Meet the Review Crew: Jamie Acevedo

Jamie Acevedo is an Interview Editor at Superstition Review, and a senior in his final semester working towards a bachelors degree in English focused on Literature with a minor in Religious Studies. After graduation he aspires to attend an MFA program in a new part of the country, maybe the southeast or west coast, and work on his goal becoming an accomplished writer of fiction.

Jamie moved to Tempe from New York to attend Arizona State University to pursue his goal of studying literature and has found life in the southwest to be an enlightening experience. Originally focused on critical theory and literary criticism he discovered a passion for writing short stories in his freshman year and has recently started working on creative nonfiction and biographies. He loves reading literary magazines, which he was introduced to after taking a course on pursuing publication taught by Superstition Review‘s founding editor Patricia Colleen Murphy. This internship has provided him with an opportunity as an Interview Editor to work with authors he has been reading and studying in creative writing classes and really admires.

His personal definition of art is that it is a tool that allows human beings to communicate abstract concepts and complicated emotions with each other. The writers who have had the biggest influence on him are those who seem to have made unique insights into the human condition. These include the short stories of Jhumpa Lahiri, Flannery O’ Connor, Stephen Crane and James Joyce and the novels of Robert Stone and Thomas Pynchon. He also enjoys novels that tackle religious and ideological themes like those of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and George Orwell. In addition to works of fiction he also enjoys reading essays on literary criticism, especially those on postcolonialism and reader response criticism.

Outside of literature and writing Jamie enjoys sports, hiking, cycling and travel. After this semester he plans to spend time in Puerto Rico to visit family.

Meet the Review Crew: Interview Editor Erin Caldwell

Each week we will be featuring one of our many talented interns here at Superstition Review.

Erin Caldwell is the Interview Editor at Superstition Review, an undergraduate English major, a nanny, and a barista. After her graduation form ASU in May, she plans to go on an extended whirlwind national tour playing bass guitar with her band Dogbreth. During her tour of the US, Erin hopes to complete a collection of poems and short stories that are expected to be printed by local Phoenix press, Lawn Gnome Publishing. Right now, Erin’s main career goal is to create extracurricular writing workshops and literary magazine programs for children and teens in rural and urban areas.

Living through a nomadic childhood, Erin found a sense of stability in her book collection. A lifelong fan of fiction and poetry, her favorite books as a child were The Phantom Tollbooth and Where the Sidewalk Ends. Her tastes have grown to include works by Truman Capote, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, JD Salinger, and Joyce Carol Oates. If she had to choose one book to read for the rest of her life, it would probably be To Kill a Mockingbird or Nine Stories. Drawing upon these influences, Erin writes essays, stories, and poems based on her own experiences.

Her favorite aspect of the small-press literary world is being able to read work from famous authors and emerging writers side-by-side. Ploughshares, Tin House, and The Believer are her top magazine picks. Through her time with Superstition Review, she will get to interview new and established authors printed in such publications. These conversations will give insight into the literary world by the people living in it.

Intern Highlight: Marie Lazaro

Interview Editor Marie Lazaro is a senior at Arizona State University. She will be graduating in December from the School of Letters and Sciences with a degree in Literature: Writing and Film. Upon graduating, she plans on broadening her horizons with hopes of writing for TV and movies as well as continuing to find work within the industry of magazines. Originally from New Jersey, she plans on heading back east to New York City to experience the lifestyle and find possible job opportunities before ultimately returning back to Arizona. This is her first semester with Superstition Review.

In the link below, Marie shares some of her experience with online literary magazines.

Marie Lazaro


Intern Highlight: Christina Arregoces

 

Interview Editor Christina Arregoces is a sophomore at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is studying Creative Writing as an English major and has a focus in fiction. She is a writer for The State Press, and is the recipient of the 2011 Jane Shaw Jacobs Award for Fiction. Upon graduating in 2014, she hopes to attend law school and pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer, while continuing to cultivate her love of writing. This is her second semester at Superstition Review, and she is looking forward to being an Interview Editor this time around.

Click on the link below to watch a video where Christina gives us an insight into her writing.

Christina Arregoces

Just Write

Britney Gulbrandsen is an Interview Editor at Superstition Review. When not interviewing authors she spends her time reading, writing, crafting and spending time with her family.

I’ve recently been asked the question, “How do you write?” The question has been posed several different ways, the language varied depending upon the person asking, but the message remains the same: what is my process for writing?

Well, my first reaction to this question was, “I just put my pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard, depending upon my mood—and write.” But I wasn’t going to get out of the question that easily. So I examined my process more closely to think of what my method actually was.

Here is what I came up with:

  1. Sit down with a blank page looming in front of me.
  2. Turn on some light music (my writing playlist on iTunes).
  3. Stare into oblivion.
  4. Check my email.
  5. Update my Facebook status.
  6. Turn to my list of ideas or my list of things that inspire me.
  7. Check my email again.
  8. Finally begin to write.

Now I know that sounds like a joke, but ninety percent of the time, that is actually what I do when I sit down to write. But the real depth of my process comes from the tips I’ve gained and learned from experience.

My Tips:

  1. Read as much as I possibly can. I’m a firm believer that the more you read, the better you will write.
  2. Read the genres that I want to write, as well as many others. I read everything: novels, short stories, poetry, essays, memoirs, magazines, newspapers, articles, blogs, etc.
  3. Keep pieces that inspire me near my writing desk. When I’m feeling a lack of creativity, I turn to one of them.
  4. When an idea comes to me, I write it down immediately. I’ve learned through experience that I won’t stop and write things down in a notebook I carry with me. It just won’t happen. But I do have an app on my phone that allows me to write notes to myself as well as to make checklists. So when I think of something intriguing that might work itself into a story, I quickly type it into my phone. Then I transfer it to paper later on when I have more time.
  5. Develop my characters. This is crucial. Characters will transform the story. When writing a longer work, such as a novel, I get to know my main character(s) before I begin to write. I go through every detail until I feel that, in a way, I have become my character. This means that I work through the character’s hobbies, fears, dreams, motivation, favorites (movie, book, food, song, store, activity, etc.) most tender memory, what he/she would grab in a fire, every aspect of what that character looks like, each personality trait, and much more. I want to get to know my characters from the inside out. Generally, most of this information won’t make it into the actual story itself, but it will help me understand my character so I will know what he/she would do or say in a certain situation.
  6. If I need to stop writing before I finish the story, I go back and reread the past few sentences or so before I sit down to write the next time. This helps get me back in the mindset of my story and characters.
  7. I write down everything that comes to my mind. Lots of things won’t make it into my final draft, but none of that matters now. Something raw—even a list of sorts—can help lead me to some revelation later on. The first write-through is for ideas. It’s all about getting the story out.
  8. Let go of whatever ending I have in mind if it just doesn’t work. I once had this “grand” idea for a short story that I had created from beginning to end in my mind. When I finished actually writing it, I realized the ending didn’t work. My character would never do what he did in my story. So I erased that portion and let my character guide me based on what he would actually do. The ending is so much crisper and realistic now.
  9. Revise, revise, revise and then be done with it. I’ve learned that I can always make changes to my work. In my mind, it will never be good enough to get published. I may think it’s ready, but if I put it away for a week, take it out, read it again, I will inevitably find something to change. But at some point, enough is enough. It’s time to try to get it published.

I’m learning more and more every day. Each time I sit down to write, I learn something new. But the biggest thing I’ve learned is to just write.

 

Meet the Interns: Stacie Fraser

Interview Editor Stacie Fraser is in her senior year at Arizona State University. She is studying English Literature and will be graduating in May. All of the years spent attending classes at ASU she has also been working for Sparky’s Stadium Shop located on the Tempe Campus. After graduating, she hopes to apply her skills learned throughout college and her time at Superstition Review, to a career in editing and publishing. This is her first semester working with Superstition Review.

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

I am an Interview Editor at Superstition Review. I am responsible for selecting authors to interview for our page. My position has me selecting authors, emailing them and asking them if they would be willing to be interviewed for our magazine. I then create a list of interview questions specifically for that author.

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

I applied to Superstition Review because it is a great learning opportunity. It also allows me to become more familiar with lesser known authors.

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

I love spending my free time outside in Arizona’s beautiful sunshine, running and swimming. I also love going to the movies with friends and reading novels.

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

I would also like to experience everything that the fiction section editor’s have to do at Superstition Review. I am very interested in editing novels for a career.

5. Describe one of your favorite literary works.

I am a huge fan of Salman Rushdie. His novel The Moor’s Last Sigh is one of his best works. Moraes Zogoiby, also called Moor, is the narrator who ages twice as fast as normal humans. The novel is full of magical realism, hybridity and allegory.

6. What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Blood on the Forge, by William Attaway, for a Protest Literature course. When school is not in session, I enjoy reading books by Janet Evanovich. Her works are much lighter and easier to read than most of the novels recommended for my college courses. Even though I am an English Literature major, I have not read some great classics. Once I graduate I plan to start at the top of my list and read many famous authors like Emily Dickens and J. D. Salinger.

7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?

I am currently toying with the idea of writing fiction short stories. In the past I have written poetry, but all of my writing has been for personal accomplishments, not publication, and will most likely continue that way for a while longer.

8. What inspires you?

My personal drive for success and happiness is my biggest inspiration. I want to be able to handle whatever life throws at me.

9. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my college education. Graduation in May will be the best achievement I have accomplished so far. I cannot wait to continue with life and hope to be on a successful career path.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I hope to be working in San Francisco, or some west coast city, for a publishing company as an editor.

Meet the Interns: Britney Gulbrandsen

Interview editor Britney Gulbrandsen is entering into her senior year at Arizona State University. She will graduate in December with a degree in Literature, Writing, and Film. This is her second semester working with Superstition Review, and she hopes her experience here will help her accomplish her dreams and goals of becoming a published writer. She is currently undergoing her last sweep of revisions on a set of short stories, poems, and an essay that she will hopefully send in to some literary magazines later this semester.

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

My position with Superstition Review is Interview Editor. My responsibilities with this position are to choose writers I would like to interview, e-mail them and ask if they would agree to be interviewed, research them and read various works they have written, formulate well-informed interview questions, and correspond with the interviewees.

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

In the spring of 2010, I interned with Superstition Review for the first time as a Nonfiction Editor because I took a class with Patricia Murphy, the managing editor, the semester before. I really enjoyed working for the literary magazine, so I decided to try it out again.

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

I spend most of my free time playing with my new baby son. He was born on September 6, 2010 and keeps me very busy. I also enjoy cuddling up with my husband for movie date night, reading, writing, scrapbooking, crafting, skimming magazines, shopping, and game nights with friends and family.

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

I would love to try out the fiction editor position or the blogger position for Superstition Review.

5. Describe one of your favorite literary works.

This is the same answer I gave the last time I interned with Superstition Review, but one of my favorite literary works is the short essay “Why I Write” by Joan Didion. It really resonates with me. I find myself re-reading it over and over again. It gets me ready to write something new. It makes me want to conquer my writing fears, increase my confidence, and send something in to get published. I don’t know why this is, I simply know that I love it.

6. What are you currently reading?

Honestly, I’m currently only reading books that are required for my classes. I, sadly, don’t have much time for reading other than that right now. But I did finish Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert this past weekend.

7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?

I’m currently beginning my first memoir. Also, I have various short stories, poems, and an essay that I am finishing final revisions on so I can send them in to literary magazines and contests.

8. What inspires you?

Reading blogs. Different blogs inspire me for different reasons and in different ways. Some inspire me to write more or help me write better. Some inspire me to be a better wife, mother, friend, and person. Other blogs inspire me to get creative with crafts, décor for my house, gifts, and date night with my husband. And some simply inspire me to reach my full potential.

9. What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the fact that I didn’t decide to drop out of school when I had my baby. I’m determined to push through it, 15 credit hours at a time, until I graduate in December.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I see myself as a published writer with three more kids, a few finished books, and hopefully my masters degree.