Meet Melanie Bateson, our Spring guest editor. We met many years ago when I had a clothes swapping party at my house. Her humour comes out in her writing and I’m glad she has joined our team as an editor.
Tell us a little bit about your writing journey?
I have always loved writing and reading stories. My Mum read to us as children, which fired my imagination up. I still have a couple of little stories and poems that I wrote in primary school, which are pretty cute. I was encouraged by two particular teachers at secondary school, and enjoyed developing my style while at Monash Uni in the 1990s, particularly through the study of film. Having teachers who see your talent and know how to tease it out of you is an amazing gift, so thank you to Mrs Jones, Ms Bruzzese and Liz and Heather!
Why did you want to become a writer/editor?
Being a writer is not a conscious decision, it just is. I was encouraged to apply for the guest editorship earlier this year and was successful in my application. I suspect I was the only applicant…I have found myself glowing a little since undertaking this role, which is all kinds of lovely.
What is an editor’s role in this era of fake news and alternative facts?
Keeping content genuine and grass roots is a passion of mine. Getting to the kernel of truth via the human story is my idea of real news and actual facts. The human story is everything.
How did you become involved with the hillscene?
After having children, I realised that writing was a compulsion for me, and was provided an opportunity to write for the Hillscene by Adriana as a result of our offspring attending the same local kinder. After a bit of a hiatus, and a loss of self-belief, I decided at the beginning of this year to get back into it. As a result, I have had an article picked up by the AFL website, and online magazine Mamamia. None of this would have happened had I not been encouraged by Adriana.
In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?
Most of my engagement with the Hills community has been via my children, and the people I have met through their kinder, primary school and sporting exploits. Meeting artists, of all ilks, this way is a wonderful point of commonality, lending itself to a connection that is personal rather than professional. Half the time, none of us know what the other “does” until a lengthy time into the friendship.
What do you wish you knew about being a writer/editor before you got started?
Everything! I feel so lost in this world, as I have only recently decided to give it a real crack, and there is much to learn and navigate. A glaring example is how do writers get paid? This appears to be largely arbitrary. Why is this not already sorted out? The best part of it, however, is the support and encouragement afforded by other writers. They are utterly generous.
Who are your creative hero’s?
Stephen King, Danny Katz, Catherine Deveny, and anyone who has made their creative endeavour their profession.
What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?
The close knit community
Where can people find more information about you?
What are your plans for the future (immediate or long term)?
To continue writing articles, submitting them to various publications for publication, and observing the world through my own lens.
Something else you want us to know? Here is your chance!
Be yourself, maintain your sense of humour, it may even save your life.