On the radio with Jess

Jess Kelley on The Slubberdegullion Show on 4zzz radio.

Jess Kelley on The Slubberdegullion Show on 4zzz radio.

Writing Retreat facilitator Jess Kelley joined an Australian community radio show to chat about editing, writing, and zines.

With show hosts Alex and Anne, Jess talks about getting into the work that you love; the joys of volunteering and continual development; personal language quirks and unique author voice; writing coaching; and knowing when to share the workload.

At the halfway mark, the tables are turned and Jess asks the questions to delve into the world of zine-making.

Zines (short for ‘magazines’) are self-published works, usually distributed locally and made by photocopier. The subjects are wide-ranging, and often contain personal stories and experiences.

See the full show notes below.

Show notes

2:00 — interview starts, with Jess’s background and introduction to editing
4:00 — the joys of volunteering
5:10 — continual professional development
8:10 — the journey from prescriptivism to descriptivism (or what turns a grammar nazi into a lover of language evolution)
11:00 — a trip down memory lane (a restaurant, a poorly spelled menu, a red pen)
12:00 — personal language quirks, and the difference between an error and someone’s unique voice
13:30 — favourite projects, and when different career paths merge
15:40 — specialising in a specific area vs juggling a broad range of tasks; choosing to focus on what you love, and sharing the workload
17:30 — transferring skills from one side of the world to another; maintaining clients across the world
19:00 — writing coaching, and a special client
19:50 — favourite typos, and the blessing/curse of having a sharp editor eye

… the tables turn… interviewee becomes interviewer…

22:40 — the editing process of zines, and working with submitted content
25:15 — embracing (even accentuating) style through creative spelling; catching local flavour and slang; phonetic spelling
27:30 — removing barriers to create accessibility and open communities; gate-keeping
28:40 — dealing with jargon and specialist terms; Plain English
30:20 — language dialects and the assumptions and prejudices around ‘speaking proper’
36:00 — what adjustments are made across different projects with different audiences (word choices, editing process, styles)
39:30 — more on accessibility and gate-keeping
41:25 — if anything were possible, what would these zine-makers do differently in their creation process?
43:25 — risograph printing and sustainability
47:00 — zine passion: what brings people to it, and what keeps people creating


4zzz is Queensland’s longest running FM radio station. A not-for-profit community broadcaster, 4zzz has been pumping out alternative music, news and culture since beginning as the official student radio at the University of Queensland in 1975.

Slubberdegullion Magazine (or Slubs Zine for short), is a Brisbane local publication which has been running for 7 years. This collaboration between local artists and writers features content on local music, art, politics, intersectional feminism, rants and anything DIY. The radio show is a live version of the zine, including interviews with musicians, zine makers, artists, writers, activists and anyone doing anything interesting in Brisbane/Meanjin.