Over the past year I have gotten the chance to work on Elan Literary magazine as a staff member. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer, however being on the Elan staff has given me the ability to be a part of something bigger than just writing. Rather than sitting in my room writing endless poems for class, Elan allows me to be a part of an actual community, where I can hopefully get others more involved in the writing world. As a magazine, we really strive towards giving writers a voice, and for me that has always been an amazing thing to be a part of, because unlike in previous years when it could often feel like my writing was just stuck in an endless void with no purpose, now I can see that change happen in real life.
For instance, I remember hosting and creating Yellow House, our gallery show that was open to the public and showcased a lot of the student-produced artwork that was in that year’s book. Being able to be a part of that, see the work come to life on the gallery walls, and see others enjoy it was an amazing experience and made me realize that this was something I wanted to continue doing throughout my life.
I’ve always felt a little torn when it came to writing because I knew writing was something I loved but I wasn’t sure what to apply it to. Sure, I could write short stories or novels, but I really felt myself wanting to do something more and going to Yellow House, along with just being a part of the staff, made me realize the other practical applications writing has in the real world. I realized that in the future I would really love to work on a magazine staff for a literary magazine of some sort because putting together a work of art for other people to enjoy is something that truly excites me.
Another very exciting part of Elan, which I hope to learn from, is the mentorship opportunities it gives me. Although I have never had very strong mentorship roles in the past, Elan has given me the chance to help guide someone else to be a part of the staff as well. As the Editor in Chief, my job definitely has a range of tasks tied to it, but for my counterpart, I just hope to share not only the job itself, but the opportunities she has to impact the writing community as a whole.
Overall, this year in Elan I just hope to gain a better understanding of my role, and I hope I can have an even bigger impact on reaching out to writers internationally. I really would love to show others our capabilities as a magazine and as a staff. I cannot wait to begin the year and make a difference for writers everywhere!
– Lexey Wilson, Editor in Chief