ciaran: Gosh...I don't have one.

Bex: Be gay do crime.


Hannah: I don't want to sound like a cringey-cringey-teenager. But there's a song I really like "make something pretty while you can".

Bex: That's not cringey I love that! Yours is so profound and mine's...

Jackson: They're both great!

Ciaran: Look, they basically mean the same thing. Be gay do crime, make something pretty while you can. 

Find the 2021 shortlist on Instagram @ciaran.elizabeth@rebekahroma@hannah_vesey_ 
 
Catch the shortlist in Issue #7 launching on Wednesday the 28th of October - and even more excitingly, make sure you attend the 2021 Creative Writing Gala to see who out of our shortlisted queens will win the prize!

Spilled Ink

A platter of ponderings
Jess Woods

This creative content is an extract from one of the stories that will be in Issue #7 of the ScratchThat magazine! Read below to enjoy… 
 

A GRIFTER’S GUIDE TO THE LAW OF ATTRACTION
by Jess Woods

Her name was Lola and she was a showgirl. She believed in the Law Of Attraction – had read all the books – which is why she had just carefully inscribed her name and career goal in permanent marker on the left-hand wall of the toilet cubicle. She had one more job to do in this middle-of-nowhere town, then she’d be on her way to audition in Vegas. The moment was so close she could taste it, like the first sip of a cocktail at the end of her shift. She smiled to herself as she re-traced over the black marker on the wall and imagined her face on a poster someday, the girl they’d all come to see. Write it down. Believe it. Make it real. Her name was Lola and she was a showgirl.
            It was a Friday night; Willie Nelson was on the jukebox and she’d just clocked off after serving a third round of tequila shots to a group of middle-aged cowboys who were in town for the weekend. They’d invited her to sit with them but she’d refused; instead, she’d gone to the bathroom to change out of her waitress’ uniform and into her best off-duty look – tight leather pants and a yellow bustier – then she let down her long, dark hair and re-applied her makeup. Now, she was perched expertly upon a bar stool, right leg crossed across her left, elbow resting lightly behind her on the bar to emphasise her cleavage, while her left wrist was draped elegantly across her knee. It was time to get down to business and she knew she had to choose the right mark – it was make or break tonight – or rather, make and break, if all went to plan. She focussed on putting this positive energy out into the universe, hoping desperately it would repay her in kind. Her name was Lola and she was a showgirl.
 
‘I’ll take a Manhattan, thanks Jerry,’ she said to the bartender. She was allowed one drink on the house, per shift, so she made sure it was worth it, always ordering something sophisticated and expensive.
‘Coming right up, Lols,’ Jerry smiled. ‘Hey, did I tell ya ‘bout this good-for-nothin’ who came in yesterday during happy hour, payin’ for all his mates and then tried to do a runner without paying his bill? Oh man, he was a son of a…’
Lola nodded along but she was really only half listening as she kept her gaze focused outwards, scanning the room with a practised glance. The suits were where the money was. They were also potential scouts and therefore the perfect mark; even off-duty, they still had the bright-lights of the casinos blazing in their eyes, hearts racing at the thought of finding ‘the next big thing’. She took her time choosing her target, waiting for the opportune moment to make her move. Maybe they’d even take her straight to the audition tomorrow!
The bar job was a cover; she was a hustler at heart. She’d been working her way towards Vegas when some guy had caught her out in the middle of a long-con, stupid mistake on her part. She’d spent the past two years running jobs for him in order to buy his silence; now she just needed to find a target for tonight that would allow her to pay off the last of her debt and finally buy a bus ticket the hell out of this town and straight towards her big break, as long as she made that audition in Vegas tomorrow. Looking back, she sometimes wished he’d just turned her in, instead of playing her at her own game. It was humiliating.
She had narrowed it down to two potential suits, weighing her impressions, when he walked in. He was all smiles as he approached the bar, hoisting himself onto a stool at the opposite end from her, loosening his tie. Distracted, she watched him as he ordered a beer. He glanced up and caught her eye. She quickly averted her gaze.
He can’t ever just leave me alone, she thought. The bastard.

Messages from the ScratchThat Team

ScratchThat wouldn't be ScratchThat without it's fabulous team, with new members joining and leaving every single semester. Working on this magazine is more than just another class for us - here's what the team has been up to this semester!
Editorial Board
From Täralyn Parks: The ScratchThat Editorial Board end a wild and challenging semester to close out the year. The quality in the magazine submissions across two issues has been outstanding, with only bigger and better things to come for a new team. We are so proud of our magazine, the content within it, and the readers who give us a platform.
Production Team
From Andrew Gillanders: Podcasts, Op-Eds, Interactive Fiction, a Zine! I'm so thankful at the opportunities I've had pushing the boundaries this year, with Blatherskite, The Terror of Chance, Nexus Brew, and our first physical Zine. ScratchThat is truly becoming a beast to be reckoned with and I couldn't be prouder to be one of our trailblazers. Will you be our next?
Copyediting Team
From Grace Hammond: I had so much fun this semester on the ScratchThat team! As copyeditors, we do our best to ensure every piece is polished, smooth, and typo-free. It’s very important to us that the authors are happy with any changes, so we keep in contact via email. While it can be meticulous work, it’s very rewarding to see the pieces looking beautiful up on the website. I will miss ScratchThat a ridiculous amount next year!
Podcast Team
From Zali Meredith: Over here at the podcast team, we’ve spent the semester writing and recording a six-episode radio drama that has so far seen four episode released onto all major streaming platforms. We’ve been really excited to see the Blatherskite listening audience expanding with every episode of H.AM Radio and are simply buzzing to get our last two episodes out as they’re certainly our craziest yet. We couldn’t have done it without the fantastic team over at Vermillion Records, who are prepping those final episodes at the minute for release over the next couple weeks.
Media Team
From George Caddy: In the last two issues the Media team has become an entity of enjoyment. Steph, Sherilyn, Natasha, and I have had so much fun working together to produce original content for our loyal followers. This position was a blast and I look forward to see where my new skills will take me. I'm in no way ready to say goodbye to such an extraordinary publication. ScratchThat was, is, and always will be the highlight of my time at uni. It has been a honour to work along side so many talented individuals that I'll remember for decades.

Mixed Bag

Writing and art prompts just for you

Farewells can be hard...

This newsletter has become our child over the course of this semester. But as chicks grow and leave the nest, this newsletter will leave our hands all too soon. Perhaps sadder is that it's happening for us in the reverse - we leave the newsletter behind, in a way outgrowing it, and it waits for the next team to put their spin on it. We trust that the newsletter will be in good hands! Still, however, to all readers that laid eyes on Newsletters 12 to 17, thank you for giving us your eye, and we hope you enjoyed our curated slice of ScratchThat.

Non-Fiction Writing Prompt
 
You may not be in the writing mood after a whole semester of keeping that brain moving, but if you are - here's some ideas to consider to keep your pens wagging, or your keyboards warm. Write a farewell to this last semester. Maybe you've just graduated and want to write a farewell to your course. Maybe write a farewell to yourself - the you of QUT, or even further back - to a you that might be unfamiliar with the you of today. Maybe you want to quit your job - write a spicy resignation letter! Maybe you are saying goodbye to someone out there, maybe a break-up (it happens to us all bestie). Toy with these ideas - farewells aren't always bad! Room for growth is left in their place.
Fiction Writing Prompt
 
Is there a fictional couple out there that you always hated? Were you more Team Jakeb than Team Edward? Write a break-up between two fictional characters that you never liked together. Maybe it's not romantic - maybe you thought that Hermione could have found better friends than boring old Harry and Ron - write about her flipping them the bird and leaving their sorry selves behind. Maybe tragedy inspires you, and you want to write about splitting up a great fictional pair, a farewell between soulmates. How would you want someone to say goodbye to you perfectly, if there could be a perfect way? Farewells are powerful in narrative, consider this in your next writing venture.
Happy scratching!