The current editor of Eastern Oregon University’s literary publication, “Oregon East”, is ready to pass the torch to the new generation.
For two years, Maggie Byrd combed through student submissions of art and literature and made the difficult decision of what to publish in the prestigious publication—which accepts all kinds of art and literature submissions.
Byrd’s decision to become part of the Oregon East team occurred after taking Dr. Jodi Varon’s Intro to Fiction course, in which students had to design their own chapbook (a compilation of their written work throughout the term).
She found she enjoyed the design and layout aspects of creating the chapbook. “It was a horrible chapbook, by the way,” Byrd said. She didn’t let that stop her. Soon after, she started to job shadow then Editor Suzanna Keithley. Byrd, a sophomore at the time, decided that she had to apply for the editor position for the 2011-2012 school year. She got the job.
“I want to say it has been challenging, but really, it hasn’t. It was a lot of fun,” Byrd said. She found pleasure in reading students’ work and looking at the artwork submitted. “Making it (Oregon East) into a tangible collection was very satisfying,” she said.
After Byrd graduates, she will attend Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pa. and enroll in the master’s program for publishing and editing. Rosemont College is known for its internships with such companies as Quirk Books, Running Press and Philadelphia Stories.
After acquiring her master’s degree, Byrd looks forward to working as a book designer in the publishing industry. “I’m just going to apply everywhere, and hope to do exactly what I’ve been doing with Oregon East,” she said.
The 2013-2014 editor of Oregon East is Molly Alexander, with McKenzie Trotter as assistant editor. Byrd had only one piece of advice for Alexander, “Be confident.”