Waverly editor Graham Sutherland ’13, editor of the English Department newsletter The Waverly, sat down recently with fellow English major Becky Schultz ’13 (Chicago) to discuss internships, the literary arts, and being an English major. Following is their conversation.
Graham: When did you decide to become an English major?
Becky: I always knew I was going to be an English major because I’ve always liked to read, and English was my favorite class in high school. I’m minoring in American Studies, which is an interesting combination.
G: Have you had a favorite class here or a favorite professor?
B: I’m really into my screenwriting class right now because I’m into TV writing specifically. It’s a good segue into what I might want to do with my writing in the future. Robert Warde has been my favorite professor.
G: You’re working with Paper Darts right now, and you interned with The Loft Literary Center last summer. Can you tell us a bit about each organization and what each does?
B: The Loft is the largest nonprofit literary center in the nation. It offers a lot of creative writing classes, both for youth and adults. It also hosts readings by local and national authors and has the Equilibrium Series, which is slam poetry and spoken word by writers of color. Paper Darts is an art and lit magazine founded by four young women who wanted to do something that they love. They recently put out their fourth print issue, but also publish content every day on their website. They pair all their literature with art in a very cool way. They have also published a book of short stories.
G: With your internships, what have been your roles within those operations?
B: At The Loft I was a communications intern doing a lot of social media, blog writing, and research for potential advertisers. And with Paper Darts I’m technically the marketing and communications intern, but they’re also letting me do whatever I’m interested in.
G: Paper Darts has a pretty small staff, right?
B: Yes, it’s four women and four interns. But it’s all volunteer-based—they don’t get any money for anything. So now they’re letting me do more editorial work, which is really interesting because I’ve never seen that side of a publication before.
G: What are the best and worst parts of these internships?
B: Well, the worst part is that they’re not paid. The best part is, with Paper Darts especially, getting to see every step along the way. It was really interesting to start just as they were finished with their fourth issue and were getting ready to launch it and do the publicity. And now they’re in a transition where they’re still publishing content online, and thinking about what they want to do with the next issue.
G: How often is Paper Darts published?
B: They don’t have a regular schedule; they just put it out whenever they can. So far it’s almost been an annual—four issues in three years. But they want to try to make it a more frequent publication. A lot of people have been asking about subscriptions and that’s something that they want to do too.
G: Do you feel more connected to the Twin Cities literary art scene since starting these internships?
B: Absolutely. Before my internships I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after graduation or where I wanted to go. Now I’m pretty set on staying in the Twin Cities because the literary scene is so prominent, exciting, and young.
G: Did you hear about the internships through Macalester?
B: I heard about The Loft internship through another Macalester student, though I’d previously heard about Loft events from professors who have taught there. I heard about Paper Darts from the marketing coordinator of The Loft, who is its editorial director.
G: Do you think your internships have helped prepare you for your future career?
B: Yeah, definitely. I was at the Twin Cities Book Fest recently, and it was really reassuring to hear people say, “Oh, you’re working for Paper Darts? That’s so exciting.” People are always really impressed by my Loft internship too, since it’s so well known in the Twin Cities. Another great thing about these internships, especially at The Loft, is that I learned a lot about what each department in a nonprofit does. So even though I wasn’t working with fundraising and development, for example, I learned a lot about it during meetings and by talking with other staff members. And that could be useful in looking for future work at nonprofits.