26 November 2021
2021 Kat Muscat Fellow Dženana Vucic is #HereForStories
As a part of our #HereForStories campaign, Chapter Two: Our Noble Heroes introduces the people who make the work Express Media and Voiceworks do possible; our lovely team!
We sat down with our 2021 Kat Muscat Fellow Dženana Vucic to ask her about her work and why she sees value in what we do.
Hello! I’m Dženana Vucic, I’m a Bosnian-Australian writer, editor and critic who has admired Voiceworks from afar for ages, having not been brave enough to submit (or even attend a launch!) when I was under 25. I somehow mustered up the guts to apply for—and attend!—the Express Media Global Express program, though, and am grateful to have been mentored and edited by an incredible team of writers, including Kat Muscat.
2. Why did you apply for the KMF?
I was (am) working on a manuscript that I thought fit the KMF’s bill and the fellowship provided not only financial resources to help me in my research, but also a community who could support me in the process.
3. What do you see as the most valuable aspect of being a KMF Fellow?
It was encouraging to know that there was a team of people there who I could turn to for help and support if I needed it. I’m not really one to reach out myself (there’s a pattern developing here!) but having people there who care about you and your work is immensely comforting, especially given the isolation of the pandemic.
4. How has your involvement with our Voiceworks/Express Media benefited you or your community?
Well, because I wasn’t able to travel to Bosnia like I had initially planned, I used the KMF to buy research material and take Bosnian lessons. My speaking skills have definitely improved a tonne and no doubt my family appreciates not having to decipher what I mean every time I incorrectly conjugate the dative. But more seriously, I’ve been able to study Bosnian, read widely and research deeply and I know that this will make for a better, more considered manuscript at the end of the project. I’m very grateful for the space the KMF has provided me.
I’m also grateful for the Global Express program, in which I met a bunch of incredibly talented writers (including a fellow Bosnian-Australian), and learned so much about writing and the process of being edited—the kind of hands-on stuff they didn’t teach at uni.
5. Outside of your work with Voiceworks/Express Media as the 2021 Fellow what do you do and what do you like to do?
Outside of the fellowship and working on my manuscript, I’m a poet, essayist and critic and I’m also in my final year of a PhD in English literature at the University of Glasgow. The plan at the moment is to finish my PhD, never step foot in a university again, and spend my days struggling to make ends meet as a writer of some description. I also really enjoy hiking, pottering around my house checking on my plants, cooking overly-ambitious meals and developing (usually fleeting) hobbies like embroidery or playing the piano accordion.