Roger: Janice sums up the editor's problems nicely below. When I was
editing the newsletter, I spent as much or more energy recruiting writers
as I did editing and laying out the stuff they eventually sent in. It takes
a direct approach. General calls for submissions rarely turn up much; you
have to ask specific individuals to write about their
research/teaching/institution or whatever. At the Inkshed conference and at
the C's and elsewhere you have to ask people to give you a copy of their
presentations or to write a summary, etc. And then you have to pester them
and e-mail them and telephone them and threaten them (and, let me tell you,
Inkshedders aren't easily threatened) and otherwise make yourself
obnoxious. There is good reason that editors have a curmudgeonly
reputation. I hope I'm not discouraging you. As Janice points out, all that
contact results in good friends right across the country.
At 12:23 PM 1/13/99 -0800, Janice Freeman wrote:
>One of the biggest jobs for Amanda and I was simply providing copy for
>the Newsletter. Our first issue, "In the MOO" was in danger of being
>totally written by us (with edited MOO transcripts) until an article
>came in at the last minute. In fact, the actual editing would not have
>been a problem if we'd had something to edit.
>The WAC/WID issue came about because of a similar dearth of copy. I
>started the thread on CASLL and then asked individuals to write short
>reports about developments in their institutions. Again, the editing was
>not an issue-- getting people to write was.
>The post-conference issue never happened for similar reasons. We had no
>copy. Then when Russ put up the web site with all the lovely coloured
>pictures, we both felt that a print version would be redundant.
>Your idea of a combined print/online version might work-- those of us
>content to receive it online would do so and the print version could go
>to libraries and individuals without web access. BTW, the cost of the
>print version never became an issue for us. The Centre for Academic
>Writing here at U. of Winnipeg paid printing and mailing costs for one
>issue and Stan arranged to cover the cost of the second one through U.
>of M. (And Pat and Sandy did the envelope stuffing.)
>So if we could just get people writing more and submitting copy, the
>newsletter wouldn't be a big task for whoever volunteered to edit it. I
>liked the idea of theme issues. I'd like to see a future issue on
>tutoring/writing centres. We're in the middle of making big changes to
>ours, and I'd sure like to know how other smallish institutions provide
>support for undergraduate writers. I would certainly contribute a report
>on that issue. Another theme issue that I could see being useful is
>teaching online or through various other DE methods.
>One thing I really enjoyed about doing the newsletter was the contact
>with all the fine CASLLers who did contribute. And, of course, there was
>the sense of satisifaction that comes with having the finished copy in
>So I guess this means that I'm still willing to be involved in the
>Newsletter in some way. Amanda and I just ran out of
>time/energy/enthusiasm because of the difficulty of generating copy. I'm
>encouraged to see the way this discussion has gone. I get the feeling
>that people agree that there's something worth continuing.
>Centre for Academic Writing
>University of Winnipeg
>Roger Graves wrote:
>> Here are the logisitcs of what I see as the solution: we opt for a
>> (perhaps) less aestheically pleasing print edition and create one version
>> that is both online and print version. If the newsletter were produced in
>> Word using web-page files, we could print copies of it as needed and post
>> a version of this directly to the web: One process, two products. IF I
>> survive the tenure process, I'd be willing to work on this part of
>> the editor's work (I'll know by
>> June). What are the other parts of the job?
>> Roger Graves
>> Assistant Professor
>> Department of English, DePaul University
Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Education
3700 McTavish Street