Check out Arizona State University’s new creative writing lecture series hosted and moderated by Mitchell Jackson, Guggenheim fellow, Pulitzer winner, and the John O. Whiteman Dean’s Distinguished Professor of English at ASU. Join Jackson as he welcomes two-time National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward as the inaugural guest at this virtual event via Zoom on Friday, February 4, 2022, at 6 p.m AZ/MST.
The Conversations in Craft and Content lecture series is free of charge and open to the public. Take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about Jesym Ward’s craft including her writing and revision process, philosophies that guide her, and ideas about her work.
Learn more about the moderator, guest, and series on the Department of English’s website and register here!
Today’s Intern Update features Lindsey Bosak, a fiction editor from Issue 12 of Superstition Review.
With a BA in English Literature and History as well as an MA in Library and Information Science, Lindsey began working as an Award Manager for Yale University just this September, where she reviews, negotiates, and approves terms and conditions for grants and cooperative agreements.
She has also worked as a Grant and Contract Officer for The Office of Research and Sponsored Projects Administration at ASU, working with a Research Advancement Team to look over financial proposals and submit them to a sponsor.
We are so proud of you Lindsey!
If you’d like to learn more, you can visit Lindsey’s LinkedIn here.
Authors Kristin Grady Gilger and Julia Wallace, both faculty at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, discuss and sign copies of their book about women newsroom leaders.
There’s No Crying in Newsrooms tells the stories of remarkable women who broke through barrier after barrier at media organizations around the country over the past four decades. They started out as editorial assistants, fact checkers and news secretaries and ended up running multi-million-dollar news operations that determine a large part of what Americans read, view and think about the world. These women, who were calling in news stories while in labor and parking babies under their desks, never imagined that 40 years later young women entering the news business would face many of the same battles they did – only with far less willingness to put up and shut up.
The female pioneers in There’s No Crying in Newsrooms have many lessons to teach about what it takes to succeed in media or any other male-dominated organization, and their message is more important now than ever before.
PARKING / LIGHT RAIL
Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR KRISTIN GILGER is Senior Associate Dean at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She spent the first 20 years of her career at newspapers in five different states, beginning as a farm reporter in St. Cloud, Minnesota in the 1980s when family farms were going bankrupt at an alarming rate.She left the Midwest in search of warmer weather and landed at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, where she edited a prize-winning project on race relations and ran two of the paper’s suburban news operations. She was managing editor of the Salem Statesman Journal in Oregon’s capital city and then assistant managing editor for news at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix before moving to academia, where she has helped build one of the country’s most prominent journalism programs. She has conducted training in ethics, leadership and newspaper management throughout the U.S. and in several other countries. She holds a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska.
JULIA WALLACE is an award-winning news industry executive with deep experience in investigative journalism, industry leadership, digital transformation and change leadership. She was an intern at the Atlanta Journal in 1977 and never imagined that she would return there, becoming the top editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 25 years later. During her tenure, the Journal-Constitution won two Pulitzer Prizes and was nominated for two others. She was named E&P Editor of the Year in 2004. The newspaper aggressively moved into the digital age and was focused heavily on investigative reporting. Work during her time led to dozens of indictments of public officials and others. She also served as managing editor of USA TODAY, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Arizona Republic and executive editor of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. She led Cox Media Group Ohio for five years, running the news and other operations for three newspapers, a CBS station (WHIO) and three radio stations. Her first full-time journalism job was as a health reporter for the Norfolk (VA) Ledger-Star. Currently, she serves as the Frank Russell Chair at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. In that role, she has been involved in a variety of projects including head coach for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s “Initiative on Integrity and Leadership;” organizing and facilitating a speaker series on gender in the workplace; directing the Mayo Clinic-Cronkite Medical Journalism Fellowship and teaching investigative reporting in Albania and Lithuania. She teaches classes on the business of journalism, ethics and gender.
Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
The ASU Book Group’s September 2019 reading selection is “By the Forces of Gravity” by Rebecca Fish Ewan. The book group is open to all in the ASU community and meets monthly from noon–1 p.m. in the Piper Writers House on ASU’s Tempe campus. Haven’t read the book? Come anyway! Authors are always present. A no-host luncheon follows at the University Club.
Ewan’s illustrated coming-of-age memoir, set in 1970s Berkeley, Calif., reflects on a childhood friendship cut short by tragedy. In an era of laissez-faire parenting, she drops out of elementary school and takes up residence in a kids commune—no parents allowed!—and we follow her, bestie Luna, and their hippie cohorts as they search for love, acceptance, and cosmic truths. Full of adventure and heartache.
Today we are happy to announce the news of past contributor and ASU Professor Sally Ball! Sally’s newest poetry collection titled Hold Sway is to be published in April by Barrow Street Press. The poems focus on one question – is there room for hope and optimism with the inevitability of massive climate change always looming? The poet wonders about the safety of her children, if her own acts of resistance are enough, and how politics will handle the disaster moving forward. Ball said, to in an article for ASU’s State Press, “There is this kind of tension between whether or not you’re allowed to have any optimism.”
More information about Sally’s poetry collection can be found here, three poems by Sally can be found in S[r}’s Issue 6.
One of the most important realizations of my life was that people are not one way, that they often do and say conflicting things not out of malice or to deceit, but because it a necessary part of the ever-changing human condition. There is a sort of dialectic behavioral therapy that must take place within all of our minds when we consider that good people can do very bad things and bad people can do very good things. This is the dynamic nature of humanity. It is unavoidable. It might be the only unchanging and shared characteristic of humanity.
And it is for this reason that I am drawn to literary fiction. There often isn’t a clear line between good and bad. The characters in literary fiction make terrible choices and deal with the repercussions. As a reader and editor, I want to read stories that sink deep into these chasms between right and wrong, stories that teach us something about what it means to be fallible and imperfect. I want to read stories that challenge me, that make me so angry I hold my breath until the final sentence, so sad that I think of the characters long after I finish the stories. I want to see myself and my flaws laid out before me. I want to read narratives that do not pass judgement but present a situation and ask me to consider a point of view I may never have arrived at myself.
Literary fiction is a conversation between all of the writers in the world, constantly arriving at theses only to have them blown up and reordered by the next. Show me a side of humanity only you can construct, the things that make your perception unique.
But above everything, I want to feel something. I want to finish a story, let take root in my brain and change my long-held beliefs. Whether it is characters, setting, plot, language, form, it doesn’t matter. The stories that stick with me are the ones that make me think about life in a way I couldn’t or wouldn’t. This is the goal of fiction, and this is the fiction I want to see adding to the literary conversation.
Spencer Litman is the fiction editor for Issue 23. He is a fiction writer and essayist living in Phoenix with his wife, Kristine, and his two children, Jayden and Aubrey. He is finishing his undergraduate degree in English with a creative writing concentration and hopes to attend an MFA program somewhere cold, with pine needles and snow.
There are two qualities that every good nonfiction story – every story that stands out to me, every story that I can’t stop thinking about, that I enjoy rereading again and again – shares, and those qualities are intentionality and subjectivity.
Intentionality is about construction. I want to read stories that are expressed with clarity and ease, stories in which each scene serves a purpose in the narrative and each word perfectly captures the scene the author wants to convey. Intentional writing is simple and unforced. An intentional story has everything it needs to feel complete, nothing excessive, unresolved or unnecessary.
I come from a background in journalism, and the newsroom is where I’ve gotten some of the best writing advice for news articles and for creative nonfiction alike. An editor recently told me: I don’t want obvious details, I want poignant details. Tell me what moved you, what caught your attention: those are the details I want to read. Another editor’s advice: don’t be afraid to declutter a story. Cut scenes or details that don’t serve a purpose or that don’t ‘spark joy’, in the parlance of Marie Kondo.
The second quality, subjectivity, is about content. I don’t just want to know what happened, but how it affected the author. No two people see the same event or person or place the same way, and I want to feel a writer’s unique perspective. I want to know: how was she affected by the events in the story? What relationship does she have with the people and places in the story? Where do they fit in her personal narrative?
Our relationships make us human. We change and define ourselves in relation to them, and we seek connection with and acceptance from them. Our subjectivity makes us human, too. We can never experience what it’s like to be anyone other than ourselves, but stories allow us to imagine and to empathize. That’s what I want out of a good story: not just to know that something happened, but to feel how it affected the person who experienced it.
Ellen O’Brien is the nonfiction editor for Issue 23. She’s a senior at Arizona State University pursuing a double major in journalism and philosophy with a minor in Arabic. She’s passionate about photography, literature, foreign policy and epistemology. After graduation, she plans to pursue a job in photojournalism or news editing and to attend law school.
Today we are happy to share news about past contributor Terese Svoboda. Terese’s new short story collection Great American Desert is to be published by Mad Creek books. The collection has found its home in the new genre of ‘cli-fi’, or climate fiction, as it explores the relationship between man and earth from the past to distant future.
The collection launches at the Corner Bookstore on March 26th at 6 pm in New York City. Terese will be in Phoenix to teach a workshop at Pipers Writing Studio on April 20th.
S[r]’s author interview with Terese can be found here, and her short story “Madonna in the Terminal” can be found here.
Today we are thrilled to share news of past contributor Jenn Givhan. Jenn’s debut novel, Trinity Sight, is available for preorder from Blackstone Publishing, and will be published October 1, 2019. The novel, inspired by indigenous oral-history traditions, takes a new spin on dystopian fiction. Jenn’s characters are confronted with dueling concepts of science, faith, modern identity and ancestral tradition as they attempt to understand how the world fell apart.