A Room of My Own competition – 3rd Prize: Martine Maugüé

Filed under: Non-fiction

And why not?

All a writer truly needs is to pepper in saucy jokes hidden between beautiful lines of text. For example, Atonement. I promise you there was no need for us to get that much time dedicated to that letter but as a society we just let it slide because the book was so beautiful. To be frank I believe fitting the white, middle aged man or woman mold helps too. Preferably educated at a top university.

To really get my creative juices flowing I tend to cry in the bath for about an hour and then whip out my fłütê. I think a big part of my influence for what I write is memes coupled with the sense of never truly belonging anywhere. Maybe that’s to do with being a mixed kid, or maybe it’s the constant moving of schools and communities, I’ll let you decide. When I write I love to explore the idea of where we belong, do we belong in cliques (and by extension into wider society groups dictated by our ethnicity and/or sexuality) as the popular chic-flics would have us believe? Or maybe we belong with ourselves as the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching albums of artists like Lorde might suggest.

As a future writer (probably not since I’m more of a science girl) I aspire for fourteen-year-olds in a hundred years’ time to sit in class analyzing my work and ask themselves, what does yeet mean. I want them to marvel at the complexity and senselessness of Gen Z humor and reflect on the fact that this was because we lived in such a panicked and senseless time. When in reality our humor actually just makes no sense whatsoever making it so hilarious.

I have learnt from past writers that so long as I keep my saucy comments and criticisms of this ‘post-feminist society’ hidden in the glorious pomp of setting sunrises and booming silence, whatever stupidities I write are untouchable. The beauty of writing is not found in the words written on the page but rather in the spaces letting you decide as to whether the sentences are running rapidly like a stream or taking their sweet time, stopping at every corner to simply look. Whether they are begging you to stop and pay attention, or gently leaving an imprint on you. All a writer needs is a thesaurus, to choose the words that matter.

A vine reimagined as a haiku:
Whaddup I’m Jared,
I’m nineteen and I never
Learned how to read

Some blackout poetry:
S(he) be(lie)ve(d)

You only yolo once
(I’m being sarcastic please don’t think I’m this stupid)

As a great man once said, being bold pays off- a white man who was likely a disgusting misogynist and racist a hundred years ago but that’s excusable because they produced wonderful works of art! Literary gods, I hope this ‘boldness’ pays off.

Martine Maugüé
14 years old
Wimbledon High School, London