OUR COMMUNITY EDITORS
The Community Editor Apprenticeship provides a way for people from diverse backgrounds to come together and have conversations about cultural sensitivity, equity, and social justice, and our role in creating change as individuals and as a literary journal. Apprentices come from a variety of ethnic and social-economic backgrounds, ages, gender identities, and levels of writing and editing experience.
This year our Community Editor Apprenticeship was streamlined due to funding. We had only six in-person meetings. We discussed the mission and purpose of the Almanac and the kinds of stories we hoped to publish. We had only three months to read and rate 100 submissions and to determine whether they were a good fit with the mission of Saint Paul Almanac. We used a rubric that included: heart-felt, authentic, important and necessary, well-crafted, and intriguing. We also investigated how to honor a writer’s voice while editing and how to develop relationships between writer and editor through the editing process.
The process of the Community Editor Apprenticeship is a simple one: during each session we read a packet of stories and poems and discussed them in small groups. This is the heart of the Almanac’s unique method because we all learn from each other, even experienced editors like me, as well as those new to editing. We do not always agree, and the conversations are not always comfortable. The process requires openmindedness, deep listening, and thoughtfulness. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we sigh. Not only are we putting together a magazine that will appeal to readers, create community, and offer fresh perspectives, but we also learn how stories can go beyond being appealing and interesting―they can be eye-opening and transformative. We come to understand how doing this work and paying attention to each word and each idea will enable us to be better citizens and neighbors, and better readers, writers, and editors.
Many of our community editors want to pursue a career in the publishing field. An apprenticeship with Saint Paul Almanac is a step in the right direction. It offers an opportunity to study in a dynamic, experiential, and practical environment, where apprentices become empowered to choose and advocate for the pieces they believe in. We can’t wait to see what they will do next and the impact they will have on the world.
Eli Arhelger is a Minnesota poet, anthologist, and trans queer advocate. They work in Residence Life at the University of St. Thomas and co-host the podcast Lavender Lit Club with their best friend.
Gigi Bisong is a poetic speaker/storyteller, women’s somatic coach, and meditation teacher. She enjoys hot yoga, red lipstick and hosting events that give her an excuse to wear a fabulous gown. www.GigiBisong.com
Lyn Cramer's love of the Mississippi brought her to college in Saint Paul during the rebellious '60s. Here she stays, longing to canoe again, reading, writing, and doing whatever she can to leave her campsite better than she found it.
Aria Dominguez has won various prizes and fellowships, and her poetry and creative nonfiction has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. She works with
a nonprofit focused on food justice and lives in Saint Paul with her son.
Micah Frazey is an aspiring author and book editor. When he isn't reading, he can be found watching horror movies or playing video games.
Originally from Oklahoma City, Moses Hawkins is a writer currently living in Minneapolis. They enjoy being in nature, reading, and spending time with loved ones.
Josh Kloss is a junior at the University of Minnesota, studying English and psychology. He enjoys creative writing in his free time and writes for several on-campus publications.
Yara Omer is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing educator and a mother of two who writes in Arabic and English. Her work appears in a variety of journals and anthologies, and she is excited about the upcoming publication of her first novel.
Marjorie Otto works as a book editor and enjoys writing poetry. In her free time, she is a paddler of rivers and a beekeeper.
Samantha Singh is a
rising high school junior with a passion for writing prose, journalistic
(Op-Eds), and creative nonfiction pieces.
In her free time, she enjoys writing articles for her school newspaper and spending time with her two cats.
Wisdom Mawusi is a
writer, educator, activist, and the mother of three divine Black children. She resides in North Minneapolis and is the founder and executive director of Black, Bold & Brilliant, an empowering community organization for Black youth and families.
Peggie Carlson is an
author, a retired teacher, and the first women in the state of Minnesota to have a pipefitters license. She is a wife, mother, grandmother who, when not reading, writing, hiking, or biking, can be found enjoying the company of family and friends or traveling with her husband
of 46 years.
Wendy Brown-Baez is
the creator of Writing Circles for Healing and facilitates writing workshops in community spaces such as healing and spiritual centers, arts organizations, and prisons. She has been with the Saint Paul Almanac for more than 10 years and believes in the power of stories to transform lives.
Pamela Fletcher Bush is CEO and publisher of Arcata Press | Saint Paul Almanac and professor emerita of English (Saint Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota). She’s also an editor, poet, and writer, who has won literary awards and fellowships for arts criticism, creative nonfiction, and poetry.
Apprenticeship Leadership Team:
Project Manager/Executive Editor
Senior Community Editor
Writing and Editing Instructor/Editor
Pamela R. Fletcher Bush
Magazine Design/Production and Web Developer