In 2019, the Centre for Stories selected a number of emerging writers to be involved in a 12-month mentoring program. The Inclusion Matters Mentoring Program, funded by the Copyright Agency and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, allows writers to improve their craft, to work in a supportive community, and to be paired with a well-established mentor. Both programs are designed for people living in Western Australia who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse.
Raf Gonzalez is a short story and script writer, a lover of film and video games. Raf shares his intentions for 2020 and his experience, so far, with his mentor Brooke Dunnell.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Raf Gonzalez, I identify as an Aspie (Aspeger’s Syndrome), and I live with my parents Tadeo and Marta. I have two older sisters. There is my oldest sister; Ana, her husband Julian and their three sons Patrick, William and Matthew. My second sister Raquel and her boyfriend James. I have several cousins spread out around the USA, Canada and in Europe. My family roots are from a small Latin American country called El Salvador; my family have been living in Perth since April 1989, two months before I was born (so I am proud of my hometown and my Latin American roots). My passions are in the arts and literature, which has lead me to take up writing. My career has varied between here and there as a former kitchenhand at Red Rooster for 7 ½ years, a printing assistant at a small printing press named Bicubic, temporary as a stock assistant at BStore and as a yard cleaner at the Mad Butcher near Spudshed. I’ve recently been accepted a position at a café starting up at DADAA in Fremantle.
What have you been working on during the Mentoring Program?
I have been receiving editing assistance in some of my short stories and script writings. I’ve also been getting advice on grammar, particular narrative tools and world-building skills.
What has it been like working with your mentor?
Brooke has been really supportive and very patient with my writings; she and I have been very pleased with my progress.
Has your writing style, practice, or vocation changed since the beginning of your Mentorship?
My skills have improved since I have received mentorship, I have been able to take them into practice when I am doing revisions and writing on my current projects.
When you’re not writing, what are you doing?
I am in between juggling my careers, gym training and learning more creative writing and performance from my mentors at DADAA. I dabble in a lot of reading and watching movies at Palace Cinemas. I also love playing video games in my spare time.
What have you been doing to get involved with the writing community?
I have participated in some of the workshops and continue receiving mentoring with my writing. I’ve also submitted a piece last year for an anthology book called ‘Growing up Disabled in Australia’, alas it was not accepted, but I have also sent a revised version to the Autism Association so they can use it. I’ve been submitting chapters of my current revision of my first manuscript through Wattpad.
What are your goals for 2020?
My main goal for 2020 was to change careers (which is occurring as I write this answer), but the long term goal I hope to achieve by the end of this year is to get some of my written work published and ready for reading. My additional goal is to get my first screenplay a few table reads so I can hear how it sounds.