Lara Shprem – scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
I’m the Program Coordinator at UPLIT. One of our major projects is the Brisbane Writers Festival which takes place in September each year at the State Library of Queensland.

Why do you do it?
I’m passionate about books and literature... When I was 11 years old I won a story-writing prize, and the fame went to my head. I love working with writers and literature, I get to talk about books and ideas all day. My job involves a lot of down and dirty logistics and problem solving, but it’s satisfying to sit back at the Writers Festival and realised that I helped some of my literary heroes have these these amazing conversations and interactions.

What do you love about the city you live in?
Brisbane is so often derided for being a casino filled, culture barren wasteland and maybe it was in the 80s when our approach to city planning was to bulldoze the character out of the city, but now Brisbane has an amazing art scene. We have a great writing scene, and some amazing authors that call Brisbane home.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
My partner and I were meant to go on our honeymoon this year but instead of getting married we bought a house. We turned our honeymoon into a friendshipmoon, and travelled around Japan with a couple of friends for a month. I’m now convinced that holidays are always better with friends.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?

Anything that someone else lends me. I’m terrible at shopping and have friends with amazing taste.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
'Round the Twist'. Almost every significant growth spurt I had as a child was timed with the replacement of a Bronson.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?

I’d like to go back and meet my parents when they were a bit younger than I am now. They had pretty amazing lives and I’d love to have a beer with my dad and talk politics.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook for us?
I’d set out with grand ambitions and end up ordering pizza.

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?

You are your own harshest critic, and measure twice cut once.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
I’m a pretty open book and I wear my heart on my sleeve, no one probably knows how much time per day I spend thinking about my garden.

Are you happy with your work/life balance?
I’m going to spout some awful cliché about “do what you love and it will never feel like work”, but it’s true. Work life balance for me is about being happy and spending my time surrounded by great people. I’ve got an amazing girl gang and a great group of friends and we make time to catch up. Balance doesn’t just happen, you have to work at it.

How do you define success?

Waking up happy.

What's your spirit animal?
I’m not First Nations so I don’t have a spirit animal, but I think I most relate to those kookaburras that take up residence next to a picnic spot and end up eating too many sausages to fly.


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