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When National Youth Week contacted me two weeks ago, I was surprised. It seemed that someone from the local paper (obviously from the ilk of Madonna and Prince and referred to on the phone only as “Jessica”) wanted to write a feature on me. My main reason was that I had won this competition in 2006 and though fulfilling Media requirements was actually a pre-requisite to winning, no-one had contacted me whatsoever. The fact that they were contacting me now for being a finalist (Short listed with four other writers in my section) seemed improbable. However, stranger things have happened.
Meanwhile, on the phone to the NYW representative, I tried to hold back my faux french accent, and high-pitched “Moi?”, and instead went for “Oh yeah, that’s cool, feel free to pass on my number.” Cool Sam…real cool.
A week later, Jessica Clement contacted me and we had a casual 13 minute chat (Okay, so I’m a nerd and check these things) about the whole Youth Week thing. She was utterly professional down to the fact that even though I ran off at the mouth for the entire time (Cue Twitter Quote: @wiredjazz Just did a phone interview for the local paper… Rambled lots&admitted that my facebook fan page was “incredibly narcissistic.” Win? Fail?), she didn’t need to ask for clarification on any fact. If you were to honestly cover the material she managed to get out of me in that 13 minute, we’d have ourselves a chapter. Here’s the general gist.
- Having a facebook fan page = Incredibly narcissistic but useful
- Donald Barthelme and Kurt Vonnegut = Awesome
- Narelle Ward = An Inspiration and thus… awesome.
- Winning in 2006 = Awesome
- Being a finalist in 2007 = Awesome and unexpected
- Winning in 2009 = A long shot, but would be awesome
- Sam loves twitter and facebook and whatever else technological he can get his hands on.
Yeah I know, I use the word awesome a lot. Sorry about that. If you don’t like it, read a thesaurus instead.
Seeing yourself in print is a strange thing. To be honest, what I was most intrigued about was photo choice and when I saw the finished product I thought “Woah! That’s a big photo”, the article itself was half the page in depth and the photo ran along the whole thing. They had asked me to send photos through of myself and I already had some self portraits I shot at the beginning of the year so I sent a few of those. One slightly facetious, one playful but professional (in my opinion), one pretentious and one stock photo (‘for the file’ as requested.) The image chosen for print was the first one (playful if you know me, a bit weird if you don’t but hey… why be normal right?) and the online version leads with the stock photo.
The other thing you notice straight away is the title. The paper went for a play on the competition name, Will he WriteIT again?, while online went for Sam’s the man in leadup to writing competition finals. Obviously the first is better for print given it’s length, and the second just inflates my ego a little more (“Oh no, not MORE ego,” I hear you say.)
Jessica, did you intend the print version to refer to the popular (yet misquoted) Casablanca reference, “Play it again, Sam”? I hope so. It took me a while, but that’s what made it extra cool. Kudos! (P.S. Jessica, if you’re really reading this…Hello!)
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To see the print version, click here
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Sydney-Australia/Samuel-Webster/75487852540?ref=tsTagged: competition, hornsby advocate, jessica clement, national youth week, press, sam webster, samuel webster, the advocate, writing competition