I consider myself extremely lucky to have been a member of the Élan staff for the last 2 years; I started on this staff as a Submissions editor, and am leaving it as the first Managing Editor, and have (hopefully) helped Élan grow as both a magazine and as an enterprise for artistic experiences within the Jacksonville community.
Working on the Élan staff has definitely shaped how I view myself and how I view what I am capable of doing. A lot of the event-related duties I participated in required, not just responsibility, but also the ability to meet deadlines, work interpersonally, and execute ideas. It was, at times, a lot of pressure, but as a result, I am surer of myself as an editor and as a communicator.
When I joined the staff in the fall of 2015, I did not anticipate the enormity of the tasks that the Élan staff is in charge of. Making a book is a lot easier in discussion than in practice, and the fundraising necessary to create a book is something I had completely overlooked initially. The Managing Editor position was created this year largely because the needs of Élan continued to expand beyond what previous staff positions encompassed. I am proud to have been the first, and am proud to have helped fill the needs of Élan.
If nothing else, I hope I have left behind groundwork for future Managing Editors to help work between different staff members, and ease the general process of creating Élan issues, as well as events. I hope that I have left behind the skeleton to make Homecoming (a major fundraiser for Élan) bigger and better every year. I hope I have, as a staff member, helped develop and bolster the Élan brand within our local, as well as international community. I hope I have also helped the Élan print and online issues continue to grow aesthetically, as well as help the Editors-in-Chief and Layout and Design Editors enact their visions.
As I pass on the Managing Editor position, I would like to say that I learned through a lot of trial and error, and am extremely grateful to Mrs. Melanson (our Faculty Advisor), Christina Sumpter (my fellow 2015-2016 Submissions Editor), and Makinley Dozier (2016-2017 Submissions Editor) for being infinitely supportive. I would also like to thank the entire 2015-2017 Élan Staff for allowing me to learn and work alongside them.
Additionally, I would like to extend a thank you to everyone who has read my blog posts, and allowed me to read their submissions and help publish their work—and I would like to especially thank everyone who reads and buys our issues. I truly could not have done it without you.
PROMPT— Write a thank-you letter to someone who you appreciate but wouldn’t normally thank or haven’t thanked in the past (bus driver, crossing guard, parent, teacher, counselor, custodian, coworker, friend, etc.). Minimum 200 words.
– Zarra Marlowe – Managing Editor