Glassworks is the literary magazine housed within Rowan University’s Graduate program and they’ve just released their 10th Issue. Yours truly had the honor of working for Glassworks at the end of last year. I signed on and was assigned to the NonFiction Editor staff. It was an amazing opportunity to learn the ins and out of publication, editing, and what it takes to produce a quality literary magazine. Katie Budris, the author of Prague in Synthetics, was and is Editor in Chief. Katie took us through the process in a way that made me feel confident in my skills and gave me insight into how I might do in a professional setting outside the University, which is to say, it’s now become my main career goal.
I loved working on the publication. Taking in submissions, evaluating each piece in a way that kept in mind the aesthetic of the magazine, but without dismissing those well-crafted pieces that, while outside our norm, were worth expanding our borders. Maybe the best part were the opportunities that having a magazine backing gave me and my colleagues, mainly the ability to contact authors, writers, and those in the business and actually get a reply! There’s a big difference between cold-calling (read: emailing) an author for a quote or interview as a lowly writing student versus using the magazine letterhead (email address). I was able to interview author and journalist Jill Smolowe, an interview which has just been published on Glassworks online. Talking with submitters was another fun experience, as Glassworks takes its role as a Univeristy publication seriously, meaning that our editors and staff have no problem taking the time to give feedback on rejected submissions, giving writers an better understanding of why their piece was not deemed ready for publication and what they might do to develop their work. Over the course of my internship, many writers replied with effusive thanks. All of us who send out submissions know those stock replies of We will not be accepting your work at this time, replies that give we writers absolutely nothing to work with. I’ve been hunched over my inbox yelling, “BUT WHY!? Give me DETAILS!” too many times not to take five seconds to type a sentence or two that can help a fellow writer. Not all of them, of course, but those who hold promise, those who made me reread their work because it was close, but just not close enough.
I’m excited that I had the opportunity to be a part of Glassworks and that now I have published evidence of my skill and competence when it comes to literary magazines and the world of publication. It’s a bit of validation that this path I’ve chosen to walk is the right one, that I’m doing what I love and what brings me the most satisfaction in my life, and all in just one moment of seeing my name inside the cover.