Noted 2016 Artist Spotlight: Kate Iselin

This year, ahead of Noted, Bela Farkas interviewed six festival artists. In this first instalment, he chats to Kate Iselin, a Melbourne-born, Sydney based writer. Her work has appeared in Daily Life, Kill Your Darlings, Spook, The Guardian and Archer Magazine. Her blog, Thirty Dates of Tinder, chronicles her romantic and sexual misadventures in the world of online dating.

Image: Kate Iselin

Image: Kate Iselin

What inspires you to write your blog?

I first started writing the blog when I had just moved to Sydney and knew basically no-one, so my aim was to figure out a way to get out and meet people! Tinder was just becoming a big thing and I noticed a lot of my friends were using it and talking about their experiences, so I decided to download it in the hope of meeting friends, dates, and anyone else who wanted to hang out and show me my new city. One night I jokingly tweeted that I should just go out with whoever invited me and then write about it, and the rest – as they say – is history.

How hard is it to write about your personal life on such a public forum?

I’m generally a pretty open person, and even in conversation there’s not a lot I would say ‘no’ to talking about. Sharing and over-sharing has always been in my nature, I think – but that having been said, it’s always a little tougher to write so personally in a public place. It can be hard to expose not only your writing to other people’s judgements, but also your life as well, because when you get negative feedback it’s often a double-whammy: ‘not only does your writing suck, but so do you as a person!’

The thing that makes up for it is that so many people have contacted me, especially after reading the blog, to say that they’ve had similar experiences or that I’ve written about something they’ve been too shy to talk about. Relationships and sexuality can be really isolating topics, so if something I write makes someone feel less alone, that’s above and beyond anything I could dream of as a writer.

Is there a perfect date scenario?

I think the perfect date scenario is just having a great conversation with someone and really enjoying each other’s company. If you can get along well with someone, find common ground, share a laugh, and (hopefully) develop an attraction to each other, then that’s all that matters. I’ve had terrible dates in five-star restaurants and wonderful dates in cheap pubs and coffee shops – it really isn’t about where you go or what you do, but who you do it with.

What happens to the blog if you find the perfect date?

Well, I am non-monogamous, so in an ideal world, any partner/s I had at the time would read the entry and congratulate me on having an awesome time!

What makes a date memorable?

I think every date is memorable! I don’t think anyone out there is such a boring blank slate that it would be possible to walk away with zero impression or recollection of them. If you go on a date with someone and don’t learn anything about them in the time you spend with them, either they must be refusing to answer any questions or you’re just not trying hard enough!

Kate Iselin will feature at Noted Writers’ Festival 2016 in the following events: Lit Hop – Saturday 19 March, 6pm-10pm, various locations; Snap Stories – follow the festival on Snapchat @NotedFestival to receive ‘snap stories’ by Kate Iselin and many talented others.

Canberra-based writer and 2016 Noted artist Bela Farkas's work is heavily influenced by popular culture and current events. Bela's work will also appear as part of Bill Poetries at this year's festival.