ing Magazine

In Fall 2018, I worked on the staff of ing Magazine as a writer and editor. ing is one of the Publication Management classes Professional Writing majors can take, and it teaches students how to be art of a real media production group. The magazine is owned by M3, a Lansing-area advertising company, but all the content is supplied by MSU students.

I wrote both for the print magazine and for the blog, and edited classmates’ contributions to the same. You can read my magazine articles here. My pieces for blog include a comedy piece about Christmas shopping, an informative piece about local libraries, and a movie review for Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House. This collection of pieces shows my breadth and adaptability, as well as some trends in what I’m interested in (I wrote about libraries and Japan twice each).

One of my pieces in the November 2018 issue: “Cooking for Critters”

When editing developmentally, as I did on pieces like this book review and this humor listacle, I made a conscious effort to consider how the author would feel about my feedback. That’s not to say that I would avoid correcting something to spare someone’s feelings—but through the experience of being edited by my classmates, I learned what was helpful to hear, what made suggestions easy to understand, and what came across as hurtful. Some things I tried to avoid were excessive recommendations, since that can make the author feel undermined, and criticism without presenting a reason or suggestion, since that isn’t very helpful. I always made sure to highlight something the author was doing well, too, because it’s always encouraging to hear and it lets them know that you were paying attention to the whole piece, not just problem areas. In a long-term editing relationship, it can also help the author realize their own strengths so they can build on them throughout the process.

When we did copyedits, we had very little interaction with the writer. Instead, I closely referenced my AP style guide and used Google Docs suggestions to provide grammatical and style corrections. I occasionally had the chance to proofread the issues before they went to print, which I did on hard copy in a team of three. I always enjoy getting to edit by hand using copyeditor’s notations. Being a part of ing showed me what the fast-paced life of magazine production can be like, and gave me valuable experience writing and editing on a team of diverse authors.

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