[Allyson Van Houten] I am excited to share with you the first installment in a series of interviews with the contributors of #24MAG—Issue 4. Read on to meet Rose Jasper Fox.
Rose Jasper Fox, (Issue 4 editor-at-large)
You are one of the few who has worked on this since Issue 1.
I guess that’s true. It’s changed a lot since then. The first time we really had no idea what you were doing. It was totally seat of our pants. We didn’t have an editorial schedule and we didn’t have a map of the magazine and we didn’t have all this fancy preparedness stuff. We were just like “do things and then stuff happens!” Now I feel like we’re more prepared and we have a handle on what we’re doing.
How and why did you get involved?
I know Sara (Eileen Hames) through mutual friends and she knows I’m a magazine editor in my daily life. I was one of the people she approached at the beginning, and of course I said yes! I am one of those people who is always doing something. The wonderful thing about #24MAG is that it doesn’t have a hangover; it doesn’t go on for a really long time. It really is just 24 hours. I do nothing to prepare. I show up and I edit stuff, then I go home and there’s a magazine. And that’s great. It’s such instant gratification and so satisfying. And I love working with all the different people. Some people have never written anything for a publication before and some people are professional writers. Some people did a lot of writing once upon a time, but they haven’t done it in a while and are feeling pretty rusty. People are writing long form, short form, journalism, fiction, poetry and random stuff. I get to work with all of them all at once in this very intense way. And it’s terrific. I get such a high. It’s great.
What projects are you working on for this edition?
This time around I’m the editor-at-large so I work with everyone who creates text and wants some editorial direction. Sometimes it just means line editing; sometimes it means I help shape a piece. It really depends. Basically whatever a writer needs editorially is what I do. Writers come to me, and I offer them whatever assistance they need with their projects. Because most text doesn’t come in until 7 p.m., which gives me a lot of free time, I’m writing a logic puzzle that is about #24MAG. I picked five of the participants, and I asked how many hours did they sleep and what did they do to prepare. Then I get to write this logic puzzle with questions that start like “Neither the person who wrote to-do lists nor the person who slept eight hours is the managing editor.” Danielle (Sucher) is also doing a cryptic crossword. So we have a puzzles page!
What is your favorite personal or professional project?
#24MAG is definitely one of my favorites. Beyond that, I sort of love them all. Professionally I edit for a magazine, Publishers Weekly. On the side I do novel editing for people who are unpublished. It is so gratifying to work with these authors who are kind of finding their way. I work with them getting that first manuscript ready to either self-publish or send to send off agents, and then I let them out in to the world and watch what they do. A lot of them have self-published their books, which came out really well. Some of them have gone off and found agents and they’re getting representation and going out into the professional publishing world. I feel like I’ve pushed them out of the nest a little bit. I’ve helped them find their voices. I don’t ever feel like they couldn’t do it without me, or anything like that. I am helping them to become better writers. The way I edit them is by educating them, helping them figure out what they do best and how to do it better. Watching them succeed and get books deals and publish their books find success and find their audience is just so satisfying.
Rose has contributed to #24MAG Issues 1, 3 and 4.
You can also get a taste of what the process was like by reading my live-blogged post, with updates from every hour in the process, or check out the conversation that took place between contributors on Storify.
Photos courtesy of #24MAG contributors.