My Farewell to Jenny

To my SLAA team,

Since I am about to graduate, Jordan asked me to write a quick goodbye letter to the Jenny stating what I’ve learned, what I’ll remember, what I’ll miss, and so on. There’s a lot to say.

I think the biggest thing Jenny taught me is what it’s like to be on the editorial side of publishing. As a budding writer, I used to get very frustrated by magazines’ lack of response, mysterious submission guidelines, and routine rejection. Working on the Jenny opened my eyes to just how hard it is to run a successful literary journal, and also how difficult it is to decide which pieces to include and which to reject. The sheer mass of submissions is daunting. I learned just how important it is for your work not only to stand out, but to be clear and concise. Some of the best pieces I saw working here were pieces that were beautiful in their simplicity and precise details. I now try to apply that to my own work whenever possible.

The other thing I gained through SLAA and the Jenny is a community of writers. Youngstown isn’t exactly known as a literary capital, but it has a vibrant group of college students who are determined to succeed. They were willing to look at my work and offer insight that I never noticed before. Honest feedback is the most important tool in refining your craft, and I was lucky to have it from my fellow writers at YSU. Thanks guys.

I’m planning on pursuing a MFA in Creative Writing next fall. I know I wouldn’t have felt prepared to do so if I had never encountered SLAA and the Jenny. They helped me in invaluable ways. I wish you all the best of luck! Thanks again.

– Madison Sudon, Secretary of the YSU Student Literary Arts Association

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