Guest Blog: Jodi DeVantier Queensland Writers Centre

Jodi answered my first phone call to Queensland Writers Centre. From that moment I was hooked on their generosity, willingness to help and love of words.

Since then, I’ve made a few phone calls and everyone I speak to exactly the same – as helpful as possible and just… lovely to deal with!

An organisation like QW, is so important to people like me. As well as being able to help people in Queensland, the online courses they run are necessary for interstate people, who can’t get to them. The courses are exemplarity and QWC lead the way with some of the MS programs, working with many well known Australian publishers.

Jodi is the WQ editor – the monthly magazine that is filled to the brim with author contributions, advice, information and every thing that you need to know, about writing for that month.

From QWC website: “Jodi’s project management skills and problem solving abilities have been crucial in the implementation of the new-look AWMonline website. Having recently taken the reins as Editor of WQ. Her vision is behind the luscious redesign of QWC’s monthly magazine, WQ. She has BA(Hons) in English from the University of Queensland and holds an ambition to become a book editor.”

She is willing to answer any questions you may have about QWC and what it can do for you, or anything to do with the writing industry, so please leave a comment if you have any questions at all.

Jodi

When I was young, I wanted to be a writer. But then I realised that I preferred reading to writing. This led me to discover the fantastic job of editing and that’s been my goal ever since. (There was a brief six-week period where I wanted to be a forensic pathologist but I blame that on a series of books I was reading at the time.)

At the moment, I’m the editor of Queensland Writers Centre’s monthly magazine, WQ . QWC provides information, services and support for writers and writing in Queensland. The magazine has feature articles that examine issues and topics within the Australian writing industry, as well as competitions and opportunities for writers to get published. My job involves organising each month’s theme, deciding the subject of the articles and then commissioning them, liaising with the designer and printer, generating advertising, proofing, and all the other jobs you need to do to get a magazine into the hands of the reader.

The best thing about my job? I love seeing the finished product – having the mag in my hands and seeing it (hopefully) have come together thematically and be an issue that other people will find informative, interesting, and engaging. That lasts about 10 minutes and then I’ve falling in love with the next issue I’m working on.

My background is short. I did a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Queensland with majors in English and writing. I worked in a bookshop for a bit and volunteered at QWC in my spare time, working on the monthly magazine and helping with the 2009/10 print edition of The Australian Writer’s Marketplace (www.awmonline.com.au). Volunteering at QWC led to my current position; I was in the right place at the right time. I feel very fortunate that I was given the chance to play and create a whole magazine, especially one that explores a topic I love and feel so passionate about.

I didn’t have a lot of experience when I started, so I had a pretty steep learning curve in my first year. While I had been working part-time on the magazine, doing various bits and pieces, suddenly having the whole job to do was intense. But nothing beats learning on the job (and making a few mistakes along the way). I love my job at QWC. I work with fantastic people and it feels great to be a part of the writing community. And I get to meet, talk with, and help writers. I first met Fleur when she rang up the centre. She’d heard about us through another writer and wanted to learn more about what we do. I think the writing community is one of the nicest communities around. Writing might still be an activity that you do on your own, but when you’re a part of a network that supports you and shares the highs and lows, it makes the journey that much easier.

I’d really like to work on a commercial magazine one day, or cut my teeth editing a book. I love food so to work on a cookbook or a collection of food writing would be wonderful.

I love reading biographies about editors and the writers they have worked with and the books they have worked on. I know the industry they may have worked in will be different to the one I’m entering, but the writer/editor relation is still such an important one to develop and nurture that I don’t think editors will be cut out of the publishing industry anytime soon. The future of publishing may be uncertain, but I know I’ll always find a place there somewhere.

Comments 5

  1. Lovely interview, Fleur and Jodie.

    Your right – QWC is so very important to the writing community and brings a wide range of opportunities to areas that don’t necessarily have access to them. The QWC/Hachette manuscript development programme has unearthed a number of wonderful writers – including Phillipa Fioretti and her novel The Book of Love – and the online course just keep getting better!

    And I love reading the WQ each month, so well done Jodie!

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