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  • Writer's pictureFord Carter

Writing for a Eurovision fan site – My story at Aussievision one year on

Have you ever considered writing for a Eurovision fan site before? Or ever wondered what it’s like to be one of the people who does? Just how much work goes into it? And how rewarding is the experience?

One year ago, I started writing for Aussievision, and my life hasn’t been the same since. This is my story.

December, 2019

As the artists for ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020’ were announced and the songs were being released, I wanted to find out who was taking place and listen to the potential entries as soon as possible. But as this was happening, I found that European-based Eurovision fan sites were lacking when it came to Australian-based Eurovision news, often only releasing articles hours after the fact due to the time difference.

It was in that urgency to find up-to-date Australian Eurovision news that I found Aussievision – a Eurovision fan site dedicated to Australian Eurovision news, and other important Eurovision news with the often humorous and cheeky Australian angle.

The 2020 national final season passed, and I tuned in to the Aussievision site a few times throughout those three months for updates on who had won certain national selections that I wasn’t able to watch or wasn’t too interested in, but only wanted to know the results of. And then, of course, for the inevitable news of the cancellation of the contest on that fateful night in March.

I essentially completely forgot about the website for the next six weeks as I went through the emotional turmoil most fans of the contest also went through. I avoided most Eurovision news sites for the month of April so as to avoid any potential further bad news about the contest coming up. Until, one day, Aussievision popped back up in my feed.

May, 2020

SBS had made the announcement that, following the cancellation of the 2020 contest, they would be re-airing the five competitions Australia had competed in over the five weekdays prior to ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light’. And as a university student stuck at home during a lockdown with nothing else to do in my afternoons and a void missing from the annual Eurovision week, I tuned in the relive the best and the worst of the last five years of the Eurovision Song Contest.

How Australian Eurovision fans voted during the 2015 replay last year

And then a post from Aussievision popped up in my Facebook feed on the Monday, requesting that fans who had just watched the contest replay on SBS vote for their ten favourite entries from the show, with a roughly fifteen minute voting window. Admittedly, I had missed it the first time, but I loved the idea.

The next day, with the 2016 contest, it popped up again. And I was in the voting period this time! So I popped through my votes and set myself a reminder to check in again the next day during the broadcast of the 2017 contest. And checked in again for the 2018 contest on the Thursday and the 2019 contest on the Friday.

I thought that my daily journey with Aussievision would be over following the week of re-broadcasts of previous contest. But I was wrong. About a week or two later, they had a Facebook post up looking for people willing to volunteer with writing articles and research as they entered a new off-season.

I had many thoughts running through my head when I saw the post. Would I be able to write an article for Eurovision fans to read? Did I know enough to even be considered? Would my writing style even fit what the Aussievision team were looking for? But the nagging voice of the brain looking for some stimulation pushed me forward and told me to do it.

I love writing. It’s been a hobby of mine for almost as long as I can remember. But the writing I had done before this was just writing short stories and novels for myself to read, or putting them out on FanFiction and Wattpad where no-one would be able to know that it was me who had written them, and where they wouldn’t really have an impact on anyone. This was going to be very out of the ordinary for me.

Writing factual articles for a Eurovision fan site would be different. It would need to have a suitable writing style, be factually correct, and it would need to be incredibly up-to-date. Old news doesn’t tend to be anything people are interested in reading, especially if they’ve already read it before on other sites.

‘Celebrating Slovenian Statehood Day with their highest charting Eurovision entries’, my first article with Aussievision

But what do you know? In June, my application was accepted, I was placed in a team of “national days” writers for the off-season, and on June 25, my first article was published: ‘Celebrating Slovenian Statehood Day with their highest charting Eurovision entries’.

The highlights of writing for Aussievision

In the year since I joined Aussievision, I have published almost 90 articles dedicated in my own name, wrote parts of two Junior Eurovision articles profiling the artists, and worked on what was an extensive three-day late-night coverage of the Melodifestivalen 2021 artist announcement. I've also co-written an article on Eurovision's Northern Irish artists with another writer, Ally. But they weren’t even the articles I put the most research and time into.

One of the articles that took the longest and required the most amount of research was a piece entitled ‘Celebrating Diversity at Eurovision: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples’. The article was so incredibly lengthy (it takes about a quarter of an hour just to read) that I was worried about whether it would even be considered publishable, even putting forward the idea of splitting it in two. But my editor stood behind my work and myself, and put it out as it was.

The article that was the most fun for me to write was one that allowed me to combine my two great musical loves – Eurovision and K-pop! Researching the article led me to see that there were more connections between the two than I had originally recognized.

Depending on the type of article depends on how much time and research goes into it. Some articles take less than an hour. Others, like the two mentioned above, had dozens of hours of research go into them before the writing process could even begin.

Finding myself being used as a reference on French Wikipedia was a strange highlight I wasn't expecting

But it isn’t even the articles that have been the highlights of writing for Aussievision. It’s been the people I’ve met and spoken to along the way, from other members of Aussievision who do writing and research who have become some of my best friends within the Eurovision bubble, to some of the fans who recognized me from the articles I had written, and even to the opportunity to pose questions to be asked in interviews with Eurovision stars.

Writing for Aussievision has presented me with opportunities I’ve never thought possible before. And I can never express just how grateful I am to have been able to write for them for the last year.

If you have the chance to write for a Eurovision site, don't hesitate to get involved!


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