Staff Spotlight: Dani Leever

Staff Spotlight: Dani Leever 

Just in the nick of time before they (very sadly!) leave Emerging Writers’ Festival, we (as in me, Dani Leever) caught up with outgoing Marketing and Publicity Coordinator Dani Leever to chat about their brilliant time at EWF, their dog Foxy and what’s on the horizon for them next.

Hey, me! Thanks for taking the time to chat to me. What’s been your favourite part of working as the Marketing and Publicity Coordinator at the Emerging Writers’ Festival?

Hey, me. It’s honestly all been such a dream. I’ve always been a huge fan of what EWF does in terms of being an uplifting space for writers or creatives, no matter what their experience is. I was a bit intimidated by writing at first, not really knowing where to start – and so I’ve always thought EWF does a great job at making engaging, accessible and genuinely inspiring events that feel free from judgement.

Being trained up in marketing, sometimes you wonder if you’ll just end up pushing products you don’t believe in, but I’ve been absolutely thrilled that I can use my prowess for good – to contribute to a festival I believe in so much. My favourite part of working at EWF besides that is that I’ve been part of the world’s greatest team. Everyone’s wildly supportive, creative, passionate and kind; and that makes coming to work (even via Zoom) a joy every day.

Your GIF usage has been described as “brilliant” by some and “too much” by others. What’s your favourite GIF you’ve ever used on behalf of EWF?

That’s a hard question, so I’ll put together a top 3.

Third place goes to this GIF of a cat typing very quickly, as I am often prompting our audience to WRITE! SEND US THE THING! SUBMIT YOUR WORK! GO GO GO! Which suits the mood. In second place, an honourable mention to my Executive Director Alice Muhling who once tweeted this brilliant motivational dog driving GIF that I watched on loop forever and ever.

And in first place, there’s AW YEAH flower person GIF which I’ve posted many, many times because this flower really just sums up a mood I’m often trying to communicate.

Your leaving means that your dog / unofficial EWF mascot Foxy will also be leaving. Isn’t that just the worst?

Yes, Foxy’s absence will be felt for years and years to come. She’s a tiny Corgi x Chihuahua who I often get to star in the EWF Instagram stories, even though she’s about 100 years old. So my advice to anyone applying for my job is to have a corgi.

Speaking of which, what other tips do you have for anyone applying for the Marketing and Publicity Coordinator position?

Well first, you’re applying for the greatest job ever! Learn as much as you can about EWF to figure out whether your values and passions align – and if they do, put together an application that shows your expertise and personality. Don’t forget to say why you and why EWF – make it personal so we can start envisioning you walking through the Wheeler Centre doors (COVID-19 restrictions permitting of course). And make sure you back yourself! Bring your own personal flair to the role – me and the Marketing Coordinators of EWF past are all quite different, so show us who you are! And have a corgi, or don’t even both writing a CV (just kidding).

What’s been a highlight of your time at EWF?

Well, when I got the job I nearly burst into confetti I was so excited. And even though we couldn’t all physically be together, running an entirely online festival for 10 days in 2020 seemed impossible, but it was just so phenomenal. Seeing the brilliant events that we’d been working on for months roll out and seeing the audience reactions while posting in our #emotions channel on Slack about how proud we all were of each other was so so lovely. I nearly cried out of happiness many times watching our festival baby hit the internet.

And a lowlight even though you didn’t ask? I was very excited to tune in for Amazing Babes, our EWF 2020 Closing Night but mere moments before it went live, my aforementioned dog ate a grape (very poisonous) and I had to rush her to the emergency vet. WORST.

So what’s on for you next, besides leaving a gaping Foxy-sized hole at the Emerging Writers’ Festival? 

I’m off to do some writing at MTV Australia! A bit of a dream job tbh, so catch me yelling about my love for Jojo Siwa over there any time.

Thanks for the memories, me. Have fun, bye!

You’re a brilliant interviewer. Thanks for this. BYE!