Nikolina Demark Voted Total Croatia News 2017 Writer of the Year

Total Croatia News

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It has been a busy year at TCN, with lots of quality writing from an ever-expanding team. And the core writers have spoken, voting for the Total Croatia News Writers’ Writer of the Year on December 20, 2017. 

By rights, she should not be writing for TCN at all. Although I am quite a relaxed about most things in life, I am very strict on deadlines (really? I hear some of my private clients cry…), especially when it comes to job applications. If a potential new employee cannot meet the criteria of a job application when they should really be trying to impress, there is not much hope for the way forward. 

We received several very good applications this Spring, and I settled to do through them one by one. Shortly after 8pm the day after the application deadline, one more application arrived. Too late, too late. But something made me open the email. Perhaps it was because I was more relaxed on my birthday, but open it I did. And inside that application, I realised that this was just the kind of addition I was looking for to join the TCN team. 

We get many applications for the positions we advertise for (for which many thanks), applications of varying quality. In order to stand out from the crowd, one has to be a little different and enticing, and one paragraph from the covering letter should show the importance of a well-written covering letter. How to explain the late application?

Now, I became aware of the application deadline only this morning but decided to reach out anyway. The irony of mailing the application a day late and then claiming I can follow deadlines doesn’t escape me, but I can promise you I work best when I have a tight daily schedule. I also have a slight obsessive-compulsive tendency when it comes to detailed organizing of my workload – I choose to look at it as compensating for the creative chaos in my personal life.

Nine months later, Nikolina Demark is an essential and very popular part of the TCN team, who has had most of us in stitches with her writing, Facebook messaging and stories at TCN teambuilding events. As we wind up the biggest year of change in TCN’s short life, with more than 100 contributors so far, I asked the core writers to vote for the best writer of the year, and any article in particular which they thought was the best of the bunch. Voting was quick, and it was quickly obvious that there would only be one winner.  

It is a testament to the strength of Nikolina’s writing that the team could not agree on which article was the best of 2017, as there were several which stood out. My favourite, for example, was the quite outstanding guide to swearing in Croatia, with the most comprehensive look at the J-word to appear online in English

Comprehensive and attention to detail are things I associate with Nikolina’s writing. When I asked her to research and do a story on the filming of Oscar-winning Fiddler on the Roof just outside Zagreb, she produced the most in-depth article online about it – a fascinating story that few know about. 

When I asked her to write something about Istria that most tourists have no clue about, she responded with a fascinating piece on Medieval graffiti

How does a young Croatian woman appreciate her first visit to the Kornati islands?

For several of her colleagues, however, it was the brilliant portrayal of the daily grind in The Beautiful Croatia which was appreciated the most, from her epic rant at her bank when trying to get credit to buy a new laptop, to the realities of life as a Croatian souvenir shop salesgirl. And while other writers might have approached the task of a tipping guide in Croatia in a more formal manner, the informal, anecdotal approach added extra spice to an already informative piece.

Bravo, Miss Denmark, a worthy winner of the first Total Croatia News Writer of the Year award. Our appreciation will be shown in free beers next time we meet, as well as a larger pay cheque in 2018 (but not that much larger). We are thrilled to have you in the TCN team and look forward to more journeys and fun in 2018 – and I can already smell the March lamb on Pag. 

A good writer likes a challenge and is always looking for ways to improve, and so we have come up with a 2018 task for you, Nikolina, one which we are not sure you will manage – to write and upload at least one article in 2018 before lunchtime. 

Two other writers were nominated, for specific articles (both excellent) – Daniela Rogulj for her visit to a music festival with her Dad, an article which was shared by the legendary Billy Bragg, and tears are still falling down my cheeks at Lauren Simmonds’ epic pieces on Croatian language fails, parts one and two – Smallpox, Diarrhoea and Free Hand Jobs and Leprosy, Bitches and a Burek Named Desire.

Thank you to all the TCN writers for your fantastic contributions throughout the year. A really fabulous team. We will be doing an alternative year in review – a look at 2017 through the eyes of my favourite 25 TCN articles of 2017. 

And thank you, readers, for your continued interest and support. We hope to see you in 2018 and beyond. And a little advance notice – we will be closed from December 23 – 27, as there will be nobody sober enough to run the site. 

From all the team at TCN, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous 2018. Cheers and congratulations once more, Miss Denmark!

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