Birds Piled Loosely is an online literary journal published three times a year, with a chapbook contest. As the Managing Editor for this journal I read submissions for the journal and the inaugural Hard to Swallow chapbook contest, I also manage our twitter presence, our inbox, and track our author’s contact information. Since this is a remote position most of my work is done through Google Drive.
When I came on board with the Birds Piled Loosely press, there was no social media plan or real presence. I have been working on ways to keep our social media accounts active and relevant to the press’ mission of stealing turkeys from your backyard and providing a space for writers from all backgrounds making the literary community more robust.
Fourth Genre is a nonfiction literary journal published out of Michigan State University (MSU). My role for the year that I worked with this journal was to read and discuss over 1,000 submissions with the rest of the editorial staff, in reading these essays I was looking for pieces that moved me, that kept me awake because I couldn’t get them out of my head, or at the very least made me want to yell across my small apartment to tell my roommate all about this essay that I’ve just read. I also helped manage the production schedule, because this journal is bi-annual this often meant coordinating 40 manuscripts, author contracts, author bios, all at the same time. This meant that I needed a strong sense of organization, and an ability to see all of the moving parts of the project. I entered edits into the manuscripts and page proofs, before making sure they were sent to the MSU Press. In March I went with the journal to AWP16 in Los Angeles, where I was able to attend panels and readings between working shifts at the Fourth Genre booth in the book fair, where I was able to meet our writers, our readers, and encourage new writers to submit or new readers to read.
With another member of the editorial board, I created a VIDA poll to increase gender visibility within our publication. The VIDA count exists to further increase visibility on issues of gender equality in contemporary literature.” When tasked with running our journals’ VIDA count, my co-researcher and I found that we were uncomfortable assigning our writers with a gender identity based on our experiences with them. To fix this we created a poll and sent it to our authors (the results of which can be found here). Unfortunately, this is only the first year this has been implemented so the span of our data collection is not enough to draw conclusions as to if this will affect the journal’s gender representation, but it will be continued after we finish our internships.
The Offbeat is a literary journal specializing undisputedly unique works of fiction, poetry, prose, and sequential art. For my time on this journal, I screened submissions searching for the zany, the unique, the pieces that made me keep reading, pieces that reminded me of when I was younger and able to keep reading despite how tired I was.
On top of reading submissions I was the production manager for issue 16, we had an entirely new editorial board so for this journal I had to create a production tracker that worked for all 18 of us and allowed us to see where each of the pieces of the journal were at in the editorial and layout processes.
Up until this issue, the journal was only available through print at the Espresso Book Machine on Michigan State University’s campus. I worked to begin communication with bookstores in the Lansing area to begin distribution of the journal outside of subscriptions.
For summer 2016 I took over The Offbeat twitter and created a twitter process doc, which can be seen on this link: Twittering for The Offbeat process doc. During this summer I started a #wackywordswednesday and #funfactfriday campaigns to further engage our followers outside of constant calls for submissions.
Diamonds in the Rough is a compilation of newspaper articles about the Chicago Cubs, and a plethora of circumstances and coincidences within the baseball world that led to his expansive autograph collection and meetings with many of the greats. In this project, I was a copy editor, developmental editor, and layout designer. For this project I needed a copy editor’s eye—an eye for grammar—and a developmental editor’s eye—an eye for style. My main concern in this book was to make sure the story being told was as clean and polished as it needed to be in order for all of the coincidences within to stand out. Once the text was where it needed to be I needed an eye for the layout to design a cover and set the text in a way that is easy to read. This was a long project because I wanted to take my time each step of the way to make the finished book something that would be enjoyed by the author and his family for years to come.