Issue #1 Interns

We would like to introduce our interns, Danielle and Amy!

Danielle  Amy LaCount photo

The wonderful ladies took on very big roles at Spry for issue #1. Their assignments involved marketing, research and most importunately reading the hundreds of submissions we received.

We asked you what you wanted to know most about Amy and Danielle’s experiences as part of the inaugural staff of Spry, and the response was overwhelming! Here are the five most popular questions you asked – it’s time to meet our interns!

How quickly do you decide that you are going to reject a piece? Will you always give it the benefit of the doubt and read the entire thing or do you go with your gut instinct straight away?

Amy: I absolutely read the entire piece before deciding either way, and usually tried to read it a couple times through. Writing is hard enough, but to submit to a magazine and ask for feedback from a team of editors? That’s brave! I tried to keep this in mind, and read every author’s piece as thoroughly as possible.
Danielle: As a rule, I generally will give a piece the benefit of the doubt and read the entire thing. Even if the introduction does not exactly capture my attention. Sometimes I will even read it twice. However, there are times when it is immediately clear to me that I’m not going to enjoy a piece, and I will go with my instinct and not finish reading.


What attracts you to a submission? Are there different characteristics in different genres that makes you like the piece?

Amy: I am most experienced in reading and writing poetry, so I looked for characteristics that make a good poem across the board – honesty, courage, lucidity, creativity, empathy. I definitely had to utilize a different skill set for reading pieces of fiction. I looked for humor more, and in the ability to keep me engaged through a long piece.
Danielle:  I really enjoy reading fantasy and creative fiction pieces. So of course, I’m usually attracted to stories that possess certain qualities. If a story is interesting or exciting from the beginning and uses a lot of descriptive language to draw me in, I’m usually more inclined to consider it for publication. The story also has to go somewhere. If it’s just five pages of build up and doesn’t have a satisfying ending, it might not be publish-worthy.  I think this goes for all of the genres.


What did you learn about the publishing world from this internship?

Amy: I learned to more efficiently read a LOT of submissions while still maintaining respect for every piece.
Danielle: I learned that there is a lot more than simply reading submissions. There is a lot of research involved and outreach to spread the word about the journal. Without these things, we wouldn’t have submissions. Research is just as important as reading. It might be less fun, but it’s necessary. 


What drew you to Spry for an internship? What did you gain from this experience?

Amy: I have always been interested in publishing and I work for a feminist magazine at college, but I’d never had a real-world internship in the field before. When I saw the posting, I knew I had to apply. I learned so much about how the publishing world works, about reading different pieces from varying genres, and about creating a cohesive and engaging work.
Danielle: I first learned about Spry on a website while looking for an internship. I have had an internship for another literary journal before and I enjoyed it, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to learn more about it. Since this is a new publication, it’s been interesting to learn the details of starting it up from nothing. And of course, I’ve learned more about the qualities that a good story possesses and how to sort them out from the bad ones.  


Now that you see the published pieces, are there any particular favorites? Any you were rooting for during the reading period?

Amy: Oh goodness, they’re all so wonderful! “Sex for the Recently Divorced” is equal parts heart-wrenching and hilarious. When I first read it I was definitely blown away – it’s so raw and real. “my roommate is from the plane he walked off” is like a punch in the gut; the images, the metaphors, the tragic, lovely words dug into my psyche and stayed there. 
Danielle: When reading, I really enjoyed “Love Letter to You at 85.” I thought it was very sweet, interesting, and descriptive. I’m glad that was one of the ones that got published. I also was rooting for “Blind Little Rain God.” It’s very different from other pieces that were submitted, which made it memorable. I found myself thinking about it later during the day. While I don’t completely understand it, I enjoy reading it. 




  1. Hi, congratulations on a great issue. How quickly do you decide that you are going to reject a piece? Will you always give it the benefit of the doubt and read the entire thing or do you go with your gut instinct straight away?

  2. Thank you for your questions, Kate. We are still taking questions on here, Facebook, Twitter or email. Next week we will interview our interns and post their answers.

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