If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably already heard this news but I thought I would record it here for posterity.
Yesterday, I received an email informing me I’d been nominated for the 2015 Express Media Awards. My review of (I Hate You) For Sentimental Reasons was selected for the category of Best Piece Published in Buzzcuts. The awards will be presented in Melbourne on 3 December.
(I Hate You) For Sentimental Reasons was one of three events I reviewed in March as part of the You Are Here arts festival and its literary branch, Noted. I attended as a volunteer reviewer for Scissor Paper Pen and my review appeared on their blog as well as in Buzzcuts.
It’s funny the way things work out. When I first saw the call for reviewers in the ACT Writers Centre newsletter I didn’t pay it much attention. After all, I wasn’t an event reviewer and I was almost too old to meet their age requirement. Then I got an email from Leife Shallcross encouraging me to give it a go. It was way outside my comfort zone… but if there was one thing I’ve learned it was that getting out of my comfort zone was vital if I wanted to learn and improve.
So, I sent off my application and was astonished to find it accepted.
As expected, the experience was out of my comfort zone. However, I did learn–or relearn–a lot. I learned I can handle a 24-hour deadline when necessary; I can even handle successive 24-hour deadlines. I relearned that I am awesome at writing to word counts. I learned that I am capable of writing event reviews as well as book reviews. And I relearned that Canberra has an amazing arts community. At the time, I had to focus on meeting my deadlines and was disappointed I didn’t manage to attend some of the other events. I plan to make up for that next year, when Noted will be running on 16-20 March.
The award nomination caught me by surprise. Last March seems like a lifetime ago and a lot has happened in the intervening months. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled. Not only is it an honour, but it has been a wonderful reminder that good things can happen when I step outside my comfort zone to make space for growing and learning.
I plan to do more of that next year.