Edit, edit, edit.
Since we've made all of our acceptances, editing is the name of the game in Ivory Tower right now. Once we've accepted a submission and gotten author permission to publish it, an acquiring editor is assigned to each piece. The acquiring editor works closely with the author to make developmental edits to their piece. Developmental edits mean making changes to the story, order of events, structure - things like that. This is a give and take process involving suggestions from the editor, which the author can accept or reject. Developmental editing is intended to bring out the full potential of a piece, while still respecting the author's vision.
Once developmental editing is complete, the piece goes on to be copyedited. We look everything over three times for technical errors, like grammar and spelling. Once copyediting is complete, the submissions are ready for typesetting!
In other news, we recently took our student group photo. Look for us in the Minnesota Daily under the section featuring student groups, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram!
Wonder is an expression of human sentiments. Wonder is a moment of awareness. Wonder is a reaction to realities--rational or irrational, natural or unnatural, concrete or abstract--both large and small. Wonder lets us imagine beyond the human "being."
Wonder is a mixture of pleasure, astonishment, and fear, which creates the feeling we know as "awe." Wonder for you may not be wonder for me. Wonder for me may not be wonder for you. It's still wonder, you can't deny that. (Or can you? I'll let you wonder about that.)
So why was I wondering about wonder to begin with? If you haven't guessed already, it is this year's Ivory Tower theme!
Right now, each staff member is busy with their own tasks. Some are busy editing and others are organizing Ivory Tower's annual spring Launch Party in April, (There will be free food; it will be wonderful. You should come!). I have been and still am working on designs. My aim is subtle aesthetics. Trying to make subtlety into something wondrous is easier said than done. With that, I'll leave off on a random quote (It's from an anime, of all places) that I find marvelous. It might or might not be English appropriate (You can be the judge of that):
"Living things are restrained by Chains: The laws of nature, the flow of time, the vessel known as your 'body,' and the existence called your mind. The one chain that people can wield: WORDS."February 19th, 2014
In class this week, our guest speaker was a young woman named Sasha Grossman. Currently an assistant editor at Penguin, she was able to provide us with some interesting and surprising insight into what it is like to work in the publishing world. I felt her words were especially poignant to us as she is someone close to our age (she graduated in 2009) who was also on the Ivory Tower staff. She had attended the publishing summer program at Columbia University. There are countless stories of people who move to New York City after graduation, and it seems that they often end with empty pockets and a move back into their parent's house. Sasha's story however, is the opposite. Of course she had her share of struggles. She worked for a time at a Barnes and Noble while looking for a job in publishing. In the end, she made her way into the field where job openings are about as difficult to find as a fully clothed Miley Cyrus.
She's moved from jobs at Oxford University Press to her current job at Penguin, from editing academic monographs, to genre fiction. Either way, she is doing what she loves - and that is saying a good deal more than many other people I know. Sasha disclosed to us that a lot of the things she learned in the publishing program that she felt were the most pointless ended up being true of the field. For example, she found herself having to fill out profit sheets and predicting figures. I believe that this will be the case for many of us as we enter the workforce. We will encounter many things we never expected to, but we will take them in stride.
One thing that is apparent is that the publishing world is a bright, frightening one that I have yet to learn much about. Regardless of whether myself or many of my colleagues here at the Ivory Tower wind up working in it, I know that we are all glad to have had even a brief glimpse into what it is like while putting together this year's issue. Of course, as undergraduate students, we are all afraid of what awaits us after graduation. Afraid of failure, afraid of the unknown. Maybe one day, like Sasha, I too will be getting paid to edit in subject areas I had not anticipated. And you know what? I don't think that's so bad.
The Ivory Tower is inspired by a belief in the necessity of artistic expression and its power to enlighten, challenge, and captivate. We strive to expose and promote original work by undergraduate writers and artists across the University of Minnesota campus.