Negotiated Portfolio: Reflective Posting

With less than two weeks to go until my portfolio hand in (the last of my university work), I wanted to reflect on the pieces I’ve already completed.

For the 8,000 word count, I have already done 4,000+ words which means I’m just over half-way there but still lots to do! The next few days will be quite hectic.

Pieces that have been completed are:

1) ‘Cornwall’s Caribbean Connections’

I’ve talked about this piece so many times on my blog so I don’t feel like I need to go in to massive detail again. It’s a piece about the owner and chef of Falmouth’s Caribbean restaurant, Cribbs and how he’s successfully relocated from his native Caribbean island to open up not just one, but two flourishing businesses.

This piece was given a word count of around 800 words by the editor of Cornwall Today and will be published (along with the photographs I took last year) in the August edition.

Reflection: I think the piece was meant for Cornwall Today, can’t think of any other publication that would suit it more. The layout and design for the county magazine makes many of its topical pieces stand out and look like a more professional magazine than you’d expect. Even if the piece is about pasties! Really felt at ease with writing it and with the style easy to replicate by looking at previous chef profile pieces in past issues, I didn’t struggle to fit Cornwall’s Caribbean Connections into the brief that was set. Really excited to see it printed!

2) ‘A Chat and a Bowl of Pea Souk’

This is the feature I did on restaurant another owner and chef in Falmouth. Nicola was very kind to let me interview her for almost 2 hours. From that, I got one of my favourite pieces of journalism written. Waiting for my final feedback on the piece but as far as I can see, it’s something I am really proud of. And with the help of my friend Lucy Piper taking some photographs of the vegetarian cafe, the customers of a very intimate Supper Club and of Nicola. So pleased with them.

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(Images copyright of Lucy Piper 2013)

Although I originally pitched this piece to American food journal, Gastronomica, I unfortunately didn’t get a response from the Editor but I will push again. After re-working it the past few days, I decided to re-tweak it from being an elongated Q&A in the style of Gastronomica to a shorter, more flowing narrative piece with embedded quotes for the style of Australian online publication, Broadsheet. Because I had hoped to get an internship at Broadsheet, I attached the Pea Souk piece to an email regarding work experience there.

Because I didn’t make it clear that I was pitching the piece to them, I will re-email them and see if they’d be interested in publishing it (even though the cafe is located in Cornwall and not Aus!).

Reflection: I really do love this piece. And as I’ve said in the past, I always wanted to interview Nicola but always too shy. Because this is my last chance to get the pieces that I really want to do and to get recognition for them, I am making it my goal to tick off all of the ideas that I’ve had in the past…and doing them far better than I originally anticipated. This piece is one that I am very proud of and will be posting on here if no one wants to take it! Can’t wait to share it with you and of course Nicola who I can’t thank enough.

3) ‘Peach Mumble with Sloan Keck’

This is a piece that I wrote about a Q&A I did with the best friend of photographer Francesca Woodman before she took her own life at 22. It’s a tragic story about a young, talented artist leaving behind a legacy and a symbolic style but most importantly a friend who still misses her.

I’ve completed this piece and it ran in the style of a typical Q&A feature with the focus on Sloan. I have written the piece and it stands at just over 1,000 words. I have started to recreate this into a multimedia piece which will include me reading the feature as voice over for a slideshow of Francesca’s work which included portraits of Sloan.

I plan to pitch this to Cartel or Fire Cracker (who specialise in Europe’s female photographers) but feel that because she was an American photographer, she’s not as well-known in the UK. Even though her artwork is being shown in the Tate.

Reflections: I think this piece, as a Q&A is quite strong. It should work well as a video because it will give a wider perception of Francesca’s work and links to the descriptions that Sloan gave about their time together. I hope that this will tell the story as best as it can and will give my portfolio more dimension. I realise that this piece seems out-of-place with the rest of my articles which are predominantly about food, but I do also have an equal passion for photography and didn’t want to lose sight of that. Overall very happy with this piece and will also be something I look forward to posting for you to see (once I finish battling with iMovie!).

4) ‘Hay Festival 2013: A Student’s Guide to Hay-on-Wye’

I wrote this piece over the weekend and have submitted it to my tutor for review. Decided that I’d never actually done a piece about the Hay Festival and thought it would really suit HerUni.com (where I am one of the Editors). Because the festival begins this Thursday, it was quite topical and so I sat down and wrote what I thought was a cohesive article about visiting what was my home, Hay-on-Wye. I felt that as a student, many might not think of the Hay Festival as a place for young people to want to go to. I think that’s completely off because Hay-on-Wye is beautiful, particularly during the next few weeks.

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(Images copyright of Finn Beales)

Reflection: Wouldn’t say it was my best piece but will definitely suit the readership of HerUni. I think writing in the style similar to the Telegraph or Guardian would only attract an older readership, not one I’d feel 100% comfortable writing for in this particular instance. I will be publishing this piece tomorrow morning on the Falmouth page of HerUni after amending what my tutor has suggested. I plan to use the photographs of local photographer, Finn Beales, to keep the style succinct and classic. Rather than being a definite ‘go to Hay’ piece, it’ll be a gentle nudge to make time for such a beautiful place…whenever you have time.

5) ‘Falmouth’s Graduate Fashion Show 2013’

I wrote a short pre-event write-up for Falmouth University’s Graduate Fashion Show that will take place next week. Having done work for the University’s Public Relations team, I had experience writing pre-event write-ups but did feel quite out of touch with the style after so many narrative pieces. Being short and brief don’t come naturally to me! I’ve only just finished it today and plan to also publish this on HerUni. Rather than a generalised news story, it focuses more on the student readership and ability to relate to the work of peers.

I took inspiration for doing this piece after being really impressed with the promo video for the show made by other Falmouth Students, Lucy Hawes and Eve McGovren which you can watch below:

I’ll be able to use some ‘behind the scenes’ photographs from some of the photo shoots by the Fashion Design students to give the piece some more insights that the other pre-event write-ups lack.

Reflections: I wish I’d thought of doing this earlier on but unfortunately, my focus was just on food pieces!

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