19 May 2021
Posted by Megan Laing
It’s funny to think that I spent a while mulling over whether or not I should actually apply to the ArtfulScribe internship.
For context, it was my second year of university and I was already sitting at my laptop for far longer than I would have been at that time last year. I remember thinking that the title ‘Digital Facilitator’ sounded extremely fancy, but the job description and profile on ArtfulScribe sounded right up my street. Thus, I sent in my application with cautious optimism.
It’s amazing to think how far I’ve come since then.I’ve conducted interviews, set up countless Zoom meetings and (of course) regularly contributed to my own intern blog.
My intern journey has unlocked the opportunity for me to learn more about how collaborative partnerships work to engage wider audiences. The Poetry Ambassadors project is only one slice of the wider ArtfulScribe pie and, although I love being a part of our young poets mentorship journey, I’m hungry to learn and see as much as I can.
One interesting and very ‘pandemic-y’ thing that’s been interesting for me to observe is the shift from in person to online and now, finally, easing back into in person work. For me, it was strange to see people whom I’ve only ever spoken to over Zoom or email in the flesh. This was something that one of my university tutors had also said, she found herself wondering if one person was tall or short, what kind of life they led outside the four walls of their Zoom background.
For me, completely part of my internship in person was always the goal. I found myself missing the company of other people working in the same space, even if it’s just the occasional ‘can you pass me over that pen?’ or ‘do you fancy a cup of tea?’. I’d spent the better part of a year and a bit thinking about how productive I was being on my own time, in my own space. Zoom fatigue creeps on rather unexpectedly, and before you know it, you can barely touch your computer and dread hearing notifications come through on your phone.
It’s probably a great relief to my shared student WiFi as well, and my poor laptop who absolutely hates to open anything that isn’t Google Chrome or Microsoft Word. Plus, one of the key components of working life is arguably the commute - the time to psych yourself for another day at the office. I’m sure I’d feel less affection towards the daily commute if I were living in London or hadn’t just been in a four month lockdown.
The newly opened MAST Mayflower Studios is a great place to work. The environment is buzzing with everybody happy to be moved into their offices in a new and improved building. Not only am I surrounded with ArtfulScribe work outside the Poetry Ambassadors project, but also neighbouring with other local creative organisations.
I’m especially excited about the Poetry Ambassadors projects’ collaboration with Winchester Poetry Festival. Although the Coronavirus pandemic has made a lot of creative events shift online, Winchester Poetry Festival hopes to deliver a blend of in person and online events in October 2021. Working with Winchester Poetry Festival has been an amazing opportunity for the mentees, and also for me, as it has enabled us to observe the functioning world of writing and poetry.
It’s also been great to see April, Eve and Kaycee develop beyond the Poetry Ambassadors programme as well. All three mentees were longlisted for the Keats Challenge held by the Young Poets' Network, clearly impressing the judges with their talent and demonstrating how the Poetry Ambassadors has allowed them to develop their confidence.
The publication of April, Eve and Kaycee’s work in a pamphlet (more on this in my next blog) has been such an exciting goal to work towards. My internship journey has been a wonderful experience and opportunity for me to observe the buzzing creative world of creative writing and poetry.