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Willow Springs is the literary magazine associated with Eastern Washington University. Founded in 1977 and published twice yearly, Willow Springs publishes contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as interviews with some of the most notable authors in contemporary literature, including Marilynne Robinson, Stuart Dybek, Aimee Bender, and Robert Bly.
I worked with the magazine from 2008-2010, producing four issues (63-66). As assistant managing editor and later, managing editor, I typeset and edited issues 63-66, determined the order of content, and worked on interior layout. The design remains consistent through the issues; however, each issue brings a special challenge in how to manipulate the design to best represent work. The challenge may be a poem with long, Whitmanic lines, or, in the case of issue 66, a short story that presents two parallel narratives in columns broken by a single column.
I handled all contributor and subscriber correspondence, database management, and grant proposals. I designed various promotional materials, as well as the covers for issues 65 and 66. Willow Springs develops contracts with artists to use their art for the cover; however, the managing editor adapts the artwork to design the cover. While I was the managing editor, I contracted a local artist, Mel McCuddin, and adapted two of his paintings for the covers of issues 65 and 66.
While managing editor, I focused on developing Willow Springs’ web presence. In addition to planning the best way to for the magazine use social media, I aided in creating online-only content. The author profiles section of the website grew out of this initiative. Six authors from each issue respond to interview questions about the work published, as well as teaching, writing, and reading. The profiles are rolled out four times a year, in groups of three. As another aspect of web focus, I created HTML e-mails to stay connected to our readership. The e-mails contain information on new issues and new web content.
I was a member of the team to found the magazine’s blog, Bark, which is much more than a “company blog.” The contributors post reviews on everything from children's books to concerts, creative essays, ars poetica, etc. They range from M.F.A. students, to professors, to editors, to marketing professionals. In 2012, Bark began receiving 300-500 visits/post.
In 2012, Willow Springs developed a new teaching and publishing opportunity for editorial assistants, placing them in elementary schools throughout Spokane to teach poetry. They then edited a chapbook series of the students’ poems. I helped brand the Triceratops series to align with Willow Springs and Bark design standards. I also supplied photographs and drawings to use in their promotional materials and books.