Literary Journalism Welcomes a New Editor
What’s in store for the IALJS newsletter in 2023
Literary Journalism, the newsletter of the IALJS, is excited to welcome a new lead editor to its pages — Jonathan D. Fitzgerald.
Fitz, as most people call him, has been an IALJS member since 2017, when he was a PhD student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He earned his degree in 2018 and is now Assistant Professor of Humanities at Regis College in Weston, MA, USA. This July, Fitz’s book, How the News Feels: The Empathic Power of Literary Journalists will be published by the University of Massachusetts Press. Outside of his scholarship on literary journalism, Fitz has also worked as a journalist, publishing reported pieces, opinions, reviews, and commentary in outlets such as The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, TIME, The Daily Beast, and elsewhere. You can read some of his clippings at his website jonathandfitzgerald.com.
Kate McQueen (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA) who has led the IALJS newsletter team since 2019, is moving into a new role as book review editor for Literary Journalism Studies.
To mark the changing of the guard, Kate and Fitz got together to take stock and make plans for the coming year:
The newsletter went through a lot of changes in the last year. What are you most proud of?
Kate: During my time as editor, IALJS made a big decision to move the newsletter to a digital format. Previously, it came packaged in a traditional print format and was distributed via PDF through the association email list. Since August 2020, the newsletter has published two articles a month under the newsletter section of the association’s website.
We made the shift because we wanted a quicker way to access news and ideas from the world of literary journalism. And we hoped it would help our association build a stronger sense of community.
We promote newsletter posts through email and social media, so please follow IALJS on Twitter and Facebook!. And we’re still looking for an IALJS social media chair, to help us post more frequently. So if there are readers out there with an interest in taking on this role and joining our team, please reach out!
As in-coming editor, what do you want to accomplish next year?
Fitz: I hope to continue on the great work that Kate began by moving Literary Journalism into its digital format. I was fortunate to have the chance to work with Kate on this transition, and I have a good deal of experience working with WordPress, our website platform, so I look forward to further utilizing our resources to improve the newsletter.
One thing that we’ve already implemented is a digest email that goes out once a month to all IALJS members, updating them on new content that has been published on the site. This brings us one step closer to my goal of maintaining the true newsletter-qualities of Literary Journalism even as we move it online. One thing about that though: these kinds of emails have a way of getting caught in SPAM filters, so if you’re on the IALJS email list but haven’t seen our digest emails, do check your SPAM folder and be sure to whitelist our address.
Beyond that, look for more frequent updates. Kate did a great job of maintaining the pace of two pieces per month and though things slowed down a bit over the winter holidays, it’s my goal to return us to that pace. In order to do that, though, we’re going to need submissions from our readers and subscribers. Stay tuned for a call for submissions soon!
What are you most looking forward to as the new book review editor for Literary Journalism Studies?
Kate: I’m excited to organize more reviews of books written in languages other than English. I’d like to keep better tabs on LJ research and practice around the globe.
How can members pitch us their work?
Fitz: you can email pitches or submissions to email@example.com. Even if you’re just at the very beginning of thinking through an idea, I’m happy to work with you to develop it into a newsletter piece. Remember, these are less formal than articles that appear in our journal, Literary Journalism Studies, and they’re not peer-reviewed. The newsletter is a great place to test out new ideas! And, of course, the best way to know what kind of pieces we publish is to read the newsletter. You can subscribe to Literary Journalism by entering your email in the form on the sidebar of our web page: https://ialjs.org/lj-newsletter/.
Kate: Please send suggestions for books to review to my email address firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in being added to my list of reviewers, I’d like to hear from you too!