This semester of working at my Greyrock Review internship has been enlightening and a lot of fun. Since my first day on the job, I’ve taken on my role as managing editor and worked with three separate genre-separated teams (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry), visited the Colorado Review twice, and learned about important topics in the publishing industry such as fundraising, the submission process, Submittable, layout, aesthetics and design, and copyediting. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my team and learning about the process of creating a literary journal from scratch.
Alongside my journey through this internship has been this thesis project, which has helped me to think more deeply about my involvement and impact at Greyrock and to reflect on the culture of the space I entered at the beginning of the semester. In my research for this thesis, I’ve learned about recording observations, fieldworking, ethnography, and taking double-entry field notes.
Throughout my field research experience at this Greyrock internship, I’ve noticed several themes that indicate the overall culture of this yearly literary journal. My most common observation came from those around me. All of the interns at Greyrock are interested in breaking into the publishing industry after graduation, and I noticed that they have all been eager to learn new things, practice techniques that are commonly used in editing and publishing, and ask good questions about the skills they’ll need to work at another literary journal someday. It seems to me that the culture of Greyrock is a learning environment which interns will use and advisers will provide as a stepping stone for a career in the publishing industry.
I’ve also observed, from comments made by our graduate adviser and faculty adviser, that Greyrock has an aura of newness, space for brand-new ideas, and room for creativity. Everyone involved seems to want to make a very distinct litmag from previous years. This has been enforced by ideas brought up by the current interns, which have come in the form of suggestions for using new technologies, making unique designs, and creating a journal that doesn’t resemble last year’s version of Greyrock. However, many of these ideas have been encouraged without any follow-up from advisers and several have been discouraged in lieu of support for more traditional practices in publishing. For example, we have been discouraged from adding QR codes to the pages of Greyrock, using online content to supplement our print edition of Greyrock, creating a Kickstarter or other crowd-funding operation for fundraising, and copyediting with digital techniques instead of hard copies and colored pencil mark-ups. It seems to me that those who head Greyrock might still be stuck on too many long-established practices that could be adapted to fit today’s fast-growing technological world. While literary journals can certainly still thrive today, I believe that Greyrock Review could benefit from some fresh ideas from our young interns and updates to some antiquated techniques that may not be as relevant today.
I plan to continue suggesting and encouraging new ideas about publishing practices as the managing editor of Greyrock throughout next semester. I’m quite excited to see what the rest of this year holds. Finally putting together our own version of the Greyrock Review will be a true privilege and I know that we’ll make something fantastic! This internship will be invaluable in my quest for a career in the publishing industry after my graduation, and it seems to me that my fellow interns agree.