It’s hard to a remember a happier day than when I was offered a position at the University of Cincinnati as an assistant professor. I was looking forward to many years (decades, I thought) focused on teaching.
After two years at UC, I can say the job is everything I had hoped for—and more. I spend my days in a beautiful building (a music conservatory, in fact) teaching subjects I’m passionate about, and helping students launch their careers. I have supportive and friendly colleagues, and the freedom to pursue my own creative projects.
So it comes as a surprise—even to myself—that at the end of UC’s academic year, I’m stepping away from this dream to pursue a new opportunity and challenge at the Virginia Quarterly Review.
At VQR, I’ll be serving as Web Editor, responsible for managing the VQR website and securing exclusive online content, as well as developing and overseeing social media and online marketing efforts. I’ll also be involved to a lesser extent in the selection and editing of VQR’s print content.
VQR is a publication I’ve admired for a long time. Based in Charlottesville, VQR has been published continuously out of the University of Virginia since 1925. It has a long history of featuring some of the most notable authors in history and has won a range of awards, including six National Magazine Awards (the magazine world’s equivalent of the Pulitzer). And just yesterday it was announced that VQR is a finalist for THREE awards this year!
When I was approached by the publisher about the opportunity, it was hard to say no. Here was a person I trusted and admired (Jon Parrish Peede), considering me for a gig with a first-rate journal—with a mission and values I believe in—where I could help build online content and community among a tightly knit staff in a not-for-profit, university setting. (I have no desire to return to corporate media!)
With VQR I have a never-before-realized opportunity to combine two things I consider part of my identity: literary culture and digital culture. But it does mean leaving the place I’ve called home for 14 years: Cincinnati.
It will be a tough relocation, but I’m looking forward to the adventure ahead.
Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has nearly 25 years of experience in the media & publishing industry. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.
In addition to being a professor with The Great Courses (How to Publish Your Book), she is the author of The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), which received a starred review from Library Journal.
Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as Digital Book World and Frankfurt Book Fair, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.