Meet the Editorial Board: Sophia Myerly
For twenty years, Water~Stone Review has been a collaborative passion project of students, faculty, and staff. While it is a staff member who holds the position of managing editor (Meghan Maloney-Vinz), and esteemed faculty (Katrina Vandenberg, Patricia Weaver Francisco, and Sheila O’Connor) who serve each issue as section editors, it is our current MFA (creative writing) students who work as invaluable editorial board members and graduate assistants. Led by the faculty editors in a semester-long course, our editorial board members learn the art of careful consideration and in doing so curate the beautiful writing in our journal each year.
In this series of blog posts we introduce you to some of our incredible and accomplished student editors. In this post we meet Sophia Myerly.
Hello! I’m Sophia, the new assistant managing editor for the literary journals of the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University. I’m a second-year student in the MFA program here, focusing on creative nonfiction with a deep passion for poetry. My own writing draws a lot of energy from the natural world, stemming from the fact that I live next to a National Scenic Riverway and find my everyday life influenced by many species and environmental considerations.
While I have just finished my first year of study in the MFA in Writing program at Hamline, I have been involved with the Hamline CWP for nearly six years. I graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing with a double minor in English and linguistics from Hamline in the spring of 2016. During my time in the BFA program, I had the unique opportunity to gain experience with the world of literary journals through the efforts of Katrina Vandenberg, the founding editor of Runestone Literary Journal. Runestone came into existence during my undergraduate years at Hamline, and I served as a member of the student editorial board for Creative Nonfiction for the inaugural volume of the journal. The experience was so rewarding and beneficial that I came back as an assistant editor for creative nonfiction for volume 2.
Runestone was created with Water~Stone Review’s literary tradition in mind, and it was through my time in the BFA program that I became familiar with the work that Water~Stone does in the literary community. The opportunity to gain further experience through reading and discussing submissions, learning more about the literary publishing world, and acquiring further editing skills through participating in the Water~Stone class was one of the biggest reasons why I chose to attend the Hamline MFA program. I served on the CNF editorial board for our upcoming issue, Volume 20, and am honored to now be working on the production and promotion of Volume 20 as assistant managing editor in addition to working with Runestone and the Hamline MFA’s in-house literary journal, Rock Paper Scissors.
Reflecting on my experiences working on Water~Stone Review as a student editor, I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the lessons I’ve been able to learn as a writer and an artist by looking at pieces of writing with an editorial eye. In looking at the work of others, I’ve gained the perspective to see my own idiosyncrasies as a writer more clearly and thus work towards writing with greater clarity and precision. Now, as I work on the journal from the production side, I’m also learning about the ways that design and visual art can interact with text to create thought-provoking intersections. Finding these connections requires a deep consideration and care for the work of all artists involved, and we take our roles as supporters of diversity in voice and form very seriously. All together, this experience calls for a ‘learning mindset’—a blessing for any writer who wishes to practice literary citizenship and be a meaningful contributor to this phenomenal community. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to gain these experiences during my MFA studies, and I look forward to what’s ahead.
Assistant Managing Editor for the Literary Journals of the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University
A transplant from the fields of Iowa to the deep forests and flowing waters of Minnesota, Sophia delights in the natural world and considers it to be her writing muse. She is fascinated by the complexities of the written word and the hidden marvels of the brain, which explains why she savored the opportunity to pursue a double major in Creative Writing and Psychology with a double minor in English and Linguistics at Hamline. Equipped with a deep, reverent appreciation of research and heavily laden bookshelves, Sophia is currently delving deeper into her studies of creative nonfiction in the Hamline MFA program.