#1: What was the most valuable learning experience for you from the Duende group study this semester? (Please focus on one to three elements of the experience.)
I think the process of working with diverse editors to choose pieces to include in Duende was most valuable to me. A committee decision is not easy when everyone has different opinions and thoughts and priorities. It was largely a good experience and has definitely helped me as a human being and an editor.
#2: What specific professional skills are you taking away from your experience with Duende?
My editing skills have improved and been challenged in a good way, and the use of Submittable will be helpful to me as I work toward opening a small press of my own.
#3: How would you evaluate your own participation in the group study? What are you most proud of? Is there anything you found particularly challenging? If so, what kind of support would have been helpful?
I am not sure I would give myself high marks, though my effort and desire to be helpful was good. There was a learning curve that was tough for me, and my own schedule (being on the road a LOT) and taking care of family demands (elderly parents included) made it very difficult to take on all of the requirements of the group study. I did well in the beginning and really worked to keep up with the fiction coming into Submittable so that I would not have to pull all-nighters at the end. But, I struggled with some of the assignments and with learning the process, so I have to be honest and say that I probably could have done better.
#4: If you are not a Level 8: Are you planning to participate in the group study next semester? If so, what focus would you like for your work next semester?
I’m still undecided. This was way more of a commitment than I anticipated and I am struggling between the need to finish the novel in progress and the desire to learn more and participate in what I believe is a much-needed platform for under-represented writers and artists.