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Ladies of Jenny: Meet Amber Palmer

In celebration of our upcoming women’s issue, we wanted to introduce you to a few of the great ladies of Jenny Magazine. Submissions for Issue 11, dedicated to exclusively featuring writing and art by female-identifying creators, close on September 10. We hope to see your work!

Amber Palmer

Amber Palmer
YSU Student Literary Arts Association Vice President
Jenny Magazine Issue 11 Playwriting Editor

Majors: Professional and Technical Writing; Theater Studies

I like to read playwrights like Sarah Ruhl (favorites of hers are The Clean House, The Vibrator Play, and Late: A Cowboy Song), Paula Vogel (favorites are The Baltimore Waltz and And Baby Makes Seven), Charles Mee (favorites are Hotel Cassiopeia and Big Love), Topdog/Underdog by Suzan Lori Parks, Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, 36 Views by Naomi Iizuka, and Red by John Logan. As far as classic playwrights, I love Moliere, George Bernard Shaw, and Chekov, if I’m in the right mood.

I haven’t been reading much outside of plays, but I enjoyed Fun Home by Alison Bechtel, Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk, the Flowers in the Attic series by V.C. Andrews (definitely a guilty pleasure), Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery and pretty much anything written by Laurie Halse Anderson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edith Wharton.

I currently am reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Ruby Sunrise by Rinne Groff, GRE text books, and Stop Kiss by Diana Son.

I like to write everything. My focus is in playwriting, and I tend to lean towards realistic fantasies, or modern realistic stories with a supernatural twist. As far as general fiction, I tend to lean toward speculative fiction and have a strange obsession with zombies. Also I wrote a play about my cactus once. I like creative nonfiction, but I don’t spend a whole lot of time writing it.

Currently I’m working on a full length play involving an old haunted house and the family that lives in it. As part of my senior project, it will be getting a reading at some point in this fall. I’m also working on plays for the regional American College Theater festival, some of which involve sentient animatronics, purgatory, cloning, and octopuses.

As far as general fiction goes, I’m trying to experiment with writing several timelines and time jumping within one short story about choices you make and how they create and destroy other choices. I’m also editing a fantasy novel.

When not writing or reading, I do theater! I love puppetry and doing theater administration work. I also do dramaturgy, which can range from providing historical research to a play to acting as an advocate for a new play while it’s in development. Outside of theater, I am the copy editor for The Jambar, our on-campus newspaper. I’m really into cartoons, like Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Over the Garden Wall. I am obsessed with The Muppets. I also am the loving mother of a beautiful cactus and a dog named Max.


Ladies of Jenny: Meet Jordan McNeil

In celebration of our upcoming women’s issue, we wanted to introduce you to a few of the great ladies of Jenny Magazine. Submissions for Issue 11, dedicated to exclusively featuring writing and art by female-identifying creators, close on September 10. We hope to see your work!

Jordan McNeil

Jordan McNeil
YSU Student Literary Arts Association President

Jenny Magazine Head Editor

Major: MFA in Fiction

I read a wide variety of things. If it’s YA, I’ll try pretty much any genre; for adult, I tend to stay with urban fantasy, as that’s my main jam, though I’ll read other fantasy and sci-fi as well. I’m also into graphic novels/comics, and have been working through some essays and poetry lately.

When I write, I’m much more focused — for the most part, anyway. On a broad scale, I write speculative fiction, which usually involves superheroes in one way or another. I occasionally dabble in other areas that fall under the genre “speculative fiction,” and even sometimes try poetry, but it’s mostly superheroes.

When not writing or reading, I am probably napping, being average at videogames, watching Netflix, taking selfies with my goats, or procrastinating on literally anything on my to-do list.


Time for a Goodbye

So it seems my time at YSU is finally up. It’s been a fun, challenging, and sometimes surreal experience. I’ve had plenty of interesting experiences during my college career, but joining Jenny Magazine has easily been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.

Being a member of the Student Literary Arts Association has made me realize that Youngstown truly has a wonderful and active arts community, and I’m glad that SLAA has let me experience some of that. It’s been great working with everyone else involved with it as well. Reading for the magazine was a great experience simply because there is such a wide variety of stories to be read and voices to be heard. There are so many unique voices here in the Youngstown area (and all over, really), and it was a pleasure to read what they all had to say.

It’s been great. I wish the Student Literary Arts Association the best for the future, and I look forward to what they have planned next.

—Mark Toth, YSU Student Literary Arts Association and Jenny Staff Member

Official Announcement for Issue 11

I have been head editor of Jenny Magazine for a year now, and something that I wanted to make sure I did in this position was to both continue the mission of Jenny that was laid down when it was founded in 2010 and do something new with each issue. For Issue 9, we brought back the Featured Author section that existed in some earlier issues of Jenny; for Issue 10, we held a 10-Minute Playwriting Contest, to great success — so great, in fact, that part of what we’re doing for Issue 11 is having a regular, non-contest drama section, which we’re pretty excited about.

The main new thing for Issue 11, however, is that it’s going to be a theme issue: an issue dedicated to women writers and artists.

Whether they write novels or cover stories or op-eds, even the most talented women writers often aren’t validated in the same way that their male counterparts are.

Anna Clark wrote this in her article “The Ambition Condition: Women, Writing, and the Problem of Success” in 2008, and while it’s a little old, it’s still a true statement. Good changes have been made in the literary world in recent years to address the disparity of women and men writers published, but there’s still work to be done. VIDA works yearly to investigate the numbers of some of the big-name literary venues, and I highly recommend checking them out for the statistics.

I’ve been working on this idea since this past fall semester, and after discussion with my staff it’s finally coming to fruition. And, not to be repetitive but, we’re really excited about it. With this theme issue, we’re hoping to help do our part to address the disparity and showcase some great pieces by women creators.

Submissions for Issue 11 will open on Friday, April 29 and run until Saturday, September 10 over on our Submittable page. We’re looking forward to reading your work!

—Jordan McNeil, SLAA President and Jenny Head Editor

Introducing the Companion Zine

Jenny Magazine was created in 2010 to share the literary arts of the Youngstown area as well as works from other regions — places as close as Pennsylvania and as far away as South Korea. The idea was to open up a dialogue between our hometown and the rest of the world, and show that we are still creating wonderful things here. An online format for this purpose just made sense.

I personally joined Jenny in 2013 and fell in love with the work we do. I have read so many amazing poems, short stories, and nonfiction essays in my time on staff, and I’m always straight-up giddy to share them with everyone else. When it came my turn to take the responsibility as head editor, I was excited to continue the mission. But I also wanted to add something new.

The idea of doing print editions of Jenny was a floating thought, but as amazing as they are and as fun as they can be to put together, they are also time consuming and expensive. And I like the online literary magazine, as it makes it that much easier for writers and readers alike to share their favorite pieces with their friends, family, the world.

Then, it hit me after some reading of my own: a companion zine, a sampler that would showcase the editors’ favorite pieces from each section, adding a physical component to Jenny without losing our original premise.

And so, I present you the companion zine for Issue 10:

You can grab a copy or two for yourself at the Jenny Magazine Issue 10 Premiere Party happening Thursday! We’ll be celebrating at The SOAP Gallery in Downtown Youngstown starting at 7pm, and I hope you’ll join us! Details can be found on our Facebook event.

—Jordan McNeil, SLAA President and Jenny Head Editor

Come Party with Us!

We have been busy as of late getting ready for the release of our upcoming issue, and we’re really excited about it!

On Thursday, April 21, join us at The SOAP Gallery to celebrate the premiere of Jenny Issue 10! We’ll be joined by the YSU chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, whose member will be giving the winning play of our 10-Minute Play contest a concert reading — and the YSU Student Government Association is partnering with us for the event to also celebrate the winners of their YSU Student Essay Contest. It’s sure to be a pretty great time, and you should join us! Further details about our event can be found here.

Jenny 10 Premiere

On Submissions and Sponsorship

Responses to all Issue 10 submissions have been sent out this week, bringing us one step closer to sharing an awesome Spring issue with you! We’re really excited, as always, to produce Jenny Magazine, and we’ve got some ideas to further the Jenny vision, including an accompanying sampler zine for each issue and future contests.

To accomplish these goals and new projects, we’re in need of funding. If you like what we do at Jenny Magazine and would like to help support us with our future projects, you can become a sponsor! All sponsors will be listed on the Jenny website as part of our tenth issue. For more information, you can find our donation letter and form here on our website.

For updates about our upcoming issue, stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter, and right here on our blog.