One week ago today I began my new role as managing editor of The Cincinnati Review. In addition to wresting The Chicago Manual of Style from former managing editor Nicola Mason, who is small but mighty, I’ve learned that this gig requires wearing many hats (metaphorical hats, not actual ones. Hats look weird on me, and they make my head sweat.) Anyway, here are some of the first tasks I’ve tackled.
- Traversed campus twice in a quest to track down my office keys and ID card, which were thrust into limbo when a holiday threw the university’s key-makers off their game. Did you know that UC’s campus is known for its striking, innovative modern architecture? Did you know that striking, innovative modern architecture sometimes makes it hard to know where staircases lead?
- Scheduled a pizza party, then promptly cancelled it after catching the stomach flu from my twenty-two-month-old son. I also learned that pizza parties—OK, fine, meetings—a staple of the office when I was a graduate student on staff, languished after my departure. “You really like pizza,” I remember Nicola commenting. Yes, yes I do.
- Hired, from a pool of impressive candidates, two new staffers for next year, when two of our current staffers will (sniff) depart.
- Made arrangements to attend AWP, where I’ll work the CR’s table alongside our other editors, attend sessions, and (yay!) go to this year’s Monster Mags of the Midwest event.
- Wrote content and considered strategy for the magazine’s social media channels. Plus, Nicola and I filmed content for Cincinnati RevYouTube. Keep an eye out. (And follow us on Twitter!)
- Read several promising submissions passed on to me by the staff. And even though all of them won’t make their way into our pages—we, like most lit mags, receive more worthy work than we can fit into our issues—we still read these pieces with care and consideration, often requesting that the writer try us again.
Most of all, I’ve been heartened by things. I’m heartened by my colleagues at the magazine, who have kept the magazine afloat during this transition. I’m heartened that there are so many writers out there producing gorgeous work, work that cuts to the vital force of human experience. I’m heartened by our subscribers, who support the magazine and read the work we produce. Most of all, I’m heartened that I have a job where I get to help pieces of art make their way into the world. That’s something that definitely deserves a pizza party/meeting.