Toni Fitzgerald, copy editor
My favorite piece to read: “Missing Keys“
My favorite piece this year was “Missing Keys,” an Off the Cuff by Meredith Quinn. The construction of the essay was so unique – it discussed the author’s frustration with missing keys on her keyboard. As I edited it, I tried to figure out the central mystery: Which keys were missing? And once I finished, I went back and read it twice just to appreciate the precision and planning it takes to write an entire essay without using certain letters. I was struck by Meredith’s word choices. Everything was there for a reason. I kept thinking about the essay for months afterward as an example of how to turn an everyday annoyance into a pitchable story. What an example of creativity.
My favorite piece to write: “The Future for Literary Magazines”
“The Future for Literary Magazines” was one of my favorite pieces I’ve written in my career period, not just this year. I talked to so many fascinating and informative people, who have so much passion for their work. It was such an immersive story, I thought about it for hours each day, and even after I turned it in, I still had about five more sidebars I wished I had room to write. For me personally, it was also special. I’ve read The Writer since I was a teenager, and to pen a cover story for the magazine was an actual dream come true. (Editor’s note: Look for this article to go live on our website in early 2020!)
Yi Shun Lai, “From the Front Lines” columnist
Pete Croatto, “Freelance Success” columnist
Ryan G. Van Cleave, regular contributor
My favorite piece to read: “Like a Rolling Stone” by K.L. Romo
I enjoyed hearing the behind-the-scenes 411 from star publicist Meryl Moss. After reading it, I probably used the term “mediagenic” a dozen times over the next week. (Editor’s note: Stay tuned in the new year to read this piece – our interview with Meryl is going live on our site in the first week of January. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and never miss a new article.)
My favorite piece to write: “The Art of Suspenseful Fiction”
My favorite was “The Art of Suspenseful Fiction” because interviewing bestselling writers to see how they handle creating suspense gave me a few ideas myself that I used in story revision to (what I think was) good effect. I also believe that the surprise vs. suspense concept in that piece is pure gold (and commonly misunderstood).