So you want my arts job: Scribe

Being a scribe is an intense but rewarding experience that requires trust and a synergy of process.

Deborah Vanderwerp is currently obtaining payment and/or pleasure as an educator, counsellor, writer and exam supervisor while she completes her graduate counselling studies. She’s also been an actor, musician, storyteller, poet and a teacher in drama, theatre studies, music, violin, life skills and sex education. She presently works part-time as a scribe.

In essence I write down what someone else has dictated to me. This can be ‘live’, as in I write while another dictates or I document a live situation like a meeting. Or it can mean writing up statements from a recorded source in medical and legal settings. The live scribing I’ve done is supporting someone who has challenges in writing themselves. This may be because they have anxiety and/or sensory issues,
distraction issues, motor dyspraxia, intellectual processing issues or speech challenges.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Unlock this content?

Access this content and more

Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy