Why you should write for the Croydon Citizen


By - Wednesday 9th May, 2018

I want to hear your voice – and let others hear it, too


When I was the editor of a well-known film magazine, we used to have a saying on the team. “Everyone’s a critic”, we’d mutter sagely to each other, when someone tried to tell us our jobs, or explain to us how to review a movie, or even why our carefully crafted destruction of Eddie’s Murphy’s Norbit was wrong (it really was a one-star film, believe me). Being a writer was, we believed, a rarefied job. It was something that only we could do, something… sacred.

How utterly wrong we were.

I’m the new production editor of the Croydon Citizen and I want to tell you one thing: you can write. You can write because you are alive and experiencing the world out there – and I want to know how you experience it, because that’s what writing and editing is all about.

Writing chews up your nights, marauds into your days

Writing is basically putting a tiny piece of yourself on the page, or online. It’s taking a little sliver of your soul, cutting it from yourself with an ice-bright scalpel and tossing it out there for everyone to see. It’s you, dished up on a plate, for other people to like, or comment on, or ignore. It’s tough. It’s not for everyone. It obsesses you, sometimes. It chews up your nights, marauds into your days. You’ll be sat in a pub, having a lovely time, when suddenly you’ll feel itchy, like something’s got down the back of your T-shirt. ‘I really want to go and write’, you think. And then, and then… the words won’t come, or you’re unhappy with what’s on the screen, or the cursor’s silently blinking at you and you want to go away and forget about it – but there’s something that won’t let you. Your voice wants to be heard. It demands it.

I want you to write for the Croydon Citizen. I want whoever you are, reading this, to put down your phone or tablet, go and sit in front of your computer screen and write. Write about our brilliant borough: what frustrates you about it, what you love about it; the place that you went to with your mates last week that you thought was terrific; the great restaurant that only you and your partner know about; that play that you saw at Matthews Yard the other day; the thing that grinds your gears about living here in our maligned, marvellous, fascinating little corner of London. And I want to read it, because I love reading other people’s words. I won’t laugh, I won’t criticise. I want to hear your voice, and I want others to hear it, too.

We’re making writing for the Citizen lots easier. You can just email me your words. Look, here’s my address:

Writing gets you like that. It really does

Send me your words, with a pic and a little bit about who you are, and you’ll be a published writer, and if it’s that easy you can do it again and again, and you’ll see other people reading your words and hearing your voice, and you’ll love it and want to do it all the time. It gets you like that, it really does.

That’s why we write: to be heard. To shout into the void, ‘I’m here, I’m here and I’m me, and this is what I think’.

So what are you waiting for? Let me hear you so that everyone else can, too. I’m waiting for you. And I’m fascinated to hear what you’ve got to say.

Cassie Whittell

Cassie Whittell

Cassie has lived in and around Croydon since 1988. She's a digital project manager and editor with a passion for welsh rarebit, cats and Rotherham United (in that order). She's also Operations Director for the Croydon Literary Festival, and Production Editor on the Croydon Citizen.

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  • http://idioplatform.com/ Jonny Rose

    AMEN AND AMEN, Cassie! (And welcome to The Croydon Citizen team proper) :)