25 July 2019
A final year internship project while studying a Bachelor of Creative Writing at USC has inspired recent graduate Emma Downer to make the most of her future and undertake post-graduate study.
The 23-year-old from Buderim completed an internship with local Sunshine Coast charity Bloomhill Cancer Care in the final semester of her degree last year to produce a book about their clients.
“The original idea came from the book’s photographer Joe Surace who wanted to develop a portrait book showcasing Bloomhill clients when he was undergoing cancer treatment himself a few years ago,” she said.
“The university internship program connected me to Bloomhill and I was tasked with helping bring Joe’s idea to life.”
The book, Hope and Peace from Within was officially launched last month, with all proceeds of the book to go back to the Bloomhill charity.
Emma said the placement offered her invaluable experiences both professionally and personally.
“My internship gave me insights in to working as an editor, designer, author, and photographer’s assistant all at once,” Emma said.
“I designed pamphlets and social media posts to gather interest, conducted interviews with the clients, wrote and edited blurbs, forewords, and any text in the book,” she said.
“The experience positively impacted me and made me realise what I am capable of and I’m very lucky to already have a published book under my belt as I pursue my other passion, which is education.”
Creative Writing Program Leader Dr Paul Williams said students in their final year of study are offered many unique opportunities to engage with local creative industries.
“Our students have done internships with publishers and editors, with local magazines, at film festivals, in advertising companies, on local radio and television stations, writing blogs and web content, and in care facilities such as Bloomhill,” Dr Williams said.
“Creative Writing is more than ‘becoming an author’. It teaches authentic creative skills that are needed for the ever changing and entrepreneurial 21st century job market.”
Emma is now studying a Masters of Primary Education at The University of Queensland to extend on her USC undergraduate degree.
“I hope one day my students will be reading books that I’ve written for them,” Emma said.
- Megan Woodward