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Centre for Stories

Meet the Intern – Abbey Carson

“It has also been a pleasure to meet and work with authors both locally and abroad. I never would have thought that I would be interacting with such well-renowned and respected creatives so early in my career.”

December 14, 2022

We consider ourselves very lucky to collaborate with and work alongside talented and dynamic interns at Centre for Stories. In 2022, we welcomed several interns through our doors who each, in their own way, made their mark and we, in turn, celebrate them!

Abbey Carson interned for Centre for Stories’ digital publication Portside Review. This hands-on editorial internship gives emerging editors like Abbey the chance to really experience what the world of publishing is like in Perth. Read below to find out more about Abbey.

Tell us a bit about yourself, Abbey! Where have you come from, where are you going, and who and what experiences have shaped you along the way?
I’m a recent Creative and Professional Writing graduate from Curtin University who would love to spend every day reading books if I could. I have lived in Boorloo/Perth all my life, but like many of us, it took me years to appreciate how lucky I was to live here.
Though I say I would love to travel the world, I think I am a homebody at heart. My ideal day would not be relaxing on the sunny shores of Hawaii or looking out atop Singapore’s skyscrapers as the sun sets. Instead, my ideal day would be one where I can sit in bed with my cat on my lap and a book in my hand.
As a self-professed bookworm, I always knew I was interested in the craft of writing. But it took me some time to realise that though I like to write, my passion lies in helping others find their words. And so, I enrolled at Curtin to study Creative and Professional Writing.
Along the way, I’ve been the Editor-in-Chief of Curtin Writers Club, interned both here at the Centre for Stories and UWA Publishing, as well as tried my hand at social media management through my work as a Communications Assistant helping run the @curtinlifeaustralia Instagram account.
Now, with uni wrapping up and my future on the horizon, I can’t say for sure where I’m going. But I am confident that I will find my place within the publishing industry, ideally editing novels and living out my dream of reading books all day long.
As you well know, we’re all about stories here. Do you have a favourite story, fictional or factual? Maybe something that makes you laugh or think, or something that you always come back to?
That’s a really tough question… Like many bookworms, my favourite story tends to be the one I’m currently reading!
Though I don’t have a singular favourite story, the ones that always come to mind are those that dive deep into the human experience – who we are and why we are here. Whether it was the existential dread that Marcus Sedgwick’s genre-bending sci-fi novel The Ghosts of Heaven dredged up, or the unapologetic truths found in Chanel Miller’s fiery memoir Know My Name, I find myself continually surprised, horrified and humbled as I delve into stories outside my usual comfort genres of fantasy and YA fiction.
While we’re talking about stories, can you tell us about the last book you read?
I’ll admit, studying and working has kept me pretty busy this year, so it’s been a little while since I’ve read a book. However, I read comics and short stories online all the time.
From memory, the last book I picked up was Elif Shafak’s intense and eloquent novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. Though not something I would usually read, Shafak’s initial concept intrigued me: the recounting and remembering of Tequila Leila’s life, a sex worker who lays dying, her body having been unceremoniously dumped in a wheelie bin in Istanbul. If you can get through the first few admittedly gnarly chapters, Shafak’s lyrical prose takes you on a gripping journey that focuses on fierce friendships and life’s unexpected joys and horrors. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is intrigued!
So, what brought you to Centre for Stories?
Actually, it’s kind of a funny story! I went to uni with Sofia Scaturro, one of the previous interns for Portside Review. We became really good friends during our classes, so I already knew she was working at Centre for Stories. One week she sent me a message asking if I was interested in interning with her for Portside Review. Having only heard glowing reviews, and as a young creative looking to go into the publishing industry, I simply knew I had to say ‘yes’.
You’ve been helping us out with Portside Review, our quarterly journal of Indian Ocean writing. For that we are very grateful! How have you found the experience?
It’s been incredible! Though helping authors edit their works is my passion, I am grateful for the opportunity this internship has given me to expand my horizons beyond classic editorial work. From writing newsletters to working behind-the-scenes on website design, I have definitely learned a lot in my short time here.
I can certainly say that my newfound confidence in working outside of my comfort zone in part stems from the kindness and support of the rest of the Centre for Stories team. Working here has been a truly wonderful experience, as everyone is so open, kind, honest and thoughtful. I cannot imagine a better place to work!
It has also been a pleasure to meet and work with authors both locally and abroad. I never would have thought that I would be interacting with such well-renowned and respected creatives so early in my career. Reading their works has been eye-opening, inspiring and honestly just a lot of fun. My to-reads list has never been longer!
Has there been a highlight or stand-out moment from your time at Centre for Stories?
Definitely all of our lunchtime chats! No matter how busy everyone is, we always end up sitting together in the cosy Centre for Stories library for lunch. Whether we are talking politics or local gossip, I have loved getting to know everyone on a more casual level while eating Northbridge’s bountiful delicacies.
What are you most looking forward to on your horizon?
Honestly, I’m not too sure! I just graduated uni, so I don’t have any immediate plans. Hopes, however, I have plenty of. It sounds cliché, but I would love to travel, to experience the world not through someone else’s eyes, but through my own.
I would also love to continue working in the publishing industry as an editor. Through my work here at the Centre, as well as through other volunteering opportunities, I have discovered that I love raising up other people’s voices and helping tell stories that can change someone’s opinion, someone’s life, or even the world.

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