Like all good books, there is a final page and this marks my final page at Underground Writers. I joined the Underground team in my first year of my undergrad, and since graduating almost two years ago, it is time to move on. But it wouldn’t be a farewell without one final send off, so here are six things I’ve learnt in six years of Underground:
- Fictional Monsters and therapy make an amusing combo
In the six years I’ve been with Underground Writers I have read A LOT of submissions – I’ve lost count really. A lot of them have blurred together, but occasionally one stands out and imprints on my brain. In my first year of Underground we had a submission that featured the musings of a therapist looking after various famous “monsters”. The piece amused us all and in a room of different personalities, we all had something to agree on with that piece and we still talk about it today six years later.
- There is such thing as too much angst
“What?!?” I hear you ask, “but Jess you’re a walking Evanescence album, you’re the queen of angst!” I hear you, I hear you, but I’m telling you there is such a thing as too much angst. Generally, too much angst is wrapped in metaphors of flower petals, hearts being ripped out and a lonely glass of alcohol. Angst is nothing new, and it’s not going away, but there are fresh takes on it. Figure out how your angst is different from everyone else.
- Poems still need grammar
These day with Instagram poetry the current trend is run-on sentences that go on and on. Visually it looks pretty but if you read it out loud you start to lose meaning and rhythm. Just because it’s not prose does not mean it doesn’t need grammar.
- Eyes are boring
Don’t get me wrong; eyes are beautiful, they’re expressive, they can change colour, and they’re all unique. However, eyes in writing are boring and full of over-used descriptors. Blue eyes are the ocean, they’re sapphires or cold, cold ice. Green eyes are sparking emeralds or lush forests. Brown eyes are topaz or warm chocolate. Eyes in literature are all the same; there are plenty of things that are blue that aren’t oceans.
- WA literature is flourishing
It’s easy to say that nothing happens in Perth and therefore what could anyone possibly write about that’s interesting, but that’s just plain untrue. If I’ve experienced anything in my six years at Underground it’s that WA has a flourishing literature scene, and frankly if COVID taught us anything it’s that we need to support local. Support your local bookstores, your local publishers and your local authors. You can refer to a post I wrote last year about my experience of independent bookstores in Perth.
- The team at Underground are an amazing team
Not a lot of people know this but the team at Underground are not paid. We are not paid to edit or write any of the content you see here; we don’t do it to get paid, we do it because we believe in the WA literature scene. Any funds we make go directly to supporting our local authors and publishers. The Underground team works extremely hard and they are an amazing team who believe in Australia, in WA, and in you.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t feeling a little sad about leaving Underground. It’s hard to let go of something you’ve helped to grow, but I know Underground will continue to grow without me, and I will be cheering as hard as