We’re eager to introduce you to Jennifer Nguyen – one of our 2017 Creative Producers currently working on two of our Late Night Lit events. We spoke to her about her experience as a creative producer with EWF and what drives her passion for writing and telling stories.
Why did you apply to be a Creative Producer?
I applied because I’m an emerging writer who wanted to get work experience in the arts. I also wanted to gain an understanding on how writing in Australia (particularly Melbourne) was being made and shared. The other experiences of previous Creative Producers on the EWF blog really helped me decide whether or not to apply, but really, it was a no-brainer – I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
What else do you have in the works at the moment?
I’ve been writing novels, mostly as a hobby, for about a decade now, but the one I’m working on now I’m keen on querying once it’s completed. I’m working steadily towards that. On the down-low I’m trying not to rush things, and I’m working more on improving my fiction/storytelling craft. I’m also doing a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) and a Diploma of Languages (Japanese) at RMIT.
What do you find exciting about working as a Creative Producer?
The most exciting thing so far is meeting everyone who is a part of the festival team. I’m programming two events and am grateful to have been given the opportunity to help shape and contribute to the festival in my own unique way. You hear the word ‘internship’ and your mind automatically jumps to a scenario where you’re at the bottom of the food chain running pointless errands, but it’s not like that at all. You’re an integral part of the team, and everyone has been really supportive, friendly and welcoming.
Any book recommendations?
Right now I’m reading
- •The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, Leo Tolstoy
- •Haruki Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman in anticipation for the release of his new short-story collection Men Without Women
- •The Big Sleep and Other Novels, Raymond Chandler
- •Ida, Alison Evans
- •Seven Stories (2017), an anthology of Tasmanian fiction (edited by Ben Walter)
The last few I finished include: Demian by Hermann Hesse, The Vegetarian by Han Kang and The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood. I should also mention that I’m new to the lit mag scene, and I’ve been subscribing and reading any latest issues sent my way. I’ve also been devouring back issues in The Wheeler Centre library.
Any career aspirations for the future?
Regarding career, I’m not sure. At the end of 2015, I had the dream of becoming a writer, which I’m living at the moment. I’m happy so long as I’m able to write what I want every-single day, and I know that’s up to me to grab hold of and not let go. That’s easier said than done, but I don’t believe in giving up on your dreams. Charles Bukowski said “If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it”. That’s a quote I take to heart. I’d like to tell stories until I have no more stories to tell, then I’ll retreat somewhere with my shiba inu and cat where I’ll go back to drinking whisky and telling stories to myself. To me, that sounds like a nice future.
What other things are you interested in?
Other than writing and reading, I like playing video games, watching stuff (anime, TV shows, movies, Japanese and Korean dramas, Youtube Let’s Plays) also I like reading manga, listening to k-pop and lo-fi hip hop playlists and sleeping. Mostly sleeping.