13 August 2016

Meet the Scribe Nonfiction Prize Shortlist: Jamie-Lee Dwyer

In the lead up to announcing the winner of The 2016 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers, we’re introducing you to every talented young writer on our shortlist.  Read on for more information on their work, writing journeys, and all their tips, tricks and advice for budding young non-fic creators.


Jamie-Lee Dwyer – Zig-Zag (Part Two)

Age: 25

How did you begin writing?  I started writing at uni, as a journalism student.

What’s your favourite work of nonfiction?  The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.

Why do you write nonfiction?  It allows me to explore my own disabled experiences, but it also gives me a voice that I wouldn’t have otherwise because of my condition.

Tell us a bit about your submission to the Scribe Prize…I entered two creative nonfiction stories that were shortlisted for this competition. Both stories were about how I came to accept my disability and realise my physical imperfections were nothing to be ashamed of.

Why did you choose to write it?  I want my story to give readers an insight into my life; to change the way they think about disability, and to challenge a few stereotypes.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received? And the worst?  The best piece of writing advice I’ve ever received was to be uninhibited in my writing, that little gem came from my 91-year-old grandfather shortly before he passed and it’s something I’ll never forget. The worst piece of writing advice I’ve ever received is to hold back my emotions when I write. I find that the more passionate I am when I write, the more invested the reader becomes, and this is also true of other work I’ve read.

What piece of work, published or unpublished, are you most proud of? An eye-opening article I wrote as an intern for an online magazine, I’m more proud of getting the chance to interview a WWII survivor than the actual writing: http://www.celebratelivinghistory.com.au/8-long-seconds/