Jet Fuel Review: Launch Successful!

24 Apr

So, I returned from my conference in New York and it just happened that there was no time to update the blog here. From the minute I was back at home, I had to deal with a ton of homework and internship responsibilities. This blog simply slipped to the farthest back burner possible. But, I’m back and I have good news — the literary journal ┬áhas launched and it went extremely well!

In the last few weeks, I’ve been working like crazy on getting all of the author’s contracts in and making sure that we had electronic copies of all the works we accepted. There was a time crunch to get contracts from artists, but we finally got all of those set early last week. I believe I stated in January that art was one of my biggest concerns for this journal and it was a struggle for months. I think we got some great art pieces and though it took us a while, I think we publishes some wonderful visual works of art.

I was finally able to delegate some of the work on my beloved literary journal blog. It was difficult to give up some of the control over what gets posted on the blog, but it was a necessity when I went out of town for the conference. For that week, my two interns took care of all of the content and that was surreal. It was freeing because the trip was so fun and enjoyable, but it was also odd to not be worrying about the blog. I’ve recently delegated two of my weekly posts to my fellow interns and that’s been very helpful.

This past Tuesday, the literary journal’s website launched and we had an official launch event on campus to celebrate the successful first issue. Professors and students read pieces that we published in this first issue of the journal, there were refreshments, and we projected the website on a screen so people could see the fruits of our labor. I spent at least four hours putting all of the written and visual pieces onto the site and was so relieved when all of it worked.

The launch went well, the site is up, and now it’s just a downhill slide to the end of the semester, the end of my internship, and graduation.

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Lead-up to Launch: Week Seven

27 Mar

This week was busy and yet I managed to get a lot of time in for the internship. As always, the majority of my time was taken up with updating the blog. I posted some really fun entries this week. Each week I try to write something that I would find engaging if I was reading the blog, so that means I have fun writing the posts. There are an abundance of writing blogs out there and I try to use their interesting articles as a jumping-off point. Aside from the blog, I spent my time cataloging all of the biographies for the authors who submitted work for the first issue of our journal. This took more time than I thought it would because it meant getting all the submissions together and cross-referencing them with my emails. But, I never feel better than when I’ve organized everything and have it all in one place. Now, I have all of the submissions together and I feel better about where we’re headed for the first issue.

Next week, I will be away for a conference that has to do with one of my English courses. I am really, really excited for this conference. The only downside is that it means I won’t have time to manage the journal’s blog. I’ve outsourced the work to my fellow interns for the week and they’re more than happy to help me out, but I still have trouble delegating work. I know I’ll be checking the blog to make sure everything is going well even while I’m gone. Even so, it’ll be fun to have a week off!

Lead-up to Launch: Week Six

20 Mar

For the better part of this week, I found myself laying uselessly in front of the television surrounded by tissues and drinking lots of fluid. Yes, folks, I was sick. I don’t know if it was the flu or just your common cold, but it was unpleasant. And, sadly, it meant that I didn’t have much energy to work on the internship. Before it got really bad, I was able to post to the blog and send out some more notices to authors for the first issue. But by the time Thursday and Friday rolled around, I was just felt too horrible to write quality posts for the blog. At least, not posts that I would have been proud of. The good news is that I’m feeling better and more work can be done on the internship in the coming week.

The week after next, I won’t be around…for a much better reason than being ill. I’m taking a trip with some of my classmates, a professor, and a good friend in the name of academic discourse. That means I’ll be delegating all of my blogging responsibilities to my fellow interns — T and S. I have trouble with delegation, I have trouble with not being in contol of what’s going on. But, I’m working on becoming more confident in my fellow interns’ abilities and feeling like I can trust them. I know I can trust them, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be checking the blog each night while I’m away. I honestly can’t help being a control freak, so I will be checking up on things.

In terms of the launch, we continue to move forward. At times, it seems like we’re not getting anything done, but that’s just because it’s not involved in the day-to-day proceedings of the journal. For the most part, the journal’s upkeep depends on updating the blog and keeping the audience interested for when the actual first issue arrives. But, we have finished sending out notes now to our authors and we have contracts back from all of them. We’re ready to start formatting poems and stories and figuring out the website. I remain positive!

Lead-up to Launch: Week Five

13 Mar

As it was with the past few weeks, this week’s schedule remained fairly consistent and regular. I spent a lot of time on the blog, as always. The blog has been the all-consuming aspect of this internship since its inception and I certainly don’t mind! Personally, the blog is my favorite part of the internship and I have a great time updating it each week. I also posted the first contribution from a new guest blogger this week and I’m excited to have yet another new voice on our site! In addition to the blog, I — and my fellow interns — sent out more acceptance/rejection notes. As of this week, we’ll be finished sending out notes and receiving author contracts in reply. This feels like a great accomplishment to me because it means we’re a step closer to the journal’s launch. As soon as we have the last author contract, I think we can begin prepping the journal’s website for the launch. I don’t know if I’m going to change the layout or simply revamp it a bit, and I still need to learn how to post the actual writing we’ve received. But, I’ll worry about that when we’ve finished sending out notes.

I just wanted to share this very quickly — last week, I received an email from a professor at my university who contributed to the blog. He suggested that I remove the “please leave a comment” note at the top of all of my entries. You see, when someone is a subscriber to my literary journal blog, they receive an email copy of the post that’s been put up on any given day. The first thing they see is the “please leave a comment” note and this professor suggested that removing that, pushing up the actual content of the blog post, would entice people to read more. Personally, I feel that this change has improved the content of my blog. Because I know that “please leave a comment” text won’t be padding the beginning of the blog post, I think I’ve been writing better blog post openings. I don’t know what the point of this little story is, but I think it’s to suggest that we should be open to change. It’s hard, sometimes, to change the format of a blog or something else you’ve created, but it may improve it!

The weeks just seem to be speeding by — we’re one closer to launch!

Lead-up to Launch: Week Four

6 Mar

This week was my Spring Break despite the weather being anything but spring-like. Temperatures were still in the 30s and 40s and we even had snow one day this past week. But, what matters is that I was on Spring Break and I had time to spare. To be quite honest, I set out at the beginning of this week making the decision to not spend too much time on the internship. This may be horrible of me and it may be irresponsible, but I work my tail off every single day during the school year. I figured that I was allowed to take some time for myself.

So, most of my work this week was focused on the blog. Because I couldn’t meet with my fellow interns, I figured that the blog was the most tangible, real work I could do. Each morning, I woke up and worked on the blog to get my time in before the day actually began. I really enjoyed this schedule and, frankly, I wish I could do that every day. But, you know, there’s that thing called ‘class’ that you need to ‘attend.’ Alas.

At the end of the week, I also worked on sorting and grading submissions so we can send out more notes next week. I’m optimistic about how the process is going! I know I still have to do work for the website so that it’s ready for the release date and I can’t keep procrastinating about that. Hopefully this coming weekend, I’ll get some time to work on the graphic design aspect of the journal.

Lead-up to Launch: Week Three

27 Feb

To be quite honest, nothing huge or exciting took place this week. When it comes down to it, this week looked very much like last week. I spent the majority of my internship time working on updating the blog. I think I posted some really interesting stuff this week, I know that I had fun writing up the posts. Speaking of the blog, I’ve been approached by someone who’s interested in helping with the blog. A fellow student at the university wants to contribute some more film-related content and I’m excited to include his posts! I always like having new voices on the blog, so this should be a new step for the blog.

We began discussions about art for the cover of the first issue this week. We are undecided as of yet, but at least we’re talking about it.

This coming week is Spring Break at my university. This gives me extra time to do other things that often fall by the wayside during the school year. I’ll still be working on the internship — mostly the blog — but I won’t be working as hard as I usually do. After all, it is my break. I do expect to read the final batch of submissions we have and to send out more acceptances and rejections to our contributors. I’ve also made it a a goal of mine to work on the website this coming week because it needs to be primed for the launch and I’m not yet satisfied with how it looks.

Things are continuing to come together!

Lead-up to Launch: Week Two

20 Feb

You may have noticed (if there’s anyone even reading these updates) that I did not post last weekend. That’s simply because my internship work caught up with me and I was honestly busy reading through submissions to discuss at the Monday intern meeting. So, let’s begin at the begining — the week before last.

Actually, now that I think on it, the week before last was very uneventful. I largely spent my time updating the blog and managing submissions that we needed to read. All throughout the week, submissions were flying between the interns and even some faculty advisers. One embarrassing thing did happen the week before last. On Friday, I was supposed to meet with one of my fellow interns, S, and it completely slipped my mind. I felt really bad about that, but the moment passed and we kept on working.

Now, onto this past week!

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