Know the team behind The Ogham Stone (post #1)

Working on The Ogham Stone entails more than just snorting caffeine or getting power adjustments for our spectacles. The team that comes from a diverse background, has a lot to offer in terms of experience and unique talents. Starting this weekend, we will be uploading interviews with our staff regularly. Enjoy today’s spread and watch out this space for more!

Jordan Kubichek says:
1) Why have you chosen the Creative Writing MA?
I chose the Creative Writing MA because I’ve always been a writer. The charming anecdote I tell people is that I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pencil. My hope for this program is to focus onmy craft and be able to refine my writing skills. I think the choice to require MA students to staff the Ogham Stone literary journal will help us all to understand the other side of submitting our work and the tough decisions involved when choosing pieces to include in the journal.
2) What relevant experience can you bring to this project?
I have worked on a journal in the past. In high school I was the literary editor and senior editor of Aerie International literary magazine. It was very high quality, especially for a high school level publication and it taught me some hard lessons about organization and deadlines. Hopefully I will be able to bring some of that knowledge to this project as well.
3) How do you feel about the Ogham Stone project? What are your hopes/expectations?
Dropping us in the thick of it is certainly going to be a challenge. Especially accounting for my previous knowledge, I can imagine how hard we are all going to have to work to make this a success. Compiling a list of all the tasks at hand, I can’t imagine a semester will be enough time. But if we all work together, we just might get it done. My hopes are for a cohesive journal that we can be proud of. I would also like to be able to set up some sort of support system that will make the process easier for staff members down the line. Keeping the budget in the black would be nice too.


Claire Varden says:

I chose to do the MA in Creative Writing as throughout my school education the only subject that ever really excited me was English, and in particular fiction and essay writing. I pursued a career in Pharmacy rather than one in the arts but found myself time and time again drawn to writing classes, reading groups and amateur drama productions. At a point in my life where I felt it was now or never I decided to research what my options were with regard to finding out more about writing as a lifestyle choice. I read up on what was available at the various institutes around Ireland and chose UL. The core modules of the course most fitted my needs, not to mention the stellar line up of faculty staff!

Novels and short stories are my passions

and I have devoured books from when I could first read. I also love theatre and scriptwriting and have a keen eye for dialogue. The Ogham Stone project is particularly exciting and I’m enjoying my role as one of the many fiction editors. It is a difficult job to whittle down the numerous exceptionally well written pieces, to a final few that will make the journal, but each of the editors has a say in this democratic process.

My hope for The Ogham Stone and its contents will be that the published 2018 edition will surpass all previous editions. That it’s quality and entertainment value will be spoken of and appreciated by a wider audience, and that as a publication, The Ogham Stone may become a literary force to be reckoned with.

Kaitlynn McShae says:

1) Why have you chosen the Creative Writing MA?
I’ve spent the past three years teaching full-time, teaching Pilates and yoga after school, and somehow finding time to write in those 60-70 hour weeks. I decided to give myself a year to devote myself to writing and to write another, better book than my first.
2) What relevant experience can you bring to this project?
I’m an associate editor at 1932 Quarterly, and I’m pretty active on writing Twitter.
3) How do you feel about the Ogham Stone project? What are your hopes/expectations?
It’s really exciting to see a literary magazine progress over the course of a year. There’s inherent transience since we won’t be here for next year’s literary magazine, which I think gives us extra purchase to help it crystallize into its best form this year.
4) Do you have a favorite bit of this project? What is it and why?
A lot of writing/being an author these days is building your platform, so I really do enjoy interacting with readers, hopefuls, and past contributors on Twitter!


Erica Veil says:

I have always enjoyed creative writing more than most other forms, and I spent two semesters taking classes in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poets at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. Months after attending the inaugural UL Frank McCourt School of Creative Writing summer school @NYU in 2016, I was invited to apply to this program.
Funny story (I hope):  I had completed my application package, and reached out to a former writing professor to review and give feedback. It had been years since we had talked, so my email went into his junk folder.  After not hearing from him, I decided to submit my application anyway.  Then, I heard from him. By now it’s mid-January, and he proceeds to rip it apart, constructively of course.  My heart sank, and I did not have the courage to tell him I had already sent it.  I listened to everything he had to say (he is a fantastic writing coach), signed up for his next 10-day writer’s boot camp, and threw all hopes of being accepted down the laundry shoot. Then, on March 12, I open and read an email from Joe that he is going to offer me a place in the programme starting in September.  I had been so convinced my application was not focused enough that this message hit me like a starburst, and I wasn’t even out of bed yet. Of course, I started screaming and crying so loud, a friend one floor down came running up, sure I was going to tell them someone close had died.
Previous careers positions have been in marketing and communications, and as a certified project manager and senior business analyst for a global firm. After corporate, I became trained in traditional bookbinding and letterpress printing, along with other printing methods. My studio has two large laser printers for printing booklets, and folios to be hand bound, and an even bigger ink jet roll printer for pieces up to 24”x150’.
I truly hope this year’s product is world-class, and that budget constraints can be remediated so that a more appropriate number of copies can be produced. It would be nice to hand on to future classes a well laid out business plan.
As an experienced printer, since my output is starting to be greater than can be done fast enough to meet demand using just my studio resources, my top priority is to learn InDesign and the printing process working with a third-party printer.
Knowing we have at least a few participants with deep experience in the business of getting things done on time and budget.
It would be nice to see the full two hours each week used fully and effectively.


By Mayuri Goswami


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