Writing a new chapter

For the past two years, 24-year-old autistic woman Madelyn Lahey has dedicated herself to the creation of her debut book which is now on the verge of publication thanks to the guidance of writing mentors and unwavering family support.

“Writing means a lot to me, it’s my happy place. I’ve always had a gift for creative ideas,” Ms Lahey said.

Kicking off a three-part series, Mortuus Carnem is an imaginative and visceral post-apocalyptic zombie story.

Ms Lahey said that ideas for new stories were always running through her head and she urged other young writers to not let any barriers stop them achieving their goals.

“My message to other emerging writers with autism or social anxiety is to not let anything get in your way, just keep going, anything is possible.

“Ideas for stories can come from anywhere. The idea for Mortuus Carnem, for instance, came from an outfit I was wearing one random day.”

To help Ms Lahey’s publication dream come true, her mother, Natasha, sought help through an author Facebook group and found a valuable mentor in former staff writer and journalist Flavia Young.

“Madelyn has a rich imagination. She’s a prolific writer and a really lovely, special and kind person,” Ms Young said.

“It’s difficult for any emerging writer to get published with a traditional publisher.

“However, there are definitely many publishers that won’t gamble on a new writer who’s lived experience or writer’s voice doesn’t neatly fit into a stereotype or genre they can easily market and promote.

“Madelyn’s mum is dedicated to helping Madelyn be a happy, independent woman.

“I wanted to be part of that team and help Madelyn’s author dreams come true.

“Mentoring Madelyn has been one of the highlights of my career. It’s been a privilege and an honour to work with her.”

A bingo night will be held on Saturday 20 January at the Talbot Hotel to raise the final funds needed to publish. Entry will be $20 for 20 games with a variety of valuable of valuable prizes available.

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About the Author: Simon Andrews

Simon is a passionate journalist and finds joy in uncovering and sharing locally resonant stories, immersing himself in the hearts of communities. He can often be spotted out and about sourcing grassroots news for the Hobart Observer and its sister papers.

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