UP’s student-run biannual publication Writers Magazine has been the passion project for generations of student writers, artists and editors. Each semester, Writers staff pour hours into graphic design, marketing, reading and scoring submissions and much more — all pro bono.
But now, more than 80 years after its inception, editors can earn internship credit working for UP’s longest-running literary magazine.
For students like senior editor Valencya Valdez, the internship signals a huge development for Writers.
“I’m so excited about it, honestly,” Valdez said. “It definitely makes me feel more confident about just like the longevity of Writers Mag and being able to incentivize people not only to just learn about us, but to know we’re something valuable.”
According to interim adviser Joshua Swidzinski, what was already an achievable internship possibility will finally come into fruition in spring 2024.
“This felt like low-hanging fruit for us as a department because the work has always been there,” Swidzinski said. “The labor has been there, the professionalization has been there — we just haven’t been rewarding it as well as we should have been rewarding it.”
The internship will work on an opt-in, opt-out basis. Editors who opt-in and complete the internship will earn one credit towards the English major, English minor or writing minor; senior editors will earn two credits.
For Valdez, credit earnings for the internship accurately reflects the time commitment required for each position, which can be anywhere from 30 to 60 hours per semester.
“I’d say especially for the spring, in terms of going through around 100 or so submissions, reading through them on a weekly basis, as well as moving all of our submissions around, it makes sense,” Valdez said. “Same with printing — construction and printing are usually around like a month and half long. So it definitely evens out in terms of hours.”
The hours of editorial work, print production, marketing and communications will remain a constant for Writers as the internship doesn’t spell any major revamping for the magazine.
“We’re trying to do as little changing as possible,” Swidzinski said. “And so nothing is going to change in terms of faculty oversight, except there’ll just be a little more professional development between the faculty advisor and the interns.”
Professional development may include writing letters to future editors and workshopping sample resumes punctuated by skills learned and honed throughout the semester.
And as the fall semester closes out and ushers in this new period of Writers’ history, senior editor Mia Tierney — who graduates this fall — reflects on her own work and what the internship means for the magazine’s future.
“I feel like it’s a reflection of just all of the work that everyone has put in to keep Writers Mag relevant, and to keep pushing the boundaries of what we’re willing to do and the audiences that we can reach,” Tierney said. “So it does feel sentimental.”
Riley Martinez is Copy Editor for The Beacon. He can be reached at email@example.com.