Interview of Olivia Hart by Freya Bennett
Hey Olivia, how are you?
I’m great thank you!
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well I am almost 25 (milestone age) and have finally finished all my post-high school studies as of this year. I went to Melbourne Uni and did a Bachelor of Arts which I enjoyed, although didn’t quite like the essay-writing part of it. And then I did post-grad study in Journalism which I loved! Since then I’ve been trying to get my name and my writing out there online and in print.
You have been our amazing creative writing editor for the past few years, can you tell us a bit about what you did in this role?
This role has been the most fun as I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many young and upcoming writers. Every single one of the writers I’ve had the chance to read have been so lovely and so passionate about all things Ramona, creative writing and feminism. Typically what I do is read through their submissions and work with them to edit and finalise for publication. It’s important to me that the writer is happy with their final piece and doesn’t feel that anything such as their meaning or intention has been lost.
What do you love about creative writing?
I think I love that there are no rules and limitations. Making art can be tricky but writing only requires a pen, paper and your imagination. You can do it anywhere and at any time. For me it is so cathartic and important, without writing I wouldn’t understand myself half as well as I do.
What do you hope young women will take from being published on Ramona?
I know as well as any of them how exciting it is to have something you wrote published, so what I hope is that it simply encourages them to keep at it. A lot of what we publish, writers and readers may feel that there isn’t a big space for it online or in the world, that people don’t want to hear from them about their thoughts, feelings and experiences. So I hope that being published on Ramona makes them feel noticed and a little less alienated.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
I’d love to be living somewhere new first of all. I’m thinking NYC or London because why not? A girl can dream. Whilst Melbourne is the greatest city in the world – and I do really stand by this – I’ve always had an adventurous spirit and imagined myself living all over. Plus, sometimes the bigger the city the bigger the opportunities. Professionally I would love to be in a full-time editing or publishing role and still writing creatively on the side (working on my first or second novel).
Can you share some final pieces of advice?
Sometimes being the most passionate and committed person is more important than being the most qualified. You’ll be surprised by how many doors opens when you simply ask. I’ve spent a lot of my time thinking I needed to do x,y and z to get somewhere and then I get there and find out that everyone else arrived in their own unique way. There’s no clear cut path for a creative career so just committing to your dream is the easiest way there.
Olivia Hart is the Creative Writing Editor of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a Melbournian by locale but hails from sunny North Queensland. Olivia has a Bachelors degree in Creative Writing and Film Theory and hopes to combine the two and become a film-making novelist someday soon.
Freya Bennett is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who has a passion for youth rights and mental health. To combat her own battle with anxiety and hypochondria, you can find Freya boxing, practicing yoga, taking sertraline and swimming in the ocean. She believes in opening up about her mental health struggles and shining a light on what is not spoken about. Freya welcomed her first daughter, Aurora into the world on the 21st of November, 2017 and spends her days building blocks, reading stories and completely exhausted. With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed teen media. The magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality and kindness. You can follow her on Instagram @thecinnamonsociety