Meet Your New Managing Editors for 2020-2021

Sara Devoe (left) and Rebecca Williamson (right)


Meet your new Managing Editors of Gandy Dancer, Sara Devoe and Rebecca Williamson! They look forward to reading your submissions. Our deadline is October 8th!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first time the Editing and Production class (the class in which we create Gandy Dancer at SUNY Geneseo) will be all online. Although our means of production will be different, we’re sure we’ll still receive the same high quality of work we usually do. 

Here’s a short interview we conducted so you can learn more about us.

Sara interviewing Rebecca:


What brought you to the Gandy Dancer class?

I took Gandy last fall because I wanted to learn more about editing and the production process. I knew that this class could help me in my future as a writer and editor aspiring to work in publishing. I had the amazing opportunity to be the Fiction Editor as I learned more about different elements that make a story publishable. I was grateful when Rachel asked me to be Co-Managing Editor because I could continue to grow and see Gandy in a new light.


Who are your favorite artists?

I like many different genres of music, from pop to Broadway to classic rock. One is definitely Harry Styles. I am a huge One Direction fan, but for some reason, Harry’s solo music is the only one l love. His melodies are catchy and his voice is like butter. I also love Kelly Clarkson because her belt is so powerful and her lyrics have a lot of depth.


What are your future plans?

My plan is to attend a summer publishing certificate course such as the Columbia Publishing Program after I graduate in May. I want to work in publishing and eventually live in New York City. This program gives me the chance to continue to learn about the industry. I love the idea of being able to work with books the rest of my life. I know it’s probably a cliche answer, but I loved reading growing up because I could escape to new worlds and learn about myself and others. I want to help writers create their best books so that they can inspire other young readers. I also hope to write and publish my own work.


What hopes do you have for Gandy Dancer this semester?

I hope that we can create two more amazing magazines this year. While I know that things are very different because of COVID-19, I‘m excited to collaborate with new people and hear their insight in class. I can’t wait to read all of the submissions and have thoughtful discussions about each piece.


Who are your favorite authors?

This is such a hard question for an avid reader. If you had asked me about a year ago, I would have said J.K. Rowling. While I still love the Harry Potter series, I don’t agree with everything Rowling has said lately. Aside from that series, I’ve recently read Sandhya Menon and Hannah Orenstein. I also grew up loving Cassandra Clare’s young adult fantasy books. I love some classics like Emily Bronte and Shakespeare. Obviously, I can’t choose just one. I have also enjoyed reading student authors during class. One fiction story I enjoyed from Gandy 8.2 when I read it after it’s release is “The Biggest Drill” by Carly Sorensen because of the complexity of the protagonist. 


Rebecca interviewing Sara:


What are you looking forward to as Managing Editor for Gandy this year?

I’m most looking forward to getting to know all of the new faces in the class! I can’t wait to hear everyone’s input and to have new and engaging conversations about the work we receive. My favorite part of being in the fiction section was getting to hear so many different perspectives about a piece of work, and I can’t wait to hear what a new group of readers will bring. 


What is your favorite genre and why?

My favorite genre is fiction because of the variety that can come with it. We’ve received all sorts of fiction; from realistic fiction to stuff bordering on sci-fi and fantasy. One of my favorite pieces from 8.2 was “splitting,” because it was so unique in its language and diction. The story is raw and graphic, and I’d love to get more stories like that this year. It’s so fun to see what students do with such a broad range of writing. 


What do you think makes a submission publishable?

To me, a publishable submission is one in which the writing is sophisticated and the piece evokes strong emotion and engagement. Sometimes we receive pieces that are extremely creative but the writing is unsophisticated, and other times we receive pieces in which the writing is strong but the characters aren’t engaging. I love creative work that helps me to learn more about myself and others.


What are you currently reading and would recommend?

Currently, I am reading the collection of short stories Dubliners by James Joyce. I traveled to Ireland last summer and bought it there and have a very strong interest in Irish culture and literature. If you’re looking to learn more about Irish history and culture while also being engaged through every story, I would highly recommend.


What are your post Geneseo graduation plans?

Post graduation, I hope to be an English Teaching Assistant in South Korea, but if not, I would like to go into editing and publishing. My dream is to continue to read, write, and publish writing. 




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