A warm welcome on this warm afternoon, everybody! Today, Superstition Review is proud beyond reason to announce that former intern Elijah Matthew Tubbs, who was with us for the Fall of 2015 and the Spring of 2016, was recently featured by the good folks over at Passages North, an annual literary journal sponsored by Northern Michigan University, with his poem titled “In through a Door, out a Window.” Elijah is the founder of ELKE “a little journal,” which you can check out here, and his poem over at Northern Passages can be read here. Our congratulations to Elijah, and to our dear readers, stay posted for further updates on the successes of the staff and contributors of Superstition Review.
Where are they now?
We are so proud of our past and present staff here at Superstition Review, and we’ve decided to celebrate the accomplishments of our past interns throughout the month of April. Each day, we will feature an intern on social media and share what they’re up to now. Then, at the end of each week, we will share a wrap-up post of all our featured interns from that week. So, without further ado, we present our last week of intern spotlights:
1. Leah Newsom: Interview Editor, Issue 15 (Spring 2015) and Issue 16 (Fall 2015)
More details: Leah shares, “Since graduating with my BA in Creative Writing, I got an amazing job working as a content developer for a boutique design group called Monomyth Studio. I also returned to ASU as an MFA candidate in fiction (and am just now rounding out my first year). I still run Spilled Milk Magazine, an online literary magazine featuring brief prose and poetry. It’s great to continue engaging with my literary community outside of the university, and to work with friends (now across the country!) on such an ambitious project. It’s hard to say what it is I love about what I do. I obviously feel very compelled to write and to read and to talk about writing and reading, but I am still figuring out why. I probably will always be figuring it out. I think, in a way, this curiosity—this ignorance—is a necessary thing. I need the surprise of a beautiful sentence, the wonder of a unique image. I probably wouldn’t be writing, otherwise.”
2. Brianna Perkins: Social Networker, Issue 9 (Spring 2012)
More details: Bri shares, “My life has deviated quite a bit from that ‘master life plan’ that I created back in 2012, and to be honest, I’m glad it did. I found it is far more exciting to sit back and enjoy the twists and turns in the road than try to make it fit this unrealistic image my crazy 20-year-old brain had concocted. I packed my bags, said goodbye to the Arizona desert, and moved to Massachusetts. In the years since, I’ve traveled through Europe with just a pair of worn out sneakers and a backpack, bought a house, knocked down a few walls, and met some amazing people. Not long after my big move, I started at Springfield College in a position that was the college’s response to the wild growth of an unpredictable monster: technology. As we all know, technology changes faster than that banana on your kitchen counter turns brown. In this role, it is my job to stay ahead of the curve as best as I can. It is one part fortune teller, one part inventor, and one part translator. I create new ways to integrate engaging and immersive technologies in a way that not only makes sense, but is meaningful. I learned quickly how to translate from Techie to actual English. It has made me every relative’s favorite person and I’m sure I’m on the speed dial for more than a handful of grandparents (none of which are my own). I started doing outreach and communications for IT. I launched a YouTube channel for training and development. I started doing workshops for faculty, staff, and students. The role has grown exponentially. Springfield College recognized that there is this emerging need for creating technology literacy and as of May 1st, I’ll be pioneering yet another new position: Learning and Development Coordinator. This position will give me the time I need to provide development and training opportunities to staff, faculty, and students in a language that makes sense to them and in a way that makes technology seem a little less intimidating (and dare I say it fun).
“In my spare time, I do quite a bit of consulting. I’m currently on a one-year contract with Springfield Technical Community College as an Outreach and Technology Coordinator where I’m working with their Supplemental Instruction team to launch their own YouTube channel and outreach programs. I’ve designed catering menus for local restaurants, logos for new initiatives, and even jumpstarted a few marketing campaigns and social networking strategies. Even Arizona State University couldn’t get rid of me; from time to time I work as a voice actor for some of their systems. Fun fact: if you call any phone line at Arizona State with an automated phone menu, it is my voice you’re hearing. I’d tell you my future plans, but as I’ve learned, I can plan all I want, but life has its own trajectory. All I know is that the time I spent has Superstition Review has been absolutely vital in getting me where I am and I am so thankful for the opportunity I had while there. I’m so proud to see how far it has come and I can’t wait to see what is next for the SR family.”
3. Katie McCoach: Fiction Editor, Issue 6 (Fall 2010)
More details: Katie shares, “When I finally realized that I could be my own boss and do story editing (not even copy editing!) all day long, I knew that nothing else would be as fulfilling. I opened KM Editorial, LLC in 2012 with not a client to my name. But since then I’ve grown my business to be a stopping ground for many authors in need of all levels of editing. I have a whole team behind me now. I love what I do. It’s funny sometimes when I consider the fact that I dole out criticism for a living. But it’s so rewarding. I get to work with authors all day long and help them create fabulous stories. I see them grow as writers. It’s amazing to see my collection of clients’ books fill my bookshelf. But honestly, even better than that is when I get that email from an author saying, ‘I’m so excited to dive into revisions!'”
4. Cassie Tolman: Poetry Editor, Issue 1 (Spring 2008)
More details: Cassie is a creative entrepreneur who owns Pomegranate Cafe (vegan/vegetarian, organic, locally sourced, crafted with love) in Phoenix, AZ. She shares, “There are so many opportunities to express myself and share ideas through writing as a business owner. I am currently creating an Indie Gogo campaign to help fund our expansion, and being able to write with authenticity and heart is essential to sharing our mission and creating community. I also use freestyle writing/journaling as a daily practice to connect with my dreams and the quiet world around me. I see words like imaginary seeds we plant that can grow off the page into wild and beautiful gardens with a life of their own. Being part of the Superstition Review when it first began was an exciting, new experience for me. I feel really fortunate to have been a small part of the beginning of a dream that has now taken shape and enriched the lives of so many people!”
5. Caitlin Keniston: Nonfiction Editor, Issue 9 (Spring 2012)
More details: Caitlin shares, “After graduating from ASU, I applied to every publication company I could find in the Phoenix area. I was lucky to be hired by Target Market Media Publications, a national publisher of trade magazines. As the editor, I work with our clients, writers and proofreaders to get each of our magazines ready for publication. I learned a lot in college, but it does not compare to the experience of working in the field. I feel blessed to have found a career in writing and editing. While it’s partly luck and good timing, I also think you need to have a certain drive to make it actually work.”
6. Dominique Brigham: Art Editor, Issue 11 (Spring 2013)
More details: Dominique is a graduate student at the University of Amsterdam in the Cultural Analysis research MA program. She shares, “As the student Art Editor of Superstition Review, I had the wonderful opportunity of putting all my time spent learning about art in Florence to good use! While I did my BA in English literature, I loved being able to branch out into a different discipline, and Superstition Review gave me that opportunity. Currently, I am writing my thesis for my Master’s in Cultural Analysis at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where I’ve enjoyed a fantastic and interdisciplinary program with fellow international students. My research deals with adaptation and translation theory, centered around the Pokémon franchise and Pokémon: The First Movie in particular, and I hope to pursue a PhD on how transmedia storytelling has impacted the way popular franchises are built now and for the future. In time not spent on academic work, however, I am a volunteer proofreader for WordFire Inc. and a freelance copyeditor, though I would like to turn this into a more permanent career. I am also co-authoring a four book fantasy series, which will hopefully see its first query letters being sent to various publishing companies in the near future!”
Thank you so much to these interns for their service with us; you are all doing such amazing things, and we’re so proud!
Katie McCoach, Issue 6 Nonfiction Editor, discusses her experience at Superstition Review and other internships and how they gave her the experience to pursue her ideal career.
Until my internships with Superstition Review, Ellechor Publishing, and Folio Literary Management, I had no idea where my Creative Writing and Communications degrees were going to take me. I knew I enjoyed the degrees I had chosen for myself, but what job would I end up with? I felt like the only choices I kept hearing were technical writing, teaching, or apply for MFA programs.
Those options weren’t for me. But then the lingering question; what was?
Well, a few internships later I discovered my dream job, and the path to take to get there. Fast forward a year and here I am now, pursuing my dream. Half of my time goes to an author marketing company where I spend the day executing marketing campaigns for traditional and self-published authors, and the other half of my time is spent freelance editing as Katie McCoach Editorial. I edit and critique manuscripts, query letters, website content, and newsletters. When I look back at how in the world I got here, it comes down to six things interning did for me, so I wanted to share them here for you.
- Real Life Experience – I know you hear this all the time. Enough already, right? But it really cannot be expressed enough. The internships I held were all very different from one another and from each of them I discovered this whole world I knew nothing about. I learned how to communicate with authors, how to hone instinct in selling, selecting, and editing, and I saw the different roles each person can play in the publishing industry. Many of the things I learned in my internships I would never have learned by just my degree alone.
- Discover What You Want – A couple years ago, I was the Nonfiction Editor for Issue 6 of Superstition Review. Here I learned the in and outs of a literary magazine: how to communicate with authors and pique interest, how to develop an instinct for selecting the best work for the issue that season, and I had a chance to read amazing work by so many brilliant writers. At one point, I was asked to give comments on one of the pieces, to see if there were any suggestions or feedback we could contribute. This was my favorite part, and it wasn’t even one of my typical duties. That’s when the first hint of what I wanted to do as a career began to hit me.
- Conduct the Ultimate Interview – Internships are jobs. Although they are temporary and often times only a few months long, they are still jobs. This is your chance to conduct the ultimate interview – how does this job fit with your personality? How are your skills best utilized? Can you see yourself here in five years? How could you move up in the industry? I worked for a literary magazine, publishing company, and literary agency. I saw very different roles of the publishing industry, and from it I discovered where I fit best.
- Path to Your Dream Job – Every person in your industry started somewhere, maybe even interning exactly where you are now. So ask them – how did they get their job? What about their boss’s boss? The path to your dream job becomes readily available to you as an intern and this is your chance to begin it.
- Perspective – I chose to intern at companies that were all related to publishing and from this I saw different parts of the industry that I could have never seen if I hadn’t worked in the areas I did. Interning at Superstition Review I saw the literary magazine side of publishing. The publications in literary magazines across the country influence contests and grants. These contests can mean referrals for lit agents, which in turn can mean a sale to an editor, and the next book a publishing company picks up. There is much more to it than that of course, but I now am able to see the industry as a whole, which gives me perspective, especially in relation to the job I chose to pursue.
- Connections – This is another one of those things we hear a lot. I currently live in Los Angeles and I am surrounded by the film and TV industry. I see first-hand how connections are the only way to establish your place in that industry. The same goes for publishing, though depending on the path you choose, it might not be quite as cutthroat. When I first moved to LA I attended one of those kind-of-awkward-but-you-push-through-it networking events. I was wary at first, and then I met someone who was starting her own marketing business. She needed an editor for her website content and what do you know, here I was, an editor. On top of gaining business with her, she also had a friend who was a literary agent, and that agent knew other freelance editors, and by then my connections had tripled. This happened just from a two-hour networking event, so imagine what a semester-long internship can do.
Interning was definitely the right choice for me and my career path, and – I have to cliché it up right here – I would not be in the position I am today without it.
If you are a current or past intern, what has interning done for you? If you are debating interning, what things do you hope to gain from the experience?
Katie McCoach graduated from Arizona State University in May of 2011 with her Bachelor’s of Arts in Creative Writing and Communications. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA as a freelance editor. She has had essays published in TrainWrite and Kalliope. You can visit her at www.katiemccoach.com and on Twitter @katiemccoach
Timothy Allen from Issues 3 and 4 gives us an update on his whereabouts.
After my time with Superstition Review, I graduated from ASU magna cum laude in 2010 and was accepted to ASU’s law school for the fall of that same year. During my first summer as a law student I was accepted to the Blackstone Fellowship – a prestigious program put on by the Alliance Defending Freedom to train young law students. As a part of that program I spent the summer in Alaska working for a law firm up there before I was successfully commissioned a Blackstone Fellow in the Fall of 2011. Now, in my third year of law school, I am desperately looking forward to graduation next spring, and working as a legal intern for an air ambulance company in North Scottsdale. I plan to work in healthcare law after graduation (if I can find work), but will not be limiting myself to Arizona employers – I also plan to look for work in Florida (Disney (of course)), Texas, and Washington state.
I always thought that my parents and elders were pulling my leg when they told me to enjoy my college years – that they are the best years of my life and so forth. When I was in college I came close to feeling overwhelmed with schoolwork, and I never got heavily into the social life of the students that lived on campus, of going to the football games or participating in clubs or fraternities. I had a few friends, but my main concern was getting out into the world, and getting through this period of uncertainty and dread of the future. Eventually, I switched my major (twice), and landed in English. Finally things were getting interesting. I could stop plodding through Architecture and Engineering and simply learn what I genuinely cared about. My appreciation for literature grew and blossomed at ASU in my last two years. I felt much more comfortable in this realm.
I spent hours in the library, wandering through the stacks, always using what I learned in my classes as a jumping off point for further exploration. This curiosity has become a central part of my life. I became interested in literature and culture outside of the United States. When I stayed in Montenegro, I had the chance to visit Italy, Greece, Germany, England, Switzerland, Serbia, and Croatia. Now I can’t wait to go back and eat the exotic food, walk on the beaches, drive through the mountains, and experience entirely different cultures. The great European and Asian writers that I discovered gave me further encouragement to see as much of the world as possible.
What the future holds is still an unknown, but I know that I found a limitless source of joy in the works of Chekhov, Goethe, and Gogol. Dostoevsky and Akutagawa, Maugham, Victor Hugo, Cervantes, Italo Svevo…wherever I turned, there was a fresh perspective. I have learned that one book is always the doorway to another, and that life makes sense when you are lost in a good book. My experience with Superstition Review gave me a taste of the publishing world, and I think that my thirst for literature will now lead me toward a career with a publishing company, or perhaps as an editor of a magazine. For the time being, I work at ASU Online, in student services. Though it gives me much needed work experience and enough of an income to plan for the future, I am always on the lookout for opportunities in the fields I am most interested in.
Although I have only been out of college for half a year, I am beginning to understand what my parents meant. My years at the university were formative and they were some of the happiest years I have had, despite the struggle and uncertainty of that period of my life. Most importantly, I met the girl to whom I am now engaged, and I received the basic tools I will use for the rest of my life: education, determination, love, patience, and intellectual curiosity.
Danielle Kuffler, from Issue 2 and 3, talks about her perception of “work,” how that perception has changed, and what “work” she is looking forward to doing in the future.
I am a tutor at a community college writing center in south Phoenix. Since graduating from ASU two years ago, I have been a nanny, a waitress, a bartender, and a freelance copywriter, among other things. When I started college, I viewed work as something physical with immediately visible results. I thought it meant serving others, and I thought it defined who you are. After holding an internship with Superstition Review, I knew that work had more meanings. I learned work can have tangible and rewarding results over a period of time, work can involve your brain and not only your hands, and a job is not who you are.
Superstition Review was still in its early stages when I was an intern. I helped write a manual for future interns, and Trish was constantly coming up with new approaches to make the publication better. When the site finally launched at the end of the semester, I felt proud of the long hours of sometimes tedious work. I gained appreciation for working towards a long-term goal.
Tutoring recreates this feeling in miniature. Each session is an opportunity for growth and learning, and at the end, I try to impart to students what change took place in even just 10 minutes. I want them to be proud of their work and look forward to making it even better. Tutoring takes patience and foresight. For each session with a student, I first assess what the student should take away from our meeting, and then set up a structure in my mind that will best utilize our time. Sometimes we will spend 30 minutes talking about sentence structure or verbs, and other times we create an outline for a long research paper.
As solicitations coordinator at Superstition Review, I honed my planning skills. I quickly learned that without attention to detail and structured use of time, I would lose control of the solicitations process. Equally important was clear and quick email communication with artists and fellow interns. Being able to get to the point and communicate clearly has served me well as a tutor working with a diverse student body.
I’ve struggled with committing to a career, but it helps to remember that a job is not who you are, even when you care deeply about what you’re doing. Being part of Superstition Review prepared me to pursue a career I feel something for. Nothing excites me more than diagramming a sentence with a student. Superstition Review challenged me to discover things not only about publishing, but also about myself. Taking all sorts of jobs and internships allowed me to see different ways of living, and I’ve slowly built confidence in and appreciation for my talents and skills. I plan on pursuing a master’s degree in linguistics in the near future, and I know my time at Superstition Review will continue to be a source of pride and motivation to grow, change, and do good work.
When I graduated three years ago, I was unsure of what the future would hold for me professionally and academically. A degree in English carries with it few obvious career paths, especially for someone like me whose focus was in poetry. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to be involved with literature as much as possible. I sought advice from one of my professors, who recommended I take at least a year before enrolling in graduate school to explore possible career paths and see if anything spoke to me.
My overwhelmingly-positive experience with Superstition Review led me to the world of publishing. I moved to New York City and set about applying at publishing houses, magazines, and advertising agencies. I eventually landed an internship with a literary agency, where my job was reading and evaluating manuscripts from writers seeking representation. It was enjoyable and interesting work, but it was temporary (not to mention unpaid) so before long I had to move on.
It is no secret that the job market is tough across the board, but print media has been hit especially hard. I had no illusions that finding a great job in the hyper-competitive environment of New York would be easy, but I was still stunned at just how grueling the process was.
Ultimately I came to the realization that I was going to have to fight very hard to build any kind of career that would satisfy my passions, and I decided that a job in publishing was not something I wanted badly enough to justify the struggle. With that in mind, I left New York to further develop my poetry and determine my priorities. Since then I have been writing extensively, and have even had a few poems published.
When I think back to my favorite parts of studying English at Arizona State, the thing that stands out the most are the poetry workshops. I love discussing the thematic and technical complexities of poems, and those sessions really helped me overcome my shyness with regards to my own work. These fond memories led me to realize that I wanted to be a teacher, and toward that end I have decided to go for my Master’s degree.
Even though I find myself now in the same position as if I had gone straight from ASU to grad school, I will always be grateful to that professor who advised me to wait. Would I give the same advice to someone else in my former situation? That would depend on how clear of an idea they had about their future. Coming out of college I had only vague notions and scattered ambitions, and these past three years outside of an academic environment have taught me a lot about myself as a person and a writer. Most importantly I now have complete confidence that teaching is what I am meant to do, and it is worth the struggle.
Sarah Snyder, from Issues 1 and 2, has traveled to the Far East and back–and discovered a true passion for teaching English as a foreign language. She shares with us her experience:
Grandma always said, “Everything in moderation—even moderation.” As a junior at ASU, taking 18 credits a semester, being the Reading Series Coordinator for Superstition Review, working at the Polytechnic campus Writing Center, serving as the President of ASU’s Devil Dancesport ballroom dancing team, and volunteering as a Peer Advisor for the School of Applied Arts and Sciences, I was no stranger to overextending myself, to going deeper than I could swim back up in time for air. When I graduated in 2009, I made a strategic career move and took a job in Japan teaching English in two high schools. It was only strategic because I couldn’t even get anything close to a job in the United States. Luckily for me, this job helped me realize what I really wanted to do with my life: create positive cultural exchange and communication. This lesson came to me through all of the artists that I coordinated through SR, the students that I worked with in the Writing Center, as the President of a student organization, as a Peer Advisor and in Japan.
After a year in the Land of the Rising Sun, I moved back home to the Valley of the Sun. My parents were happy to have me home in the flesh instead of pixelated and robotic on Skype. They were perfectly content to keep me there, but I was soon restless. I needed something to keep me happy, healthy and productive, but I experienced the same depression that my father remembered as an adolescent. He told me his story from the 1970s when he was expressing the same feeling of helplessness to his grandfather. To that, Great-Grandpa Krebbs said, “There is always work for those who want it.” To this day, my father doesn’t know whether or not that was a challenge or a jab, but I took it as a challenge. I pulsed all of my networks for careers in academia for months. I applied to everything. I also kept myself busy taking Spanish and Japanese at the local community colleges to keep my morale up. Around month six, I was called for my first interview. It was my chance to vie for my dream job of being an academic advisor! At the age of 24 (my lucky Japanese year of the Rabbit) I was hired as the youngest member of an academic advising team with my mentors from undergrad as my supervisors.
After some serious soul-searching, I had to sacrifice my dream job in favor of the English and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) programs at Northern Arizona University, where I am happily immersed in concurrent graduate programs and teaching freshman composition for native and non-native speakers of English. I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Composition and Linguistics in the near future. This, I believe, will help me bring positive cultural exchange and communication to more people than I could have ever hoped while being one teacher working with just 30 students at a time in a sea of millions. It will be more work that I have probably ever had in my life—but I also have itty-bitty daydreams of being the President of the United States as well, so bring it on.
As I look back now, all I can say is that Grandma was right. “Everything in moderation–even moderation.” If I could go back in time with all of this 20/20 retrospect, I wouldn’t change one thing. Now, I am making sure that I give just as much as I have received, and these last sentences are little karmic presents for anyone who wants them: In order to survive in the world that we live in today, concentration and positive thinking are the keys to getting what the universe thinks you deserve. Nobody gets anywhere anymore by stepping on people. We’re in the age of Google, people! Also, it really DOES matter who you know and how you treat the people around you…No one ever knows who they will be interacting with in the future. Network, network, NETWORK! Oh, and always brush your teeth (another Grandma quote).