Meet the Review Crew: Jennie Ricks

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

Jennie Ricks is a Nonfiction Editor at Superstition Review. She is majoring in Literature, Writing, and Film with an emphasis in Creative Writing at ASU. Jennie is currently a senior and will graduate in May 2012. After graduation, Jennie plans to find employment in the editing and publishing fields. She loves to write and will continue working on her novel, fiction, and nonfiction pieces. Jennie’s excited to be a part of Superstition Review and the opportunities it gives her to understand the hands on processes of editing and publishing.

Jennie is an avid reader and is drawn toward a range of works by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Aimee Bender, Flannery O’Connor, and Edgar Allan Poe. She likes stories that are thought provoking and in high school, she read Lord of the Flies, by William Golding which got her hooked on books that pushed her to think and analyze. Jennie has many stories and books she considers favorites. When reading, she wants something that will make her remember the writing or the concept of the work.

There are many hobbies and talents Jennie has incorporated into her life. The first is writing. Jennie prefers fictional pieces, although many of the stories she writes surround nonfiction examples from her own life. She loves to run and has been running since her middle school years. Jennie has run a marathon but prefers training and running in half marathons. She enjoys hiking, golfing, and eating good food.

Originally Jennie started her education in Behavioral Science but put things on hold to get married and have children. Since finding herself a single mom of four kids, she decided to go back to school and finish her education in what she felt most passionate about, reading and writing. She loves the direction her life is taking and the opportunities opening up for her.

Intern Highlight: Emily Conley

Nonfiction Editor Emily Conley is a senior majoring in Technical Communication at Arizona State University. When she isn’t blogging, she volunteers as a secretary, newsletter editor, graphic designer, and website manager. Her career goals after graduating in May include freelance writing, designing for magazines, and working with nonprofit organizations. This is her first semester working with Superstition Review.

 

Click on the link below to listen to Emily share some of her literary inspirations.

Emily Conley

Meet the Interns: Terrah Hancock

Nonfiction Editor Terrah Hancock is an English Literature major at Arizona State University. One of her nonfiction essays, Snobbery Tower is being published in the upcoming edition of Lux Literary Magazine. She has also finished a working draft of her memoir entitled Singing Myself To Sleep and is in the editorial phase of publication. She aspires to attend graduate school at Vermont College of Fine Arts where her Creative Writing Thesis Project will be the tangled biography of a 26º Freemason’s son.

1.  What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?
This is my first semester with Superstition Review. As the Nonfiction Editor my responsibilities are to review submissions from authors. I correspond with the authors and then submit my vote on which submissions I think should be featured.

2.  Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?
I am usually on the submitting end of the publication process. I was curious to experience the other side, so I applied. I want to gain exposure to things like: the always dreaded and nerve wracking Query Letter and to witness how fellow writers develop and sustain relationships with literary magazines.

3.  Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?
I have a set of detailed and lofty academic and professional goals, so a great deal of my time is spent studying or writing in the basement of Hayden Library. Beyond striving to achieve my childhood dream of being a writer, I am the happy and playful mother of two beautiful sons.  We spend much of our time riding bikes, playing football or taking our three dogs to the dog park.

4.  What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?
I could see myself trying the Superstition Review Blog Editor only if it doesn’t exclude me from being able to read all the incoming submissions!

5.  Describe one of your favorite literary works.
I get asked this all the time and I contend that one favorite is impossible! I have a strong three way tie for my favorite work: Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Each of these books left me feeling immensely connected to humanity and with a deep compassion for all the things I’ll never know about other people’s lives.

6.  What are you currently reading?
After semesters full of close, analytic readings I yearn for a story that I don’t have to dissect and appraise. My very favorite story to get lost in is Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Like the gunslinger’s repeated journey, I read this entire series once a year. I love that I don’t study the sentence structure or even acknowledge that structure exists. Right now I’m reading The Art of Time in Memoir by Sven Birkerts.

7.  Creatively, what are you currently working on?
I am working on polishing the working draft of my first book right now. I completed my first draft over a year ago and have been following a detailed plan to achieve my eventual goal.  My manuscript is with my editor now and when we are finished with this lengthy editorial process, I’ll move along to the stage of acquiring publication and literary prestige!

8.  What inspires you?
I am inspired by the people who never gave up on their dreams. In 1888, Mona Caird wrote “Every good thing that we enjoy today was once the dream of a ‘crazy enthusiast’ mad enough to believe in the power of ideas and in the power of man to have things as he wills.” Also — one of my goals is to someday be an answer to one of The Writer’s Chronicle crossword puzzle questions!

9.  What are you most proud of?
I make sure to cherish every accomplishment in my life. Every semester, every essay, every test, every publication. I’m proud of my life collectively. Most recently, I’m very proud of my first publication. A short story of mine entitled, Snobbery Tower, was published just this month in a local literary journal.

10.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I wrote my first book at age six, entitled The Heart and The Ant. Ten years from now, I will still be on the path that began with that book. I will still be writing and possibly in school; hopefully on the other side of the podium by then. I’ll still be happy and proud. I’ll know that I never gave up on my dreams — maybe got distracted a few times, but I never quit.

Meet the Interns: Sarah Ladman

Nonfiction Editor Sarah Ladman is a senior at Arizona State University. She will be graduating in May 2011 with a degree in Literature, Writing, and Film, and a minor in Human and Family Studies. After graduation, she would like to break into the world of children’s literature, and hopes to begin writing her first book very soon. Her passion for children’s books and youth literacy has been nurtured by the years she has spent working with children as a preschool teacher. This is Sarah’s first semester with Superstition Review.

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

My position with Superstition Review is Nonfiction Editor. Some of my responsibilities include reviewing submissions, working with the other interns to vote on submissions, and get the word out about our spring issue launch.

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

I’m interested in possibly pursuing a career in the publishing field, so I felt it would be an excellent experience to intern with the Superstition Review. Previously, I took a course in writing pieces to submit to literary magazines, and now I have the chance to see the other side of the equation.

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

In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with my boyfriend, family, and friends, and traveling.

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

Many of the positions for Superstition Review sound very interesting, and I think they all offer valuable experiences. It would be interesting to try out the position of Fiction Editor, Open Submissions Content Coordinator, or even Advertising. Each of these positions differs from my current job, and I wouldn’t mind gaining experience in those areas as well.

5. Describe one of your favorite literary works.

It’s difficult to select a single favorite literary work, since there is such a massive collection of books I have loved over the years. Currently, my interest in children’s literature has led me to develop a love for the Series of Unfortunate Events collection of books, written by Lemony Snicket. Although these chapter books are intended for children from 9-13 years of age, the author takes a novel approach in his writing: he refuses to dumb down words or content. The plot follows a trio of siblings through their adventures as they try to uncover the mystery of their parents’ deaths, attempts to find a home, and discovering family secrets. The 12 book series is definitely a shining example of the type of children’s literature I would like to write in the future.

6. What are you currently reading?

Currently, I am just wrapping up Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. It is a humorous re-writing of the Jane Austen classic, with plenty of adventure weaved in, and has been a very enjoyable read.

7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?

I’m in the beginnings of writing what I hope to be the first of many children’s books. At the moment, I am only in the very early brainstorming stages, and have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m hoping to have a work in progress within the next several months.

8. What inspires you?

I’m inspired by literature that seeks to be different, eclectic stories for both children and adults, and everyday events.

9. What are you most proud of?

At the moment, my proudest accomplishment would have to be so close to receiving my degree in Literature, Writing, and Film. It was a busy four years for me, especially since I both worked and attended school full time. I’m proud that I was able to pull it all off, and learn a lot from my variety of courses.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I hope to be writing children’s books full-time, with a bit of freelance writing sprinkled in. It would be wonderful to be able to do my writing from home, so I can spend time with the family I imagine having by that time. Predicting specifics is tough, but I can only hope that I’ll still be busy reading, writing, and learning about life!

Meet The Interns: Christine Schmidt

Christine Schmidt will complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature, Writing & Film in December of this year, and plans to apply for graduate school to focus on liberal studies with an emphasis in creative nonfiction. She is co-founder and managing director of scribes at ASU, a creative writing club at Arizona State University, as well as a contributing writer for an online publisher. Currently, she is working on a collection of personal essays, and gaining a better working knowledge of social networking media, including blogging.

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

Christine Schmidt: My position with Superstition Review is Nonfiction Editor. My responsibilities in this role are to work with my counterpart, and managing editor, to identify and solicit 20 high-profile authors to submit works of creative nonfiction, view and assess submissions, collectively decide what work should be published, correspond with authors, and gather bios and photographs.

SR: Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?

CS: The reason I became involved with Superstition Review was for hands-on experience in a publishing capacity. Because my future career goals revolve around writing, publishing, and editing, this seemed the ideal internship.

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

CS: I spend my time juggling 15 credits, a freelance writing job, and I’m hoping to get involved this semester with the Writing Center on the Polytechnic Campus where I’d like to tutor other students with their writing.

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

CS: If I were to be offered a third internship on SR (last semester I interned as Interview Coordinator), another position I’d love to try out would be blogger. This summer, I created a simple blog and have been learning how to stick to a regular schedule of writing and posting, as well as adding widgets and other features to dress up the pages.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary works.

CS: One of my favorite literary works is a novel I recently read by Joyce Maynard entitled Labor Day, a fictional piece about a mother and son who are profoundly changed when a strange man appears in their lives. Her ability to flesh out her characters until the reader feels a part of the story is one of the qualities that keeps me coming back for more of her work.

SR: What are you currently reading?

CS: Currently, I am reading Joyce Maynard’s Internal Combustion, a nonfiction account of a dysfunctional family in Detroit and a terrible tragedy that ensues.

SR: Creatively, what are you currently working on?

CS: Creatively, I’m currently working on a collection of essays revolving around growing up with non-traditional (i.e., older) parents, as well as essays that further explore how these earlier life experiences have colored my role as an adult, including the mother-daughter relationship that has been passed down to my own family and is evolving into a unique–and sometimes crazy, sometimes lovely–dynamic.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I see myself enjoying the fruit of my education and passion for the art of the written word by writing, as well as working in some type of publishing/editing capacity.

Meet The Interns: Katie McCoach

Katie McCoach is in her senior year at Arizona State University majoring in Communications and Creative Writing with her focus in Fiction. Katie is originally from a small town in Maryland and decided on a whim to attend college 2000 miles away from her childhood home. She has had a nonfiction piece published in Kalliope and currently writes for a volunteer newsletter.

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

Katie McCoach: This is my first semester with Superstition Review as a Nonfiction Editor. It is my job to solicit submissions, correspond with authors, review submissions, and decide on which pieces will be published in the magazine. And at the end of the year we have our launch party for the issue.

SR: Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?

KM: I am very interested in the publishing business/world and there is no better way to learn about than be apart of it. I love that I get to be a part of the decision making process of what is published; it’s great to be able to show readers what these authors have in them and be a part of that.

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

KM: A lot of my time is spent on schoolwork and at my part-time job, but also a lot of it is spent writing; I’m completing my capstone in fiction and I write nonfiction and blog on the side. Besides that I love just being able to grab a margarita with my friends and unwind.

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

KM: I think interview editor would be a neat position. In my nonfiction class this summer I got a taste for interviewing and I also write mini interviews at my part-time job; I find interviewing different people so interesting because they all have stories to tell.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary works.

KM: I’ll have to say my favorite author instead, which is Augusten Burroughs. I’m pretty sure I read Sellevison first which is his only fiction piece and it’s hilarious, besides that I’ve read all his nonfiction works and love them. He is an incredible memoirist and my favorite pieces happen to be the simplest moments versus his crazy childhood or alcohol addiction. I love when memoirists make the small moments the most interesting and that is what I reach towards and will hope to find in submissions this semester.

SR: What are you currently reading?

KM: I just finished a young adult series by Scott Westerfeld called Uglies. Even though I should have outgrown young adult fiction by now, I think that they are the most enjoyable works; my favorite part of reading is just letting go and with Scott Westerfeld’s work I can do just that.

SR: Creatively, what are you currently working on?

KM: Right now I am working on my capstone project, which is a few fiction short stories and revising them a lot. And another longer project I’m working towards is a themed short story collection.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

KM: In 10 years? That’s too far to know! I am not one to overly plan my future because I know things never go as planned completely, but I do hope to be published, living in California and working with a publishing company or in the background of the movie industry. As long as I never stop writing and am happy–if in 10 years I can say that, then I’ve reached success.

Meet the Interns: Britney Gulbrandsen, Nonfiction Editor

Britney Gulbrandsen, our final intern interviewee for the semester, is a Literature, Writing, and Film major.

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

Britney Gulbrandsen: As one of the Nonfiction Editors for Superstition Review, my main responsibility is to read through all nonfiction submissions that are received and to help decide which of these we will publish. Alongside this, I am asked to create a list of 20 writers to solicit work from and a list of two people that I would be interested in interviewing. It is my job to create specific interview questions for each of these interviewees.

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

BG: I heard about Superstition Review from Patricia Murphy, the managing editor of the online literary magazine. I took one of her poetry classes last semester and received some information about the internship. I wanted to get involved because I thought it would be a great experience to learn more about the publishing process and to expand my knowledge of writing.

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

BG: I hope that through this experience, I will be able to learn more about the publishing field. I want to gain general work experience–such as completing assigned tasks and working with a group. I have already learned so much and feel that I have grown as a writer. I hope to expand that knowledge even further. I am excited and honored to be working for SR this semester.

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

BG: One of my favorite literary works is Why I Write by Joan Didion. I love the way that she explains why she became a writer and what that means to her. I feel that I can relate to her words in a lot of ways. I think Joan Didion writes beautifully.

SR: What are you currently reading?

BG: Right now, I am reading a slew of different things. First, I am reading a few different short story anthologies, such as The Oxford Book of English Short Stories and The Pushcart Book of Short Stories. I am also reading a lot of poetry from various authors. The main book that I am currently reading is Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. And, of course, I am reading lots of textbooks.

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

BG: I think I would enjoy trying out both the Fiction and Poetry Editor positions of SR. I love both of these genres and it would be really entertaining to read lots of submissions in these areas. I would also really love to try out the blogger position. I love to blog and I think it would be fun to come up with interesting blog posts pertaining to SR.

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

BG: I do write. It’s what I love to do. This semester, I am trying to expand my knowledge of writing and to get in lots of practice. I currently have four short stories that are in the rewriting, revising, and editing process. I have about 10 poems that I am working with, and I am deciding whether or not to keep working with them or to put them aside. Also, I started a novel about nine months ago. I may pull that out in the next couple of months and work further on it. Most recently, I started a personal essay that I am having a lot of fun writing.

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

BG: Besides writing, my other main hobbies include dancing, scrapbooking, reading, blogging, fashion, cooking, and spending lots of time with my husband.

SR: What is your favorite mode of relaxation?

BG: My favorite mode of relaxation would have to be curling up in a blanket with my husband, eating ice cream and watching a good movie.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

BG: In 10 years, I hope that I will still be writing and that I will be a published writer. I’m planning on having a few kids by then, so this may be a hard task to accomplish; but, I hope that I stick to it. My goal is to have a strict writing schedule and to be able to balance being a wife, a mother, and a writer. I hope to complete some sort of online creative writing master’s program and to learn all that I can about writing. In 10 years, I want to say that I have completed more than one novel, whether or not they are published.