Interview with Rosie Schaller, Runner Up in Our Quarter 3 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest with "Exposed: Impoverished Beauty"

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Congratulations to Rosie Schaller and "Exposed: Impoverished Beauty" and to all of our contestants in the Quarter 3 2022 Creative Nonfiction Contest!

Rosie's Bio:

Rosie Schaller is a qualified counsellor, writer and mother of two. She grew up on the Island Jewel of Australia, Tasmania, and after six years away on the central coast of mainland Australia, she returned to her beloved Isle to be with extended family and friends in December 2021. Rosie’s written inclination is towards articulating the observed actions and ideas in the comings and goings of society. She enjoys writing in long poem form or short essay style and usually has a humorous bent to her stories. She is currently pursuing a small business idea that involves her love of writing and human interaction.

If you haven't done so already, check out Rosie's award-winning story "Exposed: Impoverished Beauty" and then return here for a chat with the author. 

WOW: Congratulations on placing as a runner up in the Q3 2022 Creative Nonfiction Contest!  Thank you for writing this essay - what is the take-away you'd like readers to gain from Exposed; Impoverished Beauty?

Rosie: The takeaway is to look at humanity with an open and curious mind, to observe the variety of people around you and to wonder about their lives; what has shaped them to become who and how they are – especially when the way they are is confronting to yourself. The people described in my essay were in my street and together we demonstrated the mosaic of society. 

I also think humor is the medicine of life and to write in a way that makes someone chuckle is a goal of mine, however, I always endeavor for the humor to be used as a tool that connects rather than divides. My intention is never to laugh at people or circumstances but to recognize the funny in behavior or situations, and to tie that in with an authentic experience.

WOW: That's a great way to look at things - thanks for the special insight. Tell us more about your process - Where do you write? What does your space look like?

Rosie: I write at the kitchen table, the couch, or on my bed. It depends when the moment presents itself and what the environment is like around me. If there’s sun shining on the couch I like to sit there, if the kids are playing loudly, I’ll close the door to my room. However, I find when all have gone to bed and the world is quiet – that’s when my mind and fingers really flow in unison.   

WOW: Sounds familiar as far as writing space goes and after reading your essay, I can say your fingers and mind support one another beautifully! Now, let me ask, who is your support - what have you found to be most supportive in your writing life as well as in life in general?  

Rosie: When people learn that I enjoy writing and have entered various competitions as a way to hone the craft and execute my ideas, I find them to be really supportive. My dad surprised me the other day when I told him about this essay making it to the top ten and he suddenly blurted that he’s always wanted to write a book and has a title in mind! This made me smile and it reiterated to me that when we share our creative sides, it often allows others to express that side to themselves too. He then checked in with me almost every second day to see if I’d heard about the final result. His enthusiasm was encouraging!  

WOW: How encouraging is that!! Other than helping your dad with his book idea, what’s next for you? What are your writing goals for what's left of Summer 2022 and beyond?

Rosie: Well here in the Land Downunder, it’s winter, which is a mixture of cool, crisp blue days, or as I like to say – pearler days! – and also grey, overcast, squally weather. My goals are to continue to find moments of time to work on various writings I have going on - mainly a few more creative non-fiction essays.

WOW: You mentioned contests as part of your craft - what is your history with writing contests?  - tell us what prompted you to submit to this particular contest? What would you like to tell other authors concerning contests and submitting their work?

Rosie: What prompted me to submit Exposed: Impoverished Beauty? The characters presented themselves; I listened and observed, my mind was ticking. I was aware of my interpretations and the humor that I sensed amongst the comings and goings of our street, which lead me to start writing. Then I simply felt it was a story worth sharing. There’s so much diversity in our lives, so many polarizing opinions and perspectives and I wanted to give a voice to how we can be so different and yet connected. And this competition provided the space for a piece like this. 

My advice to other authors submitting works to competitions – read your piece out loud, read over, and read again, polish it and then take the plunge and press send (after reading all the conditions closely ;) ). Pay for the critique – it’s so worth receiving another’s interpretation of your writing as it can provide validation, awareness of what needs clarifying, what needs improvement – it’s all valuable to help you hone your craft! 


WOW: Such great insight - thank you immensely! I'm sure we will be hearing more from you in the future!

Interviewed by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto who is busy raising kids and cattle amongst other odd jobs - follow her in instagram 


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