After one year in the new editorial role, Kathryn Destin and Morayo Faleyimu share what they’ve learned.
In the fall of 2022, Girls Write Now brought on mentee alum Kathryn Destin and mentor alum Morayo Faleyimu as our inaugural Editors-in-Residence. Now, as they continue on in different capacities at Girls Write Now, we asked them what defined their year in this special role.
Like many of my fellow Gen-Zers fumbling through their early careers, I applied to the Editor-in-Residence role as a shot in the dark. After a four-year hiatus, I reconnected with Girls Write Now through the Publishing 360 program. I was excited to keep the new momentum going and potentially land more of the “editorial experience” the jobs I was applying to were looking for. Like any new position, I wasn’t sure what would come, but I was confident things would work out.
One year later, I am happy to report back that was indeed what happened. In the time that has flown by, I’ve had the fantastic privilege to produce our first podcast, edit the 25th Anniversary book, launch our Editorial Substack, design a whole bunch of cover art, and so much more, which I am excited to share in the coming months. There’s been a load of trial and error in all of these projects, and I sincerely appreciate the grace and space that Girls Write Now has given me. I’ve learned so much in so little time and am eternally grateful for this opportunity to find my creative voice and contribute to a platform helping fellow young people find their own! Of course, a huge thank you to my co-Editor-In-Residence Morayo for being the perfect collaborator and supporter in my Girls Write Now journey! It has been such an honor and joy to work alongside some of the most creative and dedicated people every week. I am astounded by our community’s genius and am thrilled to see what we create next!
A character of mine, a grouchy, disgruntled elementary school teacher named Maude, has lain on the floor of a New Jersey diner for the past 12 months, feigning illness. She hasn’t done much since that first scene.
I, on the other hand, have kept busy. In this past year as an Editor-in-Residence at Girls Write Now, I’ve had the pleasure of curating fourteen powerful collections from our Stories archives. I’ve listened to the thoughtful commentary of the mentees and mentors of our Publishing 360 cohort and seen their creativity unleased in a culminating zine, Take Me With You: Underground. If you’ve noticed more recently published works in Stories, I’ve had a hand in that too. The power in Girls Write Now lies in the talent of this community, and making sure that talent can be seen—through advocacy, through writing, through multimedia—has been my guiding light this year.
Of course, Maude would say I’m making excuses. I’ve left her staring up at the tin-tiled ceiling of Robert’s Diner with only a vague set of directions: Make amends for what you’ve done. She, in true Maude-like fashion, would protest that she’s done nothing wrong. She showed up, didn’t she? I’m the one who should make amends; I’ve abandoned her.
My apologies, Maude. In this new year, I promise to show up, in both your world and in Girls Write Now, to see what new magic will unfold.