By: Karolina Gajdeczka
When I first got involved with the Potomac Review, I was in my last year of college, and working as editor-in-chief of my university’s student-run literary magazine as well. Despite the extra work, I took on the internship and dove in headfirst. I did everything I could, from managing the online submission manager to blogging to crafting spreadsheets to helping edit The Cabinet and planning the Issue 51 release party. As you can imagine, it was a lot of work… but I was hooked.
Being part of the staff gave me the unique experience of getting a behind-the-scenes view into the inner workings of a wonderful literary magazine. During my internship then, the Potomac Review was undergoing a transition from interim editor-in-chief Zachary Benavidez to the returning editor-in-chief Julie Wakeman-Linn, and I knew I wanted to stay involved.
I met with Julie as quickly as I could and told her everything I had done already and how I wanted to stay on board. In between my return to help out with intern-like things and my previous internship, I remained a volunteer blogger for Potomac Review. Then, I gave Julie the exciting news that I had had a story published and was accepted into an MFA program, which qualified me to read for Potomac Review as an associate editor in fiction.
True to my busybody nature, I accepted the position, stayed on as a blogger and offered to help out during weekly intern meetings. Now, I also run the Potomac Review blog.
As a fiction reader/associate editor, I am responsible for reading incoming fiction submissions, sent to me through the online submission manager, which I then send to editor-in-chief Julie, with a recommendation of “No,” “Maybe,” or “Yes,” and potentially some notes. These later go through a few more rounds of editors and if all receive Yes’, are sent to the “maybe” round of editors, and finally selected by Julie.
As the blogmaster, I search out content, manage and edit incoming blogger content, and create new posts for the Potomac Review blog. (Speaking of which, if you have any opinions on what you’d like to see more of on our blog, please comment and let me know!)
During intern meetings, I often got to read “maybe” submissions and have a discussion about them with the other interns and other editors. I also helped with general maintenance tasks, such as attending and helping out at conferences, promoting the flash fiction contest, and editing bios for Issue 53.
Overall, my experience working on this literary magazine has been invaluable in teaching me about working with others, building my writing/literary community, and understanding what kind of work gets published and the process it goes through during consideration. Not to mention, I’m doing what we all love—supporting good writing. And really, that’s what it’s all about.