Behind the Scenes

Jackson8Over the past two years I had the opportunity to get to know and bond with the Élan staff. This closeness has helped us to work together and develop a cohesive magazine. However, I have always felt that there was an unseen divide between the staff and our readers. I think that it is important for our patrons to really know the individuals who work behind the scenes—the editors, public relations teams, and web designers who make the book a possibility. Therefore, below are interviews that highlight a several staff members, so that our readers can get to know the students who work to create Élan for them.

 

Kiera Nelson, Fiction Editor

Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite poet is Nikki Giovanni because I love her originality in the way she manipulates words to evoke emotions. For fiction I would have to say ZZ Packer because she knows how to integrate the reader into the story.

What do you like to do outside of school and writing?

[Laughs] That’s funny. Well, I like to binge watch TV shows like American Horror Story and Carrie Diaries.

What lessons or skills have you gained from your experience on the Élan Staff?

I have learned how to take responsibility for my actions and manage complex tasks without getting overwhelmed. I have also learned how to think as a group, a staff, rather than just as an individual.

Mariah Abshire, Poetry Editor

Who is your favorite author and why?

Right now I’m reading Pink Elephant, so I’m really into Rachel McKibbens.

What lessons or skills have you gained from your experience on the Élan Staff?

Teamwork. Having to be a small part in a big production and having other people depend on me has really allowed me to develop a sense of responsibility. As a staff member I have to meet other people’s expectations, not just my own.

If you were stranded on an island and could only have three items with you, what would they be?

Well I would need to finish reading Pink Elephant, so I would bring that with me. I would also bring an unlimited supply of Tijuana Flats Chicken Tacos and a journal with a pen.

Emily Cramer, Editor-in-Chief

Who is your favorite author and why?

Taylor Mali and William Carlos Williams. Their poetry is so simple but deep—it seems to be about small ideas but once you delve into them, they’re so complex. Both also have other jobs outside of writing, which gives me hope that it’s possible to always be a writer, no matter what field I go into.

What lessons or skills have you gained from your experience on the Élan Staff?

I’ve learned what it means to be a leader, how to make sure that all work is getting done, while understanding the needs of individuals and maintain our magazine’s mission and standards.

Who are your favorite musical artists?

Mumford and Sons, Jose Gonzales, Sufjan Stevens, The 1975, and Fleet Foxes.

Emily Leitch, Layout and Design Editor

What do you like to do outside of school and writing?

Wow, that’s funny. Writing and school are literally the only things I do. I go on Tumblr… is that an answer?

What lessons or skills have you gained from your experience on the Élan Staff?

I have gained a sense of community through this staff. I feel like we work really well together and we all participate. I have learned how to organize and collaborate. Being a layout editor requires me to work with every member of the staff when it comes time to layout our online and print books. It is very important to learn how to cooperate with each other as a staff and I know this will help me in the future.

If you were stranded on an island and could only have three items with you, what would they be?

Jason Schwartzman. My collection of poetry books. My pet turtle Phillip. That’s all I need.

–Emily Jackson, Creative Non-Fiction Editor