Greetings to the reader and the Artful Dodge blog,
My name is Cole, and I’m a sophomore at The College of Wooster; I’m just short of a year of assistant editing for the Dodge. I have always been interested in creative writing and am an avid reader. I’ve also gotten used to evaluating and editing others’ work at Wooster’s Writing Center, so when I saw a posting for a position with the Dodge last semester, I decided to apply.
When I started working for the Dodge, I was both nervous and ecstatic. My biggest concern was whether I would have anything substantial to say about the submissions we received. During the first meeting, I expected to sit back and let the more experienced people in the room speak while I mutely nodded my head in agreement. That plan was quickly derailed when Professor Bourne asked for my opinion on a poem. I didn’t really think I “got” the poem, but I reviewed it honestly anyway. My commentary, which I suspected would be brushed over, was then examined further with follow-up questions as Professor Bourne consulted the other students. For the next couple meetings, I still mostly stayed quiet, but I quickly learned that any opinion I had, whether it be that I simply liked the piece or that it wasn’t working for me, was both a valid response and contestable. Partway through the first semester, I opened up more without feeling intimidated by the possible disagreement of my peers.
During my second semester with the Dodge, I have been even more excited to get back to collaborating with other students and discussing submissions. My favorite part about this experience is seeing the process by which submissions are chosen for issues. Here, individual staff members nominate submissions for review by the group, and those are discussed and voted on during the weekly meeting. Understanding why some works are chosen over others helps me feel more confident about my own writing. This semester, I am excited about the new responsibilities that I have been offered, one of which includes making occasional posts on this blog. I can’t wait to make more in the future!
—Cole Ward, Assistant Editor