It’s rumoured that Ali MacGregor once inspired an acapella group to song spontaneously, as though her very presence had encouraged it. That’s not strictly true, but she has a warm, winning way about her that’s right up there with Sonja Rocchi’s Mars Bar slice. Who’s Sonja Rocchi? Well, that’s a story for another time. But for now, please welcome Ali MacGregor!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Ali MacGregor and I’m one of Margaret River Press’s current interns. I love reading books and watching films because of their ability to transport you to a different time and place, and, if well executed, can effectively capture the human condition and evoke real emotions and connections even through the barrier of the page or screen. I also really love travelling and exploring new places – I just did a short Euro trip with my boyfriend this year, and I’m already planning to go back to see Spain and Portugal next year!
What were you studying at university and what’s next?
I studied a Bachelor of Arts with double majors in Literary and Cultural studies and Screen Arts, which I loved. I highly recommend the Literary and Cultural Studies course at Curtin University, it is a wonderfully eye-opening and challenging course which helped me to develop the critical thinking skills to recognize and challenge the taken for granted ideologies and thought systems which shape our culture. As for what’s next, I’m not really sure. At the moment I’m just following my passion and trying to find my way in the publishing industry. Down the track I may go back to university and do a postgraduate degree, but I’ve done 17 years straight of school so I need a break from the textbooks for now!
Do you have a favourite book or favourite authors?
I’ve never been good at picking favourites! For the past couple of years I’ve been reading a lot of classic American and English literary fiction. The last book I read was the novella ‘The Invisible Man’, written by H.G.Wells. Published in 1897, the novella combines the feel and concerns of gothic literature of the time with an early form of science fiction. I loved the book and found Well’s writing still to be very entertaining and relatable given its age, and ever pertinent in todays day and age as it explores how the visualised physical body functions as a symbolic and metaphorical site of social exchange invested with both personal and social meaning.
What did a typical day involve as an intern at Margaret River Press?
That’s one of the things I love about coming into work at Margaret River Press – you never quite know what will be in store for you on any given day. I’ve found myself involved in a myriad of different duties such as author liaison and book promotion, delving into my creative side to design posters for book launches, helping with the organisation and event management of the Australian Short Story Festival, and creating many an Excel spreadsheet for anything and everything! However, one of my main ongoing tasks is the management of Margaret River Press’s social media platforms eg. Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, which entails coming up with original content and also making sure I ‘retweet’ relevant material to support others in the literary and publishing industries.
Is there a particular area of publishing you’re looking to head into or other type of work?
When I first started at Margaret River Press my goal for the future was to be involved in editing, but throughout my internship I’ve found that I really enjoy the marketing and promotions aspect of the publishing process as well. But really any role in the publishing industry would be a dream come true – not to sound too cliché.
After growing up on a farm and looking after a menagerie of different animals in her early years, Ali spent the remainder of her youth living in the cultural hub of Fremantle. In her spare time she loves taking her border collie, Ryder, for long walks along the river, and exploring Perth’s underground film and music scene with her boyfriend, Luke. Ali has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts with double majors in Literary and Cultural Studies, and Screen Arts, and is now looking to begin her career in the publishing industry.