Skip to main content

“And have you got any examples of creative writing of your own you can show us?”

The question from across the table makes me squirm in my chair.

It’s the final round of interviews for a junior copywriter position at Radio City.

Sat opposite, across a vast boardroom table, is Mike Sarath. The station’s Commercial Director.

More by enthusiasm than execution, I’ve made it to the final two candidates.

And I’m flapping. This is my moment of truth at the top of the tower. My chance to get a proper job and out of me Ma’s box room.

“Er, yeah, I have. I’ve got a few examples here.” I offer, my throat tightening. “I write poetry.”

Sliding my battered red writing pad over the polished pine, I see Mike can barely hide his bemusement.

Here’s this kid with a thick accent and no previous writing experience, passing him poetry.

On either side of the boss, wearing smiles of surprise, are David ‘Bruno’ Brown, Head of Creative and Samantha Dring, Senior Copywriter.

Mike, nodding at me like a stranger on the street, opens the pad.

They get stuck in.

Inside are pages of Dylan-inspired anti-establishment prose.

Verses of unrequited love and introspective.

You know, the usual things people present in the most significant interview of their life.

After a few minutes of flicking through my work, the three finish upon the sorrow-filled Silent Song. At this point, they’ve read enough.

As they look up, I feel my cheeks flush scarlet.

The shock now set solidly on Mike’s face; he manages, “Wow! Very deep stuff, Lee.”

As more words escape him, he looks at Bruno and Sam for support.

I do the same.

‘Well, what do you think?!’. The question is racing in my brain as I sit, sweating.

Then for the first time, it dawns on me.

Before the copywriting tasks in this interview process, poetry and song lyrics were the only things I’d written.

I’ve blown it.

“I think it’s very nice, Lee. Good for you,” says Bruno, breaking the silence and saving me from death by embarrassment.

“I liked it too. Thanks for that, Lee.” Sam adds.

Relief washes over me.

With the interview over, we say our goodbyes, and they promise I’ll hear something soon.

My confidence returning as I descend the 450-foot monolith via the express lift, I think,

‘Of all my Scouse sonnets, Silent Song is my best one. I’m sure it’ll seal the deal.’

​​​​​​​And it did.

Two days later, I got a call from Bruno, offering me the job.

Even Mike had been impressed with my rhymes.

It just goes to show, even if you think it’s rubbish, just hit publish.

You never know what it’ll lead to. 

Like getting a job and finally being able to afford a one-bed highrise flat.

Lee The OC 

P.S. I’ll leave you with the opening lines from my poetic masterpiece,

Silent Song

This is my Silent Song
With nobody singing along
The are no words coz I have no feeling
And no music for me to believe in.

This is my rhythmless rhyme
Just scribbles to pass the time
No vocals and no one on drums
No tune, so nobody hums. 

(I mean, come on! The job was always mine after that, right? )

Leave a Reply