I am a writer. I write — and up until last year, I absolutely, under no circumstances, did not re-write. (more…)
The Unpaid Internship – Cruel and Unusual or Necessary Evil? October 16, 2012
Unfairness, thy name is unpaid internship. During one conversation appointment this week, I fell into something of a difficulty: having to explain why I had done so many unpaid internships. My conversation partner, a finance graduate student, had already had a paid internship with an ample (if not exactly generous) stipend, and thought it was strange when I said I’d never had a paid internship. In the past four years, I’ve worked for several companies in several roles, but always unpaid and always with a paying retail or office job on the side so I wouldn’t run my bank account into the ground. I’ve spoken with other students in humanities or writing programs over the past few years and many of them reported similar experiences (with the exception of those who only did unpaid internships and let the budgetary chips fall where they may). I’m willing to bet that most of our readers in LA&S can relate, and most science or business students are thinking I’m crazy for accepting unpaid work. For me, the question becomes: why does the unpaid internship seem to be only the plague of humanities or writing-based fields? Does it actually do anything, other than drain our bank accounts? And what can we do to change it? (more…)
Internships: Taking the Next Step April 17, 2012
Two weeks ago I started a new internship with a literary agency. Writing and editing are my passions, and after working at the Writing Center for the past few months and at a small press in Wicker Park, I definitely felt ready for a more intensive internship. Around Christmas, my boss at the small press job mentioned that her friend at another company was looking for interns, and after an interview and a lot of emails, I started work there. I’ve had one in-house internship before and have, of course, worked on writing-based jobs before, but this was different. (more…)
Taking Another Look At Editing as Tutoring February 14, 2012
When I first signed up for my literary editing course, I didn’t really think it would have much in common with my tutoring job. I mean, we’re taught from the beginning to be non-invasive tutors, and definitely not editors. We don’t want to risk usurping the writer’s voice or helping them too much. However, it’s inevitable that in talking about what makes good writing, you learn a thing or two about tutoring. It turns out that editing is deeply entrenched in the writer/reader relationship, just as tutoring is. That relationship is a great jumping-off point for considering how the two disciplines are related, and what we can learn from editors to become better tutors. (more…)
Why Do We Laugh at Gaffes? October 26, 2011
On Thursday night I attended a lecture series at Saint Xavier University. The guest lecturer was Robert Gibbs, the former press secretary for President Obama.
The talk was pretty good (probably not worth the $20 bucks I spent, but whadderyagonnado?). He shared some anecdotes about working with our President, and gave some interesting insight into the Republican primaries. He also gave a surprisingly effective answer to a question on how young people can avoid apathy. He noted that lobbyists in $2000 suits really like our apathy. They capitalize on it.
As a tutor part-way into my third year at the UCWbL, I have given written feedback on many documents: about 45 of them, according to a quick search of the UCWbL archives. But none have been quite like the most recent in either size or style. As an employee of the UCWbL, a Writing Center tutor, I. . .edited. (more…)
Workshopping Outside of School June 29, 2011
Can you count on one hand the number of people outside of school who have read your work? This is a shame. You may be thinking, “talk about a blessing, not a curse,” but allow me for a moment to express just a few of the reasons why workshopping is so invaluable to writers of all levels, and can be done even outside of a workshopping class at school.
Quick Questions — On Journaling for a Class June 22, 2011
Question: I am writing a journal for one of my classes. Normally when I write a journal I write as if I am speaking out loud or tell a story. My instructor reviewed my journal and stated there was a problem with my diction becasue I an using descriptions of myself. She suggested I check with the writing center on problems when using casual diction. She noted that was the major problem with journal. I have written journals before and never had this problem. Can you clarify for me the problems she is refering to in regards to casual diction?
Response: Casual language is fine for many things, and I can see why you would approach a journal with that tone. Of course, if the professor says you’re writing too casually, then you must be writing too casually, so let’s look at ways to change that.
Hot Topics in Writing: Editors and Editing May 7, 2011
The first episode of the second season of Hot Topics in Writing,the UCWbL’s podcast, is finally available below for your streaming-audio pleasure!
In this thirty minute show, writing fellow Maureen Clancy and writing tutor Joe Olivier introduce themselves and speak with writers who (among other things) currently work as editors. You’ll hear from Monica Westin and how her work as an editor, graduate student and writing instructor informs her perspective on writing and deadlines. Also, Leah Huffman, a recent graduate from DePaul’s Master of Arts in English program, reflects on her work as an editor at Quintessenz Publishing‘s Chicago-area office. Even if you’re career ambitions are not related to the field of editing, revising your work is an essential component to any successful writing project, so be sure to tune in!
Quick Questions – On Focus(ed) Groups March 14, 2011
Question: I am a bit confused about terminology. Should it be ‘focus group’ or ‘focused group’? For example, if I am writing the sentence, ‘The chairman is thinking of setting up focus/focused group meetings to collect stakeholders’ views’, should I use focus or focused? Or it doesn’t matter? Thanks! —
Response: Hi —! Although it seems to make perfect sense that one would refer to a group of people focused on a particular topic as a “focused group,” I have only ever heard it said “focus group.”