Posted by Alisa Mentor, GD Creative Non-Fiction Reader for 6.2
It’s bittersweet to say that the time and effort invested in the production of Gandy Dancer 6.2 has finally come to an end. The hours of work, discussing, formatting, and rereading has paid off and left us with a physical representation of the sheer amount of passion the Gandy Dancer crew puts into each issue. On Thursday, May 3, we celebrated the newest addition to the Gandy Dancer family. Continue reading
Posted by Clayton Smith, GD Creative Non-Fiction reader for 6.2
I perform improv comedy on campus, and I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to have trouble not viewing most of the media I consume through the lens of improv. Not that comparing every book you read or movie you watch to the process of grown adults playing make-believe is a foolproof method of gauging quality, but I will argue that some of the parameters of improv are just as helpful when applied to the written word. Continue reading
Posted by Shannon Marlatt, GD Fiction Reader for 6.2
Writing is a grueling yet beautiful calling. Experiences like writers block and time constraints make the job so hard. The creative spaces of writers everywhere have succumbed to crumpled paper balls haphazardly thrown near trash bins and half-empty coffee cups strewn across worn desks. One thing that may help writers in the mysterious process is gaining an understanding of what kinds of work literary journals, like Gandy Dancer, look for in publication. In order to help our readers and writers understand the people behind the journal, I decided to conduct a mini interview with each of the editors. I asked two questions to each individual, questions which I believe give readers a good insight into who these people are and what they value. I asked “What is your favorite quote?” and “If you could have any superpower, what superpower would you have and why?” Continue reading
Posted by Grace Ventura, CNF Reader for 5.2
Do you have a bookshelf (either physically or mentally) that is organized into the books you haven’t read yet and the books you have already read? If so, then you probably haven’t heard of the website/app Goodreads . Goodreads keeps track of all of this for you and then some.
Goodreads is free on iTunes and on the Google Play Store. You can sign up through Facebook although you have the option to sign up with an email instead. If you sign up through Facebook, you can connect with other Facebook friends that have the app. The best way to explain how Goodreads works is by going through the five tabs that are listed at the bottom of the app. Continue reading
Posted by Marley DeRosia, GD Fiction Reader for 5.1
It’s that time of the year! The new Gandy Dancer staff is starting to pick up speed as our submission deadline draws to a close, along with the dying rays of summer heat (thank goodness!) As we all settle in with our warm mugs of coffee or cider, we’ll begin reading and assessing the quality and craft of the pieces submitted. For those of you considering submitting, we’ve extended our deadline to October 8th! To get us ready to read, I asked the section heads some hard-hitting questions. This year’s fiction editor is Sarah Steil, the poetry head is Robbie Held, and the creative nonfiction editor Alexis Sammler. Here’s what these clever individuals had to say about their goals for Gandy Dancer and their reading interests:
Marley DeRosia: Sarah, what do you hope to accomplish as the Fiction Section head for this edition’s issue?
Sarah Steil: I hope to feature different voices/writers that offer stories so powerful I need to go take a walk after reading them. There are always some poems/stories that move me so greatly that I think how did they do that?, and then, how can I do that, too? I want every fiction story featured in Gandy Dancer to, metaphorically, punch the reader in the face.
MD: What made you want to be the fiction editor this semester? Have you had experience writing or publishing fiction in the past? Continue reading
Posted by Megan Tomaszewski, CNF reader for issue 4.2
Who is a writer? According to Dictionary.com, a writer is “a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories etc., especially as an occupation or profession.” Merriam Webster Dictionary notes that a writer is “someone who has written something.” But are there any definitions out there for what makes a writer a good writer?
Working at Gandy Dancer this semester as a creative nonfiction reader has prompted me to reflect on the answer to this question a lot, especially when reading through submissions to accept or reject. While discussing submissions with my peers, I was captivated by the way our group would sometimes unanimously “no” a piece, whereas, other times, we would debate pros and cons back and forth. Sometimes, we’d all like or dislike a piece for similar reasons, sometimes for completely different ones.
It was a fascinating, engaging, and messy process unlike anything else that I’ve been a part of—a group of individuals with their own subjective tastes and backgrounds collectively deeming literary pieces as worthy of publishing is no easy feat.
Posted by Connor Hillman, Fiction Reader for issue 4.2
As an English major, I’ve been wondering when I would get to make practical use of the skills I’ve been learning. Sure enough, along came ENGL426: The Editing and Production workshop, the class in which we create the college’s biannual literary journal, Gandy Dancer. Our title comes from the slang term used for railroad workers of the 18th century. Like those workers, the journal reflects the diligence of the artists, poets, and writers who refine their work to create something that allows others passage.
I was excited to learn that we would be reading and selecting the work we wanted to include in Gandy Dancer. Finally, I can read through literature for the sole purpose of discovering and discussing what makes it appealing or not. There are no lengthy research papers, though that doesn’t mean we don’t have to work hard. In fact, it’s a different kind of work altogether. In Gandy Dancer we work as a cohesive and interdependent staff. Not doing your “homework” here means letting everyone down. No one wants to be the one who shows up unable to provide any input about the submissions. I’m normally pretty quiet in class, but here I am required to vocalize my opinions frequently, which is a good thing. After submissions have been selected, we begin copyediting and then digitally constructing the layout of the journal in InDesign. Having worked with InDesign for my High School’s yearbook, I felt confident in this stage of development. The interdependence of our staff is now more prevalent as each of us work on individual pages of the journal that will eventually come together. To students contemplating taking this class, I urge you to do so. Working on Gandy Dancer gives an experience that is closer to actual job. You have to work and communicate effectively with others, maintain a goal oriented schedule with deadlines, and in the end your name is on the masthead. All in all, I’m grateful to be a part of this staff and to be able to participate in a project oriented class. It’s rewarding to dedicate yourself to something that is legitimate, published, and has your name on it.