Superstar Gympie student has sights set on writing career
One of Gympie’s brightest graduates has her sights firmly set on becoming a published author.
And she has taken a big step towards accomplishing that goal, among others, by embarking on a Creative Industries degree from the University of the Sunshine Coast this year.
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Former James Nash State High School student Jazmin Benkendorff completed her high school studies with an impressive ATAR of 94.15 last year, also taking out the school’s top award for English and literature extension.
Ms Benkendorff started her three-year degree last week, with the intention of majoring in creative writing and publishing.
She is already working on her debut novel.
“Creative writing is my passion and when I first read about USC’s Creative Writing and Publishing program, I simply fell in love with the syllabus – it’s quite literally everything that I wanted all in one package,” Ms Benkendorff said.
“I have always dreamt of being a published author, not just for the sake of reaching ‘stardom’, but for the sake of making my lifelong dream a reality.”
Ms Benkendorff said she was in the process of reworking a second draft of her novel, described as “a futuristic fantasy about a teenage girl with special powers who is drawn into a world hidden in the shadows of society”.
She said she was pleased her degree also offered to develop industry-ready skills in editing and publishing to help her broaden her career options.
“I am happy to say that I am satisfied with how the narrative is developing. There’s nothing more rewarding than finishing a chapter and getting to move on to the next,” she said.
“I love editing just as much as I love writing,” she said. “There’s just something so satisfying about it, not to mention the fact that you literally get to see a story grow and blossom into a fully-fledged narrative.”
The chance to study a university subject, and achieving a distinction in that subject, while still at high school set Jazmin on the path to USC.
“In Year 12, I decided to take part in the Headstart program, which encouraged me to challenge my writing abilities and extend my academic capabilities,” she said.
“When I was younger, I also completed a USC workshop taught by an established author and writing coach which helped open my eyes to the intricacies of story writing and the craft behind creating fictional worlds and thought-provoking characters.”
For details on studying at USC go to www.usc.edu.au/study.