The “Teaching Press” Model at UNCW

One of my favorite aspects of being a Lookout intern is getting to be a part of a teaching press. We work on our Lookout projects in the Publishing Laboratory, and on any given day the lab is full of Bookbuilding students designing layouts and putting together chapbooks, undergrads compiling the UNCW BFA anthology, and Pub Lab TAs tweaking the design of a Writers Week broadside or doing treatments for Ecotone’s next issue.

I’m a TA and an intern, and this semester has given me such appreciation for the teaching press model. I love that the students working side-by-side in the lab have, in various capacities, been given the responsibility not only to read, write, and edit literature, but also to design, package, and market it so that it can be sent out into the world. When I decided to enroll in the MFA program here, I found the rigorous yet supportive writing community I’d hoped for, but I was surprised and delighted by the professional opportunities I’ve found here.

This semester, I’m helping to copy-edit River Bend Chronicle by Ben Miller and am planning a spring tour throughout North Carolina for Lookout author John Rybicki. I’ve learned a lot about the necessary steps for planning an author website, and about the ever-growing relationship between publishing and social media. I’ve discovered that North Carolina has a thriving network of independent bookstores, literary centers, radio stations, and other venues open to supporting the work Lookout does. This semester is already winding down, but our work at Lookout isn’t!

– Katie Jones, Lookout Intern