Meet the Interns: Tyler Hughes

Advertising Coordinator Tyler Hughes is a senior at Arizona State University. He will be graduating in 2011 with a degree in English Literature. After graduation he would like to be able to apply his skills and experiences learned at ASU and interning for Superstition Review into a career in publishing and editing. He also has a passion for writing fiction and hopes to be able to find a home for his writings. This is his first year working for Superstition Review.

1. What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

My position at Superstition Review is Advertising Coordinator. I am in charge of the Superstition Review Blog. Some of my responsibilities include managing the blog, writing posts, and editing the posts that our editors write for the blog.

2. Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?

My interests include writing, both creatively and for an audience, and along with that I am interested in pursuing a career in the publishing field. I thought that Superstition Review would provide some great hands-on experience.

3. How do you like to spend your free time?

In my free time I enjoy reading and writing, spending time with my friends and family and hiking with my dog.

4. What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?

I would love to try out the position of Fiction Editor. They get to do a lot of fun stuff like review submissions and read pieces from great authors.

5. Describe one of your favorite literary works.

This is a hard question as there are so many great stories out there. One of the stories that I have always loved is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Ender’s Game is a science fiction story about a boy named Ender who is sent to a military run space station to train in tactical warfare in preparation for an alien encounter. It has some great characters and writing and the premise is pretty unique. It is hard to pick just one but Ender’s Game is definitely in my top five.

6. What are you currently reading?

I am currently re-reading World War Z by Max Brooks. It is an account of the zombie apocalypse through interviews with people from around the world. It is all treated very seriously, but not too seriously, and is a really fun read.

7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?

I have been a little bit swamped recently so I haven’t really had time to work on anything. However, I am in the early stages of brainstorming a short story project as well as editing some old stories.

8. What inspires you?

I am inspired by stories about people. People and their experiences are fascinating and I never get tired of hearing people’s stories.

9. What are you most proud of?

Right now, I am very proud of my accomplishments in school and being so close to earning my bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I hope to be working in a job that I enjoy, hopefully something in publishing or editing.

Meet the Interns: Frederick Raehl

Fiction Editor Frederick “Brandon” Raehl is a senior at ASU completing concurrent degrees in Psychology and Literature, Writing, and Film. As well as working in healthcare as a CT Technologist, he plays music, writes screenplays, and develops black and white photographs. After completing his honors thesis in psychology titled, The Effect of Workload on Academic Performance, his time is now devoted towards writing. Though his current ambitions outside of college are unclear, he intends on using writing in any endeavor he decides to pursue. His favorite all-time book is The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

1. What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

I am one of the Fiction Editors for Superstition Review. My responsibilities include reviewing work from fiction writers for our upcoming issue. Some of my duties include preparing response emails, reading and voting on what to publish,  and completing weekly tasks and reports. I need to check Blackboard frequently and keep the instructor informed of my progress.

2. Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?

One of my goals of being an undergraduate student is to obtain a diverse and challenging education. Being a part of the Superstition Review allows me to pursue this goal. I love writing, and I’m curious about what goes into the process of  publishing. I enjoy new experiences and new challenges.

3. How do you like to spend your free time?

With the little free time that I have, I enjoy pleasure reading, playing guitar and drums, going to movies, journaling, and playing with my dogs. Most of my time goes towards school and work. I first went to x-ray school, which I do for a living, then decided to go  back to obtain my undergraduate.

4. What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?

I think interview and content editing would be interesting, as well as web design.

5. Describe one of your favorite literary work

I would have to say that Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is still my favorite  book. I first read it in 7th grade and came back to it when I first started college. It feels like every time I read it I discover something else that I love about it. I’ve read many books in my life, but none have ever replaced my long time favorite.

6. What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp. No, I’m not an alcoholic, but I really enjoy reading about personal triumphs over adversity. It’s a great read, if anyone is looking for something to pick up.

7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?

I’m beginning to write a screenplay for my capstone course. I’m always writing new music and journaling as well.

8. What inspires you?

I’m inspired by authenticity. When I see something that I know is real and not just something crafted to make money, I’m inspired. I believe that one should be brave enough to create something that comes from within, regardless of what the world will feel about it. When people do what they know is right in their heart instead of what may be right in society’s eyes, I am inspired. Finally, and the most simple, I’m inspired by decency. I love it when I see people working together and treating each other in a civil manner.

9. What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of obtaining a college education with honors. It may seem miniscule to some, but going to college has challenged and changed me in many ways. I believe that if I hadn’t decided to go to ASU after x-ray school, my life would not be as hopeful as it is now. Many people think I’m crazy to go back to school when I already have a decent-paying job. The pay is not the problem. I feel like I’m meant to do something  more with my life than what I’m doing now. I don’t know exactly what that is right now, but going to college has allowed me to investigate this. And I know that my decision to obtain a college degree will help me live a happier life.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see my life moving forward. I will not be in the career I’m in now. I know this for certain. What I don’t know is what I will be doing. I know that I want a life that allows me to be creative while also benefiting society. I have several ideas that I will investigate. Being successful is important, but more so I would like to find myself in a career that is in tune with my values and I feel passionately about. Who knows where I’ll end up, but I will never stop looking.

Meet the Interns: Ashley Carter

Content Coordinator Ashley Carter is currently a junior studying English Literature at Arizona State University. She is also working on a minor in Media Analysis, a Writing Certificate, and an LGBT Certificate along with her degree. In her free time, Ashley reads, writes, spends time with friends, and participates in Gamma Rho Lambda activities, where she is Head of Public Relations. After graduating, she plans to move to New York, attend graduate school, and pursue a career as an editor for a publishing company. This is her first semester with Superstition Review.

1. What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

I am the Content Coordinator for Superstition Review. My tasks include regularly updating the submissions spreadsheet, assign material to genre editors to read, and make sure materials get responded to in good time. I like to think of myself as the “professional organizer” for the editors of Superstition Review.

2. Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?

I had an extremely encouraging professor, Judith Van. As soon as I expressed interest in a summer internship program in New York, not a day went by that she didn’t ask if I had applied to SR to jump-start my experience. It was that wonderful encouragement on top of all the good things I had heard about the online magazine that got me to finally apply.

3. How do you like to spend your free time?

Last semester, I rushed for the sorority Gamma Rho Lambda. It has been one of the best decisions of my life. I gained 18 sisters and a whole lot of responsibility as the head of Public Relations for GRL. I spend most of my free time hanging out with them, or fulfilling my sorority responsibilities. When I’m not doing that, I spend time with my roommates and my girlfriend, write, read, and dabble in photography.

4. What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?

I’d like to try my hand at being a Fiction Editor. My future goal is to be an editor for a book-publishing house, which will entail a lot of reading and evaluating of possible books. Fiction Editor seems like the small-scale version of that.

5. Describe one of your favorite literary works.

My favorite literary work of all time is The Fionavar Tapestry series by Guy Gavriel Kay. This series has been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic The Lord of the Rings by many and with good reason. Kay is a genius, one of the best I have ever read. The way he spins stories and creates such beautiful worlds and dynamic characters cannot be matched.

6. What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green for one of my classes. It’s an autobiographical work that describes Green’s own experiences as a transsexual man and offers a deeply insightful approach to all of the challenges transsexuals can still face today.

7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?

As of right now, I’m not working on much. My creative juices have become stagnant thanks to a little thing I like to call the world of academia. While school is in session, I like to focus all of my attention on my studies. As soon as summer break starts, I plan to revitalize some of my old stories. With a little bit of editing, they may be ready for publication. We’ll see.

8. What inspires you?

My grandmother, Sarita Mullin. She’s strong, independent, intelligent, hard working, caring, unbiased, and so many other great things. She has always been around to give me a hug or a swift kick in the butt when I needed it. She is by far one of the greatest women to ever walk the planet. If I’m half of the grandmother she has been to me, then I’ll be happy.

9. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of how hard I work. I devote a lot of time and energy into everything I do, be it work, school, my sorority, or this internship. I refuse to give anyone sub-par work, and I think that people appreciate it.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I will have obtained my M.S. in Publishing from NYU and have a job as an editor for a book publishing company. Hopefully, at this point my girlfriend of three years (so far) and I will have gotten married and be able to adopt kids.

Meet the Interns: Gina Rossi, Fiction Editor

Gina Rossi is a junior majoring in Creative Writing.

Superstition Review: What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

Gina Rossi: As Fiction Editor, my responsibilities mainly involve reading submissions and giving my input on what gets published.

SR: How did you hear about Superstition Review and what made you decide to get involved?

GR: I was looking for a publishing related internship and heard about SR through one of my professors. It seemed like the perfect internship for someone looking to learn more about the publishing field.

SR: What are you hoping to take away from your Superstition Review experience?

GR: I hope to read a lot of great fiction, improve my own writing/interviewing skills, and learn as much as possible about publishing an online literary magazine.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary or artistic works.

GR: Artistic work would have to be Picasso’s Guernica. I saw all 26 ft. x 11 ft. of it in person and it’s breathtaking, very odd but inspiring. As far as literary work, anything Jane Austen will do.

SR: What are you currently reading?

GR: Being Dead by Jim Crace.

SR: Who would be the Superstition Review contributor of your dreams?

GR: Andrea Avery Decker.

SR: Do you write or create art? What are you currently working on?

GR: I write short fiction. During the school semesters it’s hard for me to give ample amounts time to my personal projects so I’m writing drafts of stories for my classes.

SR: Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?

GR: I travel to San Diego a lot to spend time with my boyfriend. I enjoy photography, specifically black and white film photography that I develop myself. I love to bake/cook, read, learn yoga, and spend time with family.

SR: What is your favorite mode of relaxation?

GR: Ben & Jerry’s and a good classic movie–something Audrey Hepburn.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

GR: I’m hoping to be published by then, and happy, definitely happy.

Meet the Interns: Donald Weir, Fiction Editor

Donald Weir is an ASU Creative Writing student.

Superstition Review: What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?
Donald Weir: I am one of the Fiction Editors for Superstition Review. My responsibilities are to read submissions and decide which stories will be published.

SR: How did you hear about Superstition Review and what made you decide to get involved?

DW: I heard about Superstition Review from one of my teachers. I decided to get involved because I thought it would be a great experience.

SR: What are you hoping to take away from your Superstition Review experience?

DW: I hope to learn what it takes to make an online literary magazine and read a lot of fiction.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary or artistic works.

DW: I just finished reading Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson. It’s hard to pick favorites, so if what I’m currently reading is good it usually becomes my favorite till find something else.

SR: What are you currently reading?

DW: The Gates by John Connolly, The Gathering Storm by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan, and Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold.

SR: Who would be the Superstition Review contributor of your dreams?

DW: Dennis Johnson, I really like his work.

SR: Do you prefer reading literary magazines online or in print?

DW: I think I like to turn pages more than I like to scroll down but it is a lot more convenient to find your favorite authors online so I’m torn.

SR: Do you write or create art? What are you currently working on?

DW: I write. I’m working on a story for my fiction class.

SR: Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?

DW: I work at FedEx Ground and make buttons at a button factory, and I read a lot.

SR: What is your favorite mode of relaxation?

DW: To relax I listen to audio books while I run.

Meet the Interns: Heidi Nielson, Fiction Editor

heidinielson_0Heidi Nielson is pursuing concurrent degrees in English (Creative Writing) and Journalism (Digital Journalism), as well as a minor in Music.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Heidi Nielson: As a fiction editor, I send solicitations to authors for work, as well as for interviews, read, discuss, and decide on submissions along with Riki, and conduct at least one interview with an author.

SR: How did you hear about SR?

HN: I first heard about the internship while I was interning at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, working with Hayden’s Ferry Review. Shortly thereafter, I volunteered at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers’ Conference at ASU and was able to attend a class on literary journals that Patricia Murphy was teaching, and met with her after the class ended. During the last issue, I helped with the blog, though I wasn’t officially an intern. I’m very excited to be an intern this semester.

SR: What is your favorite section of SR and why?

HN: As a fiction writer, I tend to gravitate toward the fiction section of any journal first. I am an avid reader, as well as a writer. I feel like I learn the most about writing fiction from reading the work of more experienced and talented writers, like those in Superstition Review.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

HN: My dream contributor would probably be Jhumpa Lahiri. Her prose is beautiful, and I admire the way that she is able to immerse her readers in Bengali culture.

SR: What job would you like to try out?

HN: Probably blogger. I really enjoy social media and had a lot of fun when I helped with the blog during the last issue.

SR: What are you most excited for?

HN: I would say that I am most excited to just read submissions. We are writing to so many amazing writers this semester to request work.

SR: What is the first book you remember falling in love with?

HN: I think the first book I fell in love with was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. What made that book so compelling to me as a child, I think, was that their family felt so similar to my own. I come from a family of six girls, and one boy, and the personalities of myself and the three sisters closest to me in age, always seemed so similar to the four sisters in Little Women.

SR: What are you currently reading?

HN: I’m currently reading a compilation of T.C. Boyle’s short stories, entitled simply, Stories.

SR: What are your favorite websites to distract you from homework?

HN: I noticed that most people were saying Facebook, and I can’t deny that I do check it more than once a day, but I think the website that usually distracts me from homework the most is etsy.com. It’s a website of handmade or vintage items, and I can just spend hours browsing through the thousands of items. I also get distracted by my Google Reader. I subscribe to about 50 blogs, and so I’m almost constantly reading posts.

SR: Do you write? Tell us about a project you are working on.

HN: I write fiction, mainly short stories. I have been working on revisions of two stories I wrote for my fiction class last year since the last ended, and I’m on my sixth drafts of both.

Meet the Interns: Riki Meier, Fiction Editor

rikimeier_0Fiction Editor, Riki Meier, is a senior majoring in English Literature, part of The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Riki Meier: I’m a fiction editor, so I get to solicit work from authors I like, read submissions, and help determine which stories will be published in the next issue.

SR: How did you hear about or get involved with Superstition Review?

RM: I first heard about Superstition Review through WORD: Creative Writers @ ASU, another internship for which I’m serving, filling the role of President. As WORD’s President, I helped advertise the reading series to our members. I later learned through the Honors College listserv that Superstition Review was accepting applications for interns, and the opportunity just seemed too fantastic to pass up!

SR: What is your favorite section of SR?

RM: The Fiction section is my favorite, of course! Fiction is my passion. I love reading fiction (it’s a requirement for Literature majors) and I also write fiction as well.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

RM: Oh–I have two dream contributors! There’s no way I could choose between them. I would absolutely love to be able to publish Toni Morrison or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. They are both my literary idols.

SR: What job, other than your own, would you like to try out in the journal?

RM: Honestly, I’m so excited about my work this semester as fiction editor that I find it hard to consider any other positions at the journal!

SR: What are you most excited for in the upcoming issue?

RM: I am most excited about getting to contact my favorite authors and asking them to submit work. I think it’s a chance of a lifetime. When else will I be able to contact Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, etc., and ask them for a story or an interview? Just the thought of being able to interview someone like Marquez or Morrison is absolutely thrilling to me.

SR: What was the first book you remember falling in love with and what made it so special?

RM: Actually, the first thing I remember falling in love with when I was little was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” That story introduced me to magical realism, which I absolutely adore. It was also the first piece of literature that really got me thinking about larger social issues.

What are you currently reading?

RM: Right now I’m reading a lot of books on feminist theory, postcolonial theory, and cybercultural studies for research projects I’m working on. Other than my work at Superstition Review, I don’t have time to read anything else this semester, unfortunately. However, I have a copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Carlos Fuentes’ The Death of Artemio Cruz piled up on my nightstand just waiting for the day after final exams!

SR: What would be your dream class to take at ASU? What would the title be and what would it cover?

RM: That’s easy! It’s an MFA class currently being taught at ASU by Alberto Rios called “Magical Realism.” Not only does the class study great works written in the magical realism tradition, but you get to learn magical realism writing from a great magical realism writer!

SR: What are your feelings on digital medium?

RM: Oh, that’s a loaded question for me as I’m studying an online book discussion group for one of my big research projects. New media allows for a new hybridity of virtual/physical, public/private, sacred/profane, work/play, and even male/female. It is through narrative discourse that discursive and cultural practices are formed and diffused throughout society, and these practices, in turn, work to form the framework within which identities are constructed. As media types and forms of expression evolves and extends to virtual environments, a deeper exploration of cybercultural studies is necessary to deconstruct and understand the new identities being formed.

I believe there is an intrinsic connection between literature studies and rhetoric studies, and that there is an evolution of literature and narrative in progress that is the result of technological advancements. Today, multiple narrative forms—including literature—are evolving and adapting to online and multimodal environments. I maintain we must study communities of practice to understand the impact these virtual environments have on narrative and on the people who produce and consume these narratives.

Spotlight on Rebekah Richgels, by Danielle Kuffler

rebekahrichgels_1Danielle Kuffler: What is your process when reviewing a submission?

Rebekah Richgels: I generally skip the title and dive straight into the story. If it is poorly punctuated or confusing, sometimes I have to start over. Once I am about a third of the way through, if I’m not invested in the story yet I call it a No. As I read, I look for character development and depth, interesting subject matter that draws me in and keeps me reading, and a coherent plot. Ideally these things also come with good prose. If a story has all that I say Yes. I love that we do a blind read of the stories so we aren’t swayed by the author’s fame or lack thereof.

DK: What has been your best SR moment?

RR: My best moment with SR was definitely when Sara Scoville and I interviewed TC Boyle. I was really nervous ahead of time, but he made everything really relaxed and the whole experience turned out amazingly.

DK: What has been your worst SR moment?

RR: It’s not that bad, but my worst SR moment was at the beginning of Fall 2008, when I accidentally solicited from a poet and he emailed back telling me he didn’t do fiction. I tried to respond in a joking way and also pass the blame, which made us all look pretty unprofessional. I learned from it, though, and I’m a lot more thorough with my solicitations now.

DK: What is your favorite book or author/poet?

RR: My favorite author is John Steinbeck, but I also love reading pieces by Rick Reilly, former writer for Sports Illustrated.

DK: What was the first book you ever read?

RR: I’m not sure about the first book I ever read, but the first ones I remember reading were the Boxcar Children series. I read so many of them that I even had a dream where I was reading one.

DK: What skills of yours are most beneficial to SR?

RR: I like to think that I work pretty hard to get through the things we need to do. I can sit down and run through a lot of work in a day if that’s what we need to catch up. I think I do a good job, too, of explaining situations to other people, like Sarah Dillard, my other fiction editor, so that she felt up to speed with our jobs here.

DK: What are you reading currently?

RR: I just finished Leaving Atlanta, Tayari Jones’ first book, and am starting Which Brings Me To You, the collaborative novel between Julianna Baggott and Steve Almond. I am also reading Bright Lights, Big City, by Jay McInerney for my Literary Forms class.

DK: What is your favorite work of nonfiction?

RR: I guess I would have to say Ghost Soldiers, the book about the Bataan Death March, because it was the first nonfiction book I had ever chosen to read. I really prefer the fiction world.

DK: What is your favorite work of art or artist?

RR: I love Rodin. For some reason, his sculptures seem especially beautiful to me.

DK: What are some advantages to working in the online format of SR?

RR: The best advantage of working online is the space. We have no limit to how much we publish, and aren’t limited by printing costs either.

DK: What kind of experiences have you gained at SR that will help in your future?

RR: I have learned better responsibility and independence, as well as increased diplomacy and really great connections to the literary world.

Guest Article: Spotlight on Kelly Vo, by Asonta Benetti

kellyvo_0
Kelly Vo.

Superstition Review student intern Asonta Benetti interviewed past intern Kelly Vo to see how she was impacted by her experiences with SR:

“It really was not a planned internship,” Kelly Vo remembers, “but I know that without the amazing experiences I had at Superstition Review, I wouldn’t be as prepared for the next steps of my life.” Vo started with SR in Spring 2008, helping kick off the premier issue by holding down the Fiction Editor position with another colleague. “I didn’t know how much work and time went into getting an online magazine off the ground and running,” she recollects. “Creating a new magazine is a huge project and I know that it would not have turned into such a wonderful magazine if it wasn’t for the fact that we all collaborated and worked together to make a great product.”

Vo is currently an intern at E.B. Lane Publishing, working in the advertising Account Management sector. She plans to graduate this coming December and has applied to join Teach for America. “I very much enjoyed being an intern for Superstition Review. It was an amazing experience. I had never worked on a magazine before and I never really thought it would be something that I would enjoy but it ended up being a blast.”