• Gabby Bortolot

Get to know: The Penny Mint

The Penny Mint is a community for passionate young writers, amplifying new voices and providing a platform to publish, perform and perfect their words.



What is The Penny Mint and how did it get started?


Jake: The Penny Mint is a collective for writers - our aim is to amplify new voices by providing writers with a platform to publish, perform and perfect their words. We first started in 2018, back when you were allowed to sit with your friends in a restaurant and launch a blog.

What kinds of writers can contribute to The Penny Mint?

Jake: Our online platform is open to all new and emerging writers: while we do have a lean towards young voices from the western suburbs, we aim to make our spaces as inclusive and welcoming as possible!

What kind of issues/topics are covered by writers for The Penny Mint?

Mia: We often receive work that is grounded in a sense of time and place. Whether that exists in the retelling of a memory, a rant about current events or a moment of introspection, writers in The Penny Mint community have a wonderful knack for sharing stories that live and breathe in real time (even if we do say so ourselves).

What’s it like operating in the west of Melbourne? What makes it different?

Mia: Having grown up in the west, it’s always made sense to build a writers’ community with those we know and love. Here, we also have a personal investment in the stories that are shared: each story contributes to the collective history and identity we’ve built here.

The Penny Mint have hosted a range of events, can you paint us a picture of what one of your typical events looks like?

Ella: Our events usually look like a group of people, majority from the west, getting really pumped about poetry and stories. Whether it’s an open mic event, or a gallery event like Ode to Hand-Me-Down Clothes, you’ll find a real sense of community around the space we’ve created. It’s definitely one of our favourite parts of putting on events.


A written piece contributed by The Penny Mint.


Footscray

Memory lane is different for everyone, and for my family it’s always been Footscray.

The suburb is scattered with anecdotes that get shared over and over until they become our

favourite songs.

We know all the words and play them at every party.

My mum once showed me the first house her and dad lived in.

It was across the way from my old high school

And a quick drive from where we live now.

We walked through familiar streets and took turns with our stories.

The park where I drank wine after my English exam.

The park where she would skip school and play pool at the pioneer hotel.

Lifetimes in a five-kilometre radius.


Sunshine

at 9, I look up at the man who holds the world upon his shoulders

(he is chrome)

this world can be golden

I tell myself

and one day I will explore

at 14, I look up at the man growing tired of holding the world

(he has light no more)

one day I will explore

I tell myself

but is this really golden

At 19, I look up at the man who holds the world no longer

(he’s earned a rest)

the world is golden

I tell myself

and I continue to explore


Yarraville

I’ve watched a lot of bad movies here (maybe good ones too but I don’t remember them)

sat on the leather couch (awkward first dates in motion)

watching the trailers roll (guessing how the movie will go)

A boy once told me he loved me at the train station (I’d finished my coffee, he’d finished his

cigarette)

I remember buying myself an anthology of love poetry (sappy heartfelt bullshit)

it smelled like a real book (the words take themselves seriously)

and the table of contents tells you where it ends (I’d finished my coffee, he’d finished his

cigarette)



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