In the beginning of my junior year when I was choosing which role on Élan I would most like to be on, I picked the junior fiction/CNF editor. I’ve always loved reading fiction, and knew that I would enjoy playing such a large part in what pieces get selected for Élan. I was lucky enough to get the role, and throughout the year I learned so much through the senior editor, Valerie. At the end of the year I felt prepared to take on the role of the senior fiction and was excited to continue refining the role to make it as good as it can be.
As genre editors, both the senior and junior fiction and poetry editors lead the reads process. We remind the Élan staff of our guidelines and what qualities we should be looking for in work for Élan. When the staff is done reading all of the pieces, the genre editors and the editor in chief come together to select the pieces that will go into Élan. Last year the genre editors did a lot to make the reads process run smoothly and efficiently, and I hope we continue to do so this year. The genre editors hope to take on as much as we can within our selection process, and continue to select pieces for Élan that represent the magazine and its legacy well.
Playing a big role in the submissions process taught me a lot about who I am as a writer as well as what writing I am drawn to. It also taught me how to leave my personal taste aside and think about what pieces would fit the magazine best. At first I wasn’t sure how to select pieces for the magazine, but when I truly considered what Élan’s values were I felt better about selecting pieces. Without Élan, I would have never had the chance to learn from an experience like this. It is one that is truly unique as well as educational. It’s inspiring to read other writers work, and I am excited to continue doing it in my senior year.
To any teen writers that are hesitant to submit their work, my strongest piece of advice would be to just submit. Rip off the bandage. It can be nerve-wracking to send your writing out into the world, but Élan is a magazine for teen writers made by teen writers. The Élan staff is here to uplift young voices and we are eager to hear your stories. Submit your fiction, CNF, poetry, art, etc. If you don’t get selected, it’s good practice for submitting your work to magazines. And if you don’t get selected, continue to submit! We encourage as many submissions as possible. Go through past editions of Élan to see what we are looking for as well as our guidelines. Once again, Élan is here for teen writers and we encourage you to submit!
– Anna Howse, Senior Fiction/CNF Editor