Impossible Harvests


Hey everyone! The harvesting break is now over, so LET THE PLANTING BEGIN! My name’s Britney and I’m a mentor for this year’s young Harvesters, having been a part of the first ever edition. The first week of Early Harvest started off with a bang, where they sowed their ideas and returned with popcorn as their ideas flourished and popped into AMAZING things (because popcorn is amazing). However, that was just the start of it.

The second week bloomed with the opinions of each editor as they were faced with decisions and compromises to make. On 23 July we had a special guest, Vince Ruston from Voiceworks, come in to enlighten the young editors about what it is like being a not-as-young editor. They were challenged to consider the audience, publisher and writers before choosing the theme of the issue. They had ideas for every theme, considering what stories can be written and how the audience will feel when reading it. Vince and Jess offered their opinions, as an editor and the publisher respectively, encouraging the editors to think outside the box. And of course, being a productive bunch of farmers they are, they negotiated their way to deciding the ultimate theme. (To find out what it is, scroll down to the end of the post!)

The second half of the session consisted of deciding WHAT was going into the magazine. Truthfully, I was really jealous, seeing how many things they could personally decide! It was extremely different to the first edition and it really made me want to go back to when I was a young editor. One thing that shocked me though, as much as it did to Vince, was the fact that they didn’t want POEMS! POEMS ARE GORGEOUS! But of course, their magazine, their choices. Let’s just hope that they grow up to LOVE poetry as much as I did heading into high school and that they’ll really appreciate how intelligent poets are and the hidden beauty of poems!

The next week was honestly the real start to the hard work. The editors were once again welcomed by an incredible guest, Davina Bell, who is not only an editor but an author too (and one of the founders of the Early Harvest project)! Upon hearing which books she’d worked on and written herself, I watched the faces of the editors brighten with joy. The editors then split into two groups: feedback and design, and not surprisingly most of them bolted to the design group (but honestly the feedback group was more fun!). I was a part of the feedback group (not biased at all), along with Kiara, Chloe and Rochelle – three of our amazing editors – and Simon, Lauren and Davina.

Together we had a brain fart of all the things we enjoyed in a story and made up questions that would help the editors to evaluate the fruits that were to be harvested. Something like is it ripe? Does it smell fragrant? And so on… no I’m only kidding. What I meant was the stories that were to be harvested once the submissions came rolling in. Of course we need to pick the best of the best, and with the feedback criteria this would make it ten times easier. The criteria included the colourfulness of language, character and plot, suitability to the audience, originality, and sticking true to the theme. Just when we were throwing out ideas for each one, getting stuck occasionally and not sure what we wanted from ‘language’, Kiara threw out a word that left me in awe. “Inference”! Can I just say, I didn’t even learn that word until year 8 and it wasn’t from school either! I was so amazed and it made me realise how AMAZINGLY SMART these editors are. I mean, they voice their opinions, have amazing vocabulary and sense of decisiveness. I still struggle with deciding what to eat! Well anyways, the feedback form was completed and we were all set.

Meanwhile, the other group was busy picking out designing other aspects, with of course Kiara, Chloe and Rochelle contributing to the final decisions. From picking authors to feature, illustrators to inspire, games and adventures, they had spilled their seeds all over the brown soil only waiting for which one to sprout first as they picked their best ideas. Without much fuss, the whole editorial board came to a consensus on what they wanted, making the end of the session a breeze.

Now what you have all been waiting for. Can I get a drumroll? *dududududududududu*

And the theme is… THE IMPOSSIBLE. How trippy is that?

Britney is a sixteen year old blueberry living the typical fruit salad life. When she’s not busy trying to get her fruity life together or studying fruitology (she means biology), she is busy running in the woods with deers, rabbits and possums or swimming in the ocean with dolphins in her procrastinating mind. If not, you’ll find her doodling and spilling creative lines on paper instead of her homework… productive and healthy.