Lit Mag Reading Club Chat: Harvard Review #59
A conversation with Harvard Review Editor Christina Thompson & contributors to issue 59
Another editor interview is in the books!
Today I chatted with Christina Thompson, Editor of Harvard Review. This was part of our Lit Mag Reading Club discussion and we specifically focused on Issue 59.
Of course, Christina had a ton to say beyond this one particular issue. For this editor, language is of paramount importance. Thus we spoke a lot about what writers can do to strengthen their prose in order to exude confidence on the page. In addition to editing Harvard Review, Christina teaches at Harvard Extension School. Throughout this interview, she offers magnificent craft gems for writers who want to take their work to another level of strength.
We also got to hear from Roxana Von Kraus, whose essay appears in issue 59. Roxana shared her experience as a student of Christina’s and then working with Christina in order to sharpen her work for this issue. Through the process, Roxana found a new way of looking at her own writing and a deeper appreciation of the importance of what it is she has to say.
Each issue of Harvard Review has a mix of new and more established writers. Christina aims to have variety and “bounce” in every issue, representing a range of experience and backgrounds. Though many of the pieces are solicited, the slush pile still gets read, and in fact a piece for the forthcoming issue 60 was accepted after sitting in the slush pile for over a year.
Christina admits that the response time can be slow. At the same time, there is a level of attention to the details of the work here that is extraordinary. You will find, in watching this video, that this is an editor who is absolutely passionate about the curatorial process of discovering powerful new writing, working with writers to bring out the strengths of their projects, and putting pieces together so that they speak to one another in order to create a whole much greater than each individual part.
This conversation was fun, often funny, genuinely inspiring and quite frankly very helpful (to me, anyway, and hopefully to others!) on the level of craft. I’m so grateful to Christina for taking the time to share her insights on editing, submitting, and the art of good writing.
And, of course, to all of you who came out today to participate, thank you for tuning in!
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