During my second year of study at Portland State University, I had the pleasure of serving as the Editorial Lead for Ooligan Press, the program’s student-run trade publishing house. In this role, I oversaw other students in their editorial assignments, developed systems to streamline processes, and collaborated with other department and project leads to set deadlines and strategize solutions to issues as they arose. I’ve also been fortunate to work as an associate editor for Vortex Music Magazine, a Portland-based publication, where I’ve supervised a large stable of digital contributors since October 2015.
My guiding principles for leading a team are simple, if not constantly evolving. You should never ask someone to do something you aren't willing to do yourself. If someone asks for help, you make yourself available, be it by helping them find resources to complete tasks or by working alongside them to find solutions. If someone hands in work that isn’t up to standard, you give clear, direct, but compassionate feedback and help them get back on track. If you have a lot on your own plate, you delegate, but you keep your door open.
When I assumed my role as Editorial Lead, I noticed quickly that many students doing editorial work had trouble differentiating between copyediting and proofreading. For this reason, I created this document outlining the key differences and giving clear expectations about how to structure feedback in each phase of editorial work.
Vortex music magazine
My work with Vortex has been very empowering. I've been able use my editorial and journalism skills, build on my digital publishing skills, and help shape the collective voice of the online arm of the magazine, all while engaging with one of my other passions—music. As the first intern Vortex has hired, a lot of my work has involved developing best practices for both future interns and a rapidly growing group of digital contributors.
I created this document to set clear guidelines for photographers and writers. Editor-in-chief Chris Young gave the piece a final look before sending it out to our existing pool of contributors, and the document will be used for the foreseeable future as we onboard more freelancers.