Ella Salome tells us why she’s with EWF, what she’s reading, and her brilliant advice on switching jealousy for inspiration. We are damn lucky to have her!
What was the first thing about becoming a Creative Producer that stood out to you the most and made you want to apply?
I was looking for something big and colourful to do this year; something I could really test myself against and grow through. When I heard about the opportunity to be a Creative Producer at the Emerging Writers’ Festival, I knew it was the perfect project. I guess the very first thing to draw me in was the idea that I would be creating an experience for festival goers. I’ve gained so much enjoyment from festivals created by dedicated and visionary people who have put in the effort for me. Now I get to put my own energy into creating that experience for others.
How are you finding the experience of being a Creative Producer so far?
It has taken a little time to settle into the role, but I’m certain this experience is going to be great for me both professionally and on a personal level. As the event I’m working on comes together, my excitement is building. The vague ideas and concepts are starting to solidify into something real, and that’s a rewarding process to be part of.
What aspects of the Emerging Writers’ Festival are you looking forward to?
There’s a lot to be excited about. I know I’ll be busy making things happen behind the scenes, but I’ll be cramming the maximum possible amount of events into my schedule. I’m keen to go to some of the masterclasses. I’ll be especially looking out for events focused on editing, which I love doing and am aspiring towards as a career. It’s also going to be great to work alongside all of the fantastic people who are involved in the festival this year.
Can you tell us about the last book you read and loved, and what’s currently on your to-read pile?
I recently read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. It was brimming with dark humour, wit and the occasional dose of extreme mental discomfort. The concept was completely original, and the writing was masterful. I didn’t come across a single descriptive cliché in the whole book. Dunn was fearless, she got elbow deep in the most unsavoury and confronting elements of human emotion, and it took serious nerve sometimes to keep reading. I loved it.
My to-read pile is never extremely organised. At any given moment I’m trying to ignore the call of a handful of unfinished trilogies while I re-read an old favourite for the fifth time. I am keen to get my hands on some of the lesser known gold coming out of the Melbourne lit scene though. I’m hoping to gather a good long list of recommendations from the people I meet through my time at the EWF.
Have you got any advice for other emerging writers/creators?
I’m still in the early stages of my career, so I’m hardly an expert. Still, one thing I have slowly but surely learned is that jealousy gets you nowhere. Every now and then I have found myself looking at people my age who are succeeding as writers or artists, and feeling bitter. But the truth is, any young artist’s success is good for all of us. It’s much better to look at success and find inspiration. Perhaps this isn’t a common problem, but for me it was a big one.
Lastly, can you give us three words that best describe the event/s you’re working on?
Exploratory, adventurous, colourful.
As well as working at the Emerging Writers’ Festival this year, Ella is freelancing as an editor, working on numerous short stories, finishing her Communications degree and generally getting amongst any creative projects she can squeeze into her schedule. Ella is a musician, an artist, a writer, and one of those people who snorts when she laughs too hard. Which she does often and with great zeal.