For today’s Member Monday, we are doing a double interview with our two new Social Media and Blog Co-Editors, who will be helping me run the WNBA-NYC blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn pages. Be sure to welcome these ladies in the comments and when you see them at our upcoming events. They’re doing an amazing job! – Tqwana, Blog and Social Media Manager
Liberty Schauf moved to New York from Houston in May 2012. She completed her M.S. in Publishing degree at Pace University in December 2012. Her career goal is to be an editor for YA fiction. Right now she is doing freelance writing, blogging, editing and social media.
Bryden Spevak is a brand-new New Yorker and couldn’t be more excited about it. A recent graduate from the Denver Publishing Institute, Bryden has held a number of publishing and editorial internships near her hometown of Cleveland, and is looking for something permanent in New York. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her fellow book-loving roommate and their overstuffed bookshelf.
Tqwana: Congratulations to you both on becoming the new blog and social media co-editors for the WNBA-NYC! I’m already enjoying working with you ladies, and you both have been a tremendous help.
How did you come to be involved in the world of publishing?
Bryden: Thanks, Tqwana! I’ve enjoyed becoming more involved in the organization. I always considered myself on track to become a writer of some sort. I studied English in college with a concentration in journalism, and spent four years writing and editing for various publications. My interest in book publishing is newer. I’ve interned in various editorial roles since I discovered my interest in the industry and recently finished my graduate certificate in publishing at the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute.
Liberty: Thank you Tqwana. I’m having fun and learning a lot. Back in late 2010 I’d just quit my job as a Morning News Producer in Austin, TX to help take care of my father who was battling cancer. I decided I would also use the time to embark on a new career. While sitting at a red light one day I thought to myself “If I was a on a deserted island what is the one thing I would want to have with me?” The answer was books. So I decided to learn more about book publishing. Pace University offered a M.S. in Book Publishing that was all online, so I could stay in Houston and take care of Dad. I simply fell in love with publishing and knew that it was my future.
Tqwana: How did you learn about the WNBA and how long have you been a member?
Bryden: When I moved to the city about two months ago and was interning at a literary agency, I went to a WNBA event with a co-worker. It seemed like a wonderful group of women joined by a common love of books and great writing, and I felt compelled to become a part of it.
Liberty: Others in the publishing industry told me via LinkedIn that my living in Texas would be a hindrance to getting a job/internship in New York. So, I hopped on a plane and moved to the Big Apple. I didn’t know anyone or have any job or internship prospects. All I had were my hopes and determination to be a book editor. Jane Kinney-Denning told me about WNBA’s NYC chapter and I decided to join as a way of meeting new people and learning more about publishing.
Tqwana: How important do you think organizations like the WNBA are to a career in publishing?
Bryden: I am so happy that this organization and similar ones exist. I had little knowledge that there were so many wonderful, book-loving people in this city and I can’t wait to take more advantage of that. In a professional community like publishing, it’s important to know who your colleagues are. For those of us still working our way into the field, it’s immensely helpful getting to know those who have already been in it for a while and can offer advice and encouragement.
Liberty: They create an opportunity to network with others in all facets of publishing. It gives me the opportunity to stay involved in publishing initiatives. It’s also a great place to meet people.
Tqwana: Where do you see yourself, career-wise, in the not-too-distant future? Where do you hope to be?
Bryden: As long as I get to be working with books in some capacity, I’ll be happy. Now that I’m finally settled in New York, I’m starting to dig into the job hunt with more zeal. I hope to be able to use my marketing and editorial skills in a full-time position very soon.
Liberty: I am applying to editorial assistant jobs right now. It would be great if the editorial assistant position was in a children’s department since I read mostly YA and middle-grade books . However, I have worked in the professional world and know that I would be asset in any department because I work hard and can anticipate the needs of others.
Tqwana: What is your favorite word? Why?
Bryden: I don’t think I have one favorite word. When I see a great word, I like to appreciate it, remember it, and use it in conversation when I can. I always love expanding my vocabulary.
Liberty: I really like words that are fun to say like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Any time I say it I smile. Y’all is a fun word. It is a staple in my vocabulary and I think it’s funny the way some New Yorkers react when I say it.
Tqwana: What are you currently reading? Any great recommendations for our members?
Bryden: Right now I’m reading James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain. I think next on my list is Don DeLillo’s Americana. I’ve been going back and forth between classics I’ve missed and more contemporary fiction and nonfiction.