About Evelyn Tsitas – and her blog

Evelyn Tsitas photo

Background to the blog

Dr Evelyn Tsitas started 100 Days to the Doctorate in 2013 with literally 100 days to go before she handed in her doctorate in Creative Writing at RMIT University, investigating the human animal hybrid in science fiction.

As a fiction writer exploring literary journalism and creative non fiction through blogs, Evelyn decided to go public with the trials and hopefully, triumphs ahead in her doctoral journey, and the intense pressure-cooker of life with two kids, two pets, and a full time job and part-time teaching load on top of full time doctoral study. It was a wild ride!

This blog is now called 100 Days to the Doctorate – & Beyond to encompass the reflective nature of the post graduate life. What was it all about, anyway? Was it worth the long years of delayed gratification?

Three years on

Now in its third year, Evelyn’s blog explores writing, life and career opportunities after post graduate study. As a writer who uses her own life in her work, this blog is unashamedly a reflection of the psychological state of fiction writing and the precarious nature of being an independent and emerging academic. The blog investigates the post doctoral career challenges and the reality of the juggle and compromises of motherhood, higher education and the energetic dance to ‘have it all’…but perhaps, not all at once!

Evelyn at RMIT graduation

Beyond the PhD

In the race to finish, we forget that the doctoral journey actually continues after you have graduated. That’s when the clock really starts ticking on the relevance of your research, and the currency of your qualification. If you haven’t got into an academic position, as a sanctioned Early Career Researcher or in a full time, permanent lecturing job, then what? Is it better to plod along in sessional work and keep your nose pressed to the glass windows of the ivory tower – looking in but never really taking part? Or is it time to take your impressive skills elsewhere, and walk away from academia? And while you juggle getting your academic publications in the required journals – what about a literary agent and a publisher for your creative writing project? As Evelyn also continues on this journey, you can share with her these questions, insights, advice and pathways in 100 Days to the Doctorate & Beyond. 

About Evelyn Tsitas – and her writing

Evelyn works as a communications strategist at RMIT Gallery. As a fiction writer, she celebrates the day job and dual identity and commitment that allows her to pursue her other writing projects after hours.  There is a long tradition of ‘the day job’ among writers – T.S Eliot worked as a clerk at Lloyds bank, and Elizabeth Gilbert‘s new book Big Magic encourages people, particularly women, to take up more creative space in the world – without quitting their day job.

Evelyn Tsitas two short stories

Evelyn Tsitas two short stories “Xenos” and “Undeceive”

Evelyn’s Twitter handle is @stilettogal. It celebrates winning the coveted Sisters in Crime (Australia) Scarlet Stiletto Award. As a speculative fiction writer, Evelyn’s special interest is crossing the line in a sexy, scientific way. Her short story Xenos, a ‘hard boiled’ speculative crime and cli-fi thriller, won the Dorothy Porter Innovation Prize in the 2007 Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto Awards and this became the middle chapter of her doctoral manuscript.

Evelyn Tsitas SSA winner 2008

Evelyn went on to win the coveted Scarlet Stiletto Award for her verse short crime story Undeceive the following year – both stories are published in Scarlet Stiletto – The Second Cut. Evelyn’s MA in Creative Writing investigated the role of the creative arts in bioethical debates, and she has published “My Lover’s Eyes” a chapter of the manuscript in Writing From Below.

Verse crime? Not so surprising considering Evelyn was the librettist and story writer of successful two children’s operas produced by the Victoria State Opera and Opera Australia; Bookworm: Adventures on the Internet (1996) and Software: The Tale of a Virtual Valkyrie which toured to the Edinburgh Children’s Festival (1996) and across the UK, New Zealand and Australia (1995-1996 and 2001) with a performance at the Sydney Opera House for the Sydney Arts Festival (2002) and Lennox Theatre Parramatta in 2004.

As well as opera, Evelyn wrote Springs Eternal, a satirical comedy about the New Age, which had a successful season at the Carlton Courthouse in 1993.  The play featured well known La Mama actor Maureen Hartley as the strong, decisive estranged wife of a self styled New Age guru, who sweeps back into his life at a rural retreat to reclaim her twenty-something daughter – and her real estate.

Evelyn Tsitas book

Evelyn Tsitas book “Handle With Care”

Evelyn co-wrote Handle With Care a book about high-risk pregnancy, with her Herald Sun colleague and now RMIT academic Dr Caroline van de Pol. Independently published, it sold for two years in large commercial bookstores and is held in libraries across Australia.

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