by Jessica "Namaste" Ricks, Art Editor and design team member
Working on the 2018 edition of Grub Street has been a journey, especially as an editor. At the beginning of the fall semester I was so excited when I was named the art editor and I was also extremely nervous. Nothing could have prepared me for hundreds of submissions that we had to make choices on, working with the entire class, settling disagreements, and taking charge to make the journal as a whole amazing.
Over the course of this journey, there are a lot of things that I've learned.
How to take charge.
I've never been the type of person to step up and take a leadership role before. It was this aspect that intimidated me the most about being the art editor, but it became the most valuable thing I learned from it.
How to make choices.
We got over a hundred art submissions this year and a lot of them were really good. Unfortunately we couldn't take everything and it was a long process to narrow down the selection to what we currently have in the journal. There were so many good ones that I wish we could have taken but we had to choose the best of the best.
How to make choices quickly.
There were times when it was really difficult to come to a consensus on some decisions and it was usually when we didn't have the time to waste. A dead,one would be right around the corner and we hadn't decided what to do yet. It was times like those that we had to make some hard decisions very fast and under pressure.
How to make sacrifices.
There were some things we accepted that later had to be rearranged or taken out, and that goes for more than just the art. In addition to having to sacrifice art pieces that I advocated for all semester, when our time putting together the journal started to narrow down we had pieces in all genres that as a class we had to decide whether to keep or let go.
How to communicate.
Throughout the semester there was a whole group of people who were depending on me for instructions and guidance on what they needed to do next. So it was up to me to communicate to them clearly the directions I got from our professor, editor-in-chief, and managing editors.
How to stay organized.
With so many submissions, the class had to find some way to keep them organized. In the end, we had about a million google docs for genre submissions, yes, no, and maybe selections, tables of contents, and more. It all came down to making sure everything was labeled clearly, color coded correctly, and shared with everyone who needed to see it. That was almost a full-time job in itself.
How to settle disagreements.
When you're working in a big group with a lot of different people with different ideas about how things should be run, it would be a miracle if disagreements didn't pop up at some point. As the art editor, I had to be the person to settle those disagreements. I'm usually the type of person who likes to avoid conflict at all costs so this was my least favorite part of the process but I became a stronger person for it.
Grub Street is Towson University's award-winning literary journal, run by undergraduates enrolled in "Editing the Literary Magazine."