Founder of Writer's Edit: Interview
Interview by Zita Fogarty
Have you ever heard of Writer's Edit? If not, here's a breakdown for you. Writer’s Edit is a young online literary magazine created especially for writers and lovers of books. Founded in July 2013, the magazine is home to short works of fiction, writing and book-related news, as well as advice and inspiration for emerging authors. Just like us, they are dedicated to their writers and to forging long-lasting relationships. The founding editor, Helen, has turned Writer’s Edit from a one woman show to a team of staff who, like us, all love to read and write.
Helen Scheuerer has squeezed a lot into her 20-something years. She is a writer, publisher and the founding editor of Writer’s Edit, an online literary magazine based in Sydney. She is also a novelist and businesswoman who financed her first anthology for Writer’s Edit, Kindling through an online crowdfunding campaign. Prior to starting up the magazine, Helen had already completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing (University of Wollongong), and a Masters of Publishing (The University of Sydney).
Our paths first crossed in 2013 when Helen was starting out with Writer’s Edit and was advertising for contributors. From our first email interaction I could tell that here was a young professional with incredible drive and vision. I finally met her in person in 2014 at the first Kindling anthology launch (anthology number three is already in early stages of production this year). I was humbled to discover an unassuming, softly-spoken person with a warm smile behind all of this achievement.
The success of Writer’s Edit in its short life has been astounding: currently the website receives tens of thousands of visitors each month. In addition, Writer’s Edit also has over 40,000 Twitter followers and over 4,000 Facebook followers.
2015 also saw a presence of Writer’s Edit contributors at the Sydney Writers’ Festival for the first time. Click here for some of their articles from that period.
As if that wasn’t enough good news for one year, Helen was also shortlisted for Express Media’s Outstanding Achievement Award for achievement by a young person in the literary arts. And this year is already shaping up to be another memorable one for this busy entrepreneur. Helen has just signed a contract with Melbourne publisher Inkerman & Blunt for the publication of her debut novel.
Helen has always maintained her big-picture view, sense of humour (!) and gratitude to her supporters along her pathway to success. I applaud her for her unflinching commitment and her passion. Her accomplishments are proof that hard work pays off – and being pleasant to people along the way doesn’t hurt either.
1. You mention the gender bias in publishing and the fact that Writer’s Edit supports women writers in your interview with Capital Letters. How important has this been for the success of Writer’s Edit?
When I first started Writer’s Edit, it wasn’t my intention to become a ‘women’s’ publication, the goal was to be a literary magazine for emerging writers, and hopefully a small press. While Writer’s Edit certainly isn’t exclusively a women writers’ magazine, I’ve come to realise that the majority of our contributors and indeed the authors from Kindling are female.
This wasn’t a conscious decision, but rather a result of myself and the other editors simply striving to publish the best writing we possibly could. To my delight, the majority of this writing happened to be from incredibly talented women. I’m very proud of the fact that our community is very female-dominated, particularly in light of recent statistics when it comes to inequalities in publishing.
I think it’s our supportive environment and community that has really contributed to the success of Writer’s Edit, and that goes for all writers, regardless of the gender they identify as.
Zita Fogarty is a freelance writer and editor from Sydney and a member of the NSW Writers' Centre. She regularly attends the Open Genre Writers Group where she seeks inspiration and advice from her ‘writing tribe’. In her previous life as a caterer she met Sir Elton John and had many other adventures worth writing about. You can follow her blog here.
Written by SCWC
Posted on May 03, 2016