Meet the Review Crew: Scott Blair

Each week we feature one of our many talented interns here at Superstition Review.

Scott Blair worked as an Art Editor for Superstition Review in the fall of 2010 and enjoyed it so much that he came back for a second semester. Now stepping into the role of Content Coordinator, Scott’s gaining a different perspective on all the work that goes into creating and marketing such an impressive journal.

Scott shies away from social media, going as far as to proudly point to his four-year-old Twitter account that has never sent a tweet. At 30 years old, Scott remembers chartrooms at 28k, how Gmail addresses used to be by invitation only, and when MySpace pages only had plain white backgrounds. He doesn’t consider himself a technophobe, but finds TVs that report your usage and cell phone apps that tag your location to be a bit disturbing.

This semester Scott will graduate with a writing focused degree in English from ASU. Come fall, he’ll be back on campus working toward his Master’s in Secondary Education. By the time he graduates again, Scott should be highly qualified by Arizona standards to teach Biology, English, and General Science. Every once and a while, Scott thinks about taking the three classes he’d need to be qualified to teach choir as well, but three specialties seems to be enough. His ideal career would be in the English department of a public school but because the Sciences are in demand and English teachers less so, he expects to work in biology until a spot opens.

Meet the Review Crew: Winona Manrique

Each week we feature one of our many talented interns here at Superstition Review.

Winona Manrique, Social Networking intern at Superstition Review, is a graduating senior at ASU. Having worked on Issue 8 of Superstition Review as Content Coordinator, she came on board for a second semester with the magazine to learn even more about the process of publishing.

Winona writes fiction as a hobby, which is how she first came to be interested in the publishing world. She has participated in NaNoWriMo four times in the last two years (twice in summer) with a 50% success rate. The writing community in the East Valley has allowed her tremendous opportunities both as a writer and a reader. She won the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Award for fiction with her first ever short story.

Born in New England, Winona has moved more times than she cares to count. She studied abroad in England and fell in love with Stonehenge, Beowulf, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. She is currently applying to postgraduate programs in the United Kingdom to study Medieval History, something her English Literature major has allowed her a unique opportunity to specialize in.

Intern Highlight: Winona Manrique

Content Coordinator Winona Manrique is a senior at Arizona State University. She will graduate Spring 2012 with a BA in English Literature. Her short story “Back to the Hearth” won the 2011 Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Award for 2nd place in Fiction. Originally from Connecticut, she plans to move to New York City to pursue a career in publishing and one day become a published author. This is her first semester at Superstition Review.

Click here to hear Winona read one of her short stories.

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.

Progress Update: Closing In

With just over three weeks left in our submissions period, Superstition Review staff are reaching a critical point in Issue 6. Submissions are pouring in and our section editors are reading and sorting them daily.

Our photoshopper has been busy formatting the head shots of confirmed authors as well as staff. We’re also looking to our Advertising Coordinator to develop new ways to expand our readership. Interview Editors are continuing their research by listening to National Public Radio broadcasts and reading previous interviews from our selected authors. This is allowing them to form more refined interview questions.

Content Coordinator Carrie Grant has confirmed poets James Hoggard and Amanda Auchter for this semester’s issue. Hoggard’s work has been published in Mississippi ReviewHarvard Review and others. His most recent work, out of the 19 books he’s published, is Triangles of Light: The Edward Hopper Poems.

Author of The Glass Crib, Amanda Auchter‘s writing has appeared in numerous reviews and magazines and she has received accolades from Crab Orchard Review and Bellevue Literary Review, among others. We look forward to their work with Superstition Review.

In addition to providing these weekly updates on our progress, I strive to provide information on Superstition Review authors, and upcoming literary events in the community. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for features on Matthew Gavin Frank and Melissa Pritchard.


Meet The Interns: Madeline Beach

Madeline Beach is currently completing her final semester hours to earn the designation of a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. At this time, Madeline is professionally working as a technical writer and enjoys seeing the worlds of technology and literacy work together in tandem, in both professional and academic settings. This is Madeline’s second semester with Superstition Review as she enjoys being closely involved with the ever-growing revolution of online publishing.

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

Madeline Beach: Currently I hold the position of Content Coordinator. My responsibilities include receiving and tracking all submissions received as a part of our open submission period.

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

MB: I first learned about Superstition Review when I took a course led by the journal’s Managing Editor Trish Murphy. The course involved researching and studying Literary Magazines, so I felt the best next step was to become familiar with the publication process. After having interned last semester, I felt that continuing to gain experience in online publishing would prove invaluable to my future career endeavors.

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

MB: Currently, I work full-time as a Project Administrator at a large financial company. After my workday ends, I rush home to begin my schoolwork. In the spare time I have, I write short essays for practice, perfecting my skills as a writer.

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

MB: I think it would great to gain experience in the actual web design process of online publishing.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary works.

MB: My favorite literary work, which as written by Tammy Delatorre, is titled Gifts from my Mother. The piece is a cynical coming of age tales that describes the “gifts” a young girl receives from her mother. At night the narrator’s mother leaves her young daughter in the car while she frequents the local bar. The mother brings her daughter the parasols and olives from her drinks at the bar, which the daughter sarcastically remarks as being so thoughtful. I like the feel of the story because it is dark and poignant, telling the short story of a young girl’s experience of her mother.

SR: What are you currently reading?

MB: I have recently begun to re-read 1984, by George Orwell. A co-worker and I were discussing the film and I felt the urge to read the book again to better familiarize with the details.

SR: Creatively, what are you currently working on?

MB: I am currently finishing a piece of creative non-fiction, detailing my experience of my father’s untimely death and how I felt caring for him at a young age.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

MB: I see myself as a leader within my employer’s brand management services division, editing work that is submitted for approval, prior to publication.

Meet the Interns: Michael Volkers, Content Coordinator

Michael Volkers is a junior studying English Literature.

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

Michael Volkers: I am the Content Coordinator and my responsibilities primarily lie in keeping tabs of the content to be published on the magazine.

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

MV: I heard about SR through the English department’s e-mail distribution, which I acted upon, and here I am!

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

MV: I hope my experience with SR will create a foothold into a possible career in publishing. I also hope it will improve my writing by learning the processes behind literary publishing.

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

MV: Oh, now that is a difficult one. I have so many favorites, but lately I was introduced to Salvador Plascencia’s People of Paper, which is a brilliant piece of work. For those who have not read it, it is a very postmodern novel that involves a great battle between the novel’s characters and the author himself over the commodification of sadness. I highly recommend it.

SR: What are you currently reading?

MV: I am currently reading The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism for school and Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five for fun.

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

MV: I would like to try out being a Fiction Editor. I think it would be a great experience.

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

MV: I am torn on that one. I prefer to hold published material in my hands, but the convenience of the internet is great. Lately I have been reading both.

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

MV: I write fiction in my spare time. I have a several pieces of short fiction I need to polish and a novel in the works. My friends are prodding me to write a screenplay as well.

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

MV: Most of my time outside of SR is devoted to homework, my day job at a law office, and spending time with family and friends.

SR: What is your favorite mode of relaxation?

MV: For relaxation I like to pick up a horror novel or troll the internet.

Meet the Interns: Michelle Leabo, Content Team Manager

michelleleabo_0Michelle Leabo is a Senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences majoring in English with a concentration in Literature.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Michelle Leabo: As Content Team Manager, it is my job to keep SR’s content organized. I make sure that our spreadsheets are continually updated. One of my major responsibilities is to ensure that no work get lost. I remain in close contact with other teams and practice excellent communication between my teammates and other interns.

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

ML: I heard about Superstition Review last semester when I took a class with Patricia Murphy and answered her Call for Interns. This is the first issue of SR that I’ve been involved with.

SR: What is your favorite section of SR? Why?

ML: My favorite section is Interviews. They are so personal, honest, and candid; one really gains insight into the work of an author or artist by asking questions. I enjoy the intimacy that interviews allow for. I also enjoy forming interview questions and conducting them.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal? Talk about him/her.

ML: Toni Morrison. She is such an established writer and I feel as if she could provide not only great material, but great strength to the magazine. I believe she still occasionally teaches courses; perhaps she would be willing to respond to a student-edited literally magazine.

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

ML: I would like to tackle the role of the editor.

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

ML: I am most excited to keep all of our content organized and to succeed in not losing any work.

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

ML: I remember reading Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt in 5th grade and absolutely falling in love with it. This book recounts a fictional family’s life throughout the Civil War. Through its characters, it taught me that people who lived even centuries ago experienced the same happiness and heartbreak as people today and that we can relate to them. Irene Hunt remains one of my favorite authors; other favorites of mine from her are The Lottery Rose and Up a Road Slowly.

SR: What are you currently reading?

ML: I am currently reading a collection of short stories. I love the art of the short story; I am a fan of Hawthorne, Faulkner, and Joyce.

SR: What artist have you really connected with, either in subject matter, work, or motto?

ML: Through subject matter, work, and motto, I have connected with Faith Hill. She sings about aspects of life and love that I can relate to. Her music expresses the importance of love, friendship, and family in life. She has a very classy composure, and least in my opinion, and I admire that; she’s hardly ever found on the cover of tabloids. She has a motto that family comes first and she always seems to honestly follow it.

SR: What are some of your favorite websites to waste time on or distract you from homework?

LM: I’m a fan of Lucille Ball and I enjoy searching for information and memorabilia relating to her and ‘I Love Lucy’. I’m also a fan of the Duggar family from TLC’s ‘18 and Counting’ so I enjoy following them through clips on YouTube and sites of that nature. They’ve recently announced they’re expecting their 19th child!

Meet the Interns: Lynda Farrell, Content Coordinator

lyndafarrell_0Content Coordinator, Lynda Farrell, is a senior at ASU West majoring in Political Science and English.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR? Please list job activities/explanation.

Lynda Farrell: I’m the Content Coordinator, which basically means that I make sure that everything that is supposed to make it in the final product, makes it in the final product, and doesn’t get lost somewhere along the way. And I keep it all organized while I’m at it.

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

LF: This is my first time working with Superstition Review, and I heard about this internship from Professor Murphy, right after taking her Poetry 310 class.

SR: What is your favorite section of SR? Why?

LF: The art section, because I love seeing the different examples of people’s interpretations of life.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

LF: Probably Taylor Mali (look up his work on YouTube), because I think he’s very, very clever. At the very least an interview would be interesting from him.

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

LF: I think I would like to try out the Photoshop Editor’s position. While I’m not great at Photoshop, I like what I’ve done on the program before.

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

LF: Seeing how it all comes together. I know that’s kind of a weak answer, vague, but it’s really my favorite part of a project. I love the feeling of accomplishment at the end of something I and many others have worked hard on.

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

LF: Oh, wow. Probably my first book, Let’s Pretend. It was the first time I was able to read on my own, and it opened a whole new avenue, a whole new universe. My mom’s favorite story to tell about my childhood is the entire year where I walked around with that book, until it fell completely apart. I was devastated.

SR: What are some of your favorite websites to waste time on or distract you from homework?

LF: It’s a news site that, well, leans left. The best part is the way it’s organized; I can see each story and choose which ones I want to pick, or I can choose to read only the US Politics site, or only the World Politics site, or Health, or Entertainment. Not every story on each makes it to the main page, but I have to say I’m on that site more than once a day, usually. Great for learning about the world and time killing.

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

LF: Okay, there’s two that I’ve always wanted to see listed, but never have. The first is Underwater Basket Weaving, because although I’ve always heard it as a saying about how easy some classes are, I think it would be really difficult, and really interesting. I mean, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve never done any kind of craft project underwater. It would at least be an experience. Other than that, I would want to take a history class about Women in the Renaissance, or maybe something about how there have been values placed on women in most cultures and times.

SR: What are your feelings on digital medium?

LF: I have massively mixed feelings about digital media. On one hand, it’s a great tool for connecting quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, it has cut out a lot of personal interaction, leaving people sadly lacking in people skills. I love my Kindle because it is easier to take while traveling, it takes less raw material from the earth, and the books end up being less expensive (and my bookshelves stop looking like a disaster area); but there is absolutely no replacement for being able to hold a new book, smell it, and just feel the tactile sensation that reminds me of all that I loved in childhood. I will say that I had absolutely no problem replacing CDs and tapes with my iPod. Not a single qualm.