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Interview with Southwestern Review Editor Brandon Buckner

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Brandon Buckner, the editor-in-chief of The Southwestern Review, is a second-year graduate student in the English Department at UL. We recently got in touch with Brandon to learn more about The Southwestern Review and the role graduate students play in its publishing.

Could you tell us a little bit about The Southwestern Review?
Sure! The Southwestern Review is a school-funded, creative writing, liberal arts magazine/journal that basically showcases the works of the students here at UL. Both undergraduate and graduate, but we try to focus more on undergraduate works. We accept fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, as well as visual art.

Can any student at UL submit to the journal?
Of course! Anyone can submit because we feel that writing is fundamental regardless of major. Also, the idea of publication is a good thing for your CV and resume, so even if you’re not a creative writing or English major, having a publication under your belt before you graduate helps when applying for grad school or a job. You can put that on there to show a future employer that your writing is above par.

Who are the editors this year?
This will be my second year as editor-in-chief. Our advisor is Dr. Charles Richard, a non-fiction, creative writing, and film professor here in the English department. Ashley McClure, who has been here for a few years, is our graphic artist, so creates the graphics and formats of the editions in order to put it all together for print. Lindsey Taylor is our new, bright, and wonderful grad student who has been helping out. Jolie Reese works part-time in the English Department and has assisted us with cutting and making copies. We are also trying to get readers to help us review submissions, giving us their impressions while not having to come to our bi-weekly meetings.

As a grad student working on this project, how will it help you later on?
Well, it’s been new for me. And because of that I’ve made mistakes last year that I am trying to correct. Editing is something I’m interested in, and this experience has helped me learn more about the process. Also, trying to lead a group is very different, especially for someone like me who has always been sort of a follower. So, that’s been a enlightening part of the process as well. I would also say that this experience helps strengthen my CV, so when I try to apply for a job at maybe a university, they can see that I’m willing to do departmental work, such as serving on committees or directing the school’s literary journal. Truthfully, the professionalization and experience with editing and leadership is really what I gain most from this, which helps a lot with being a grad student.

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