When deciding whether or not I wanted to be a part of Elan I truly took into consideration what I could bring to the publication. For the last five years, I have been writing constantly for my assignments in my creative writing classes. It’s hard to remember a time when I wasn’t in a writing program. It’s become such a normal part of my life and I thought I would continue with the classes I have been taking these past few years. My expectations were I would gradually continue my way through my creative writing courses, adding to the knowledge I already have until I graduate, to possibly take more creative writing courses in college. And I certainly have been, but Elan brought something different to the table.
Elan gives me a space where I am able to interact with other people’s work, which is extremely beneficial to me. When reading Elan all the work is so professional and well put together, I knew I wanted to be a part of that. To be able to collect all this work from my peers and students internationally and compile it into something that I will be able to keep forever is such a special opportunity. It was something I couldn’t pass up. I knew I had to try to play a role in this publication.
Throughout my time going to an arts middle school and high school, I have always found myself drawn to fiction. It’s something that has always come naturally to me: the ability to create a well-rounded story. Fiction is what I grew up with and found myself forming a liking to through elementary school. Writing has stayed present in my life mostly through fiction, so I knew that being the Fiction editor would be a good position for me.
I only began writing creative nonfiction in my first year at Douglas Anderson, so in the long run it is fairly knew to me, and I found myself having trouble with it. It was like I had made a barrier between how much I can reveal and how much I can keep to myself. Fiction gave me an opportunity to hide behind a character. Last year, when I began reading more creative nonfiction my appreciation for it grew but I still found myself unable to truly reveal moments of my life in a convincing and relatable way.
This is why I think being the creative nonfiction editor for Elan can help me. Reading more creative nonfiction that people like me have written will give me an opportunity to strengthen my skills with the genre. Since I do not have a class that I am writing or reading creative nonfiction in this year, I think this is a good opportunity for me to continue to learn more about it and try to improve my ability to write it. My position in Elan comes with something I am comfortable with: fiction, and something I am uncomfortable with: creative nonfiction. I believe that through my time in Elan I will be able to come to understand both better, and hopefully improve my own.
– Anna Howse, Junior Fiction/CNF Editor