Jennifer Acker

May 5, 2022

Behind the Scenes at a Literary Magazine

A Talk with Jennifer Acker, Founder and Editor-in-Chief at The Common

New Books Network 2021

Welcome to The Academic Life! In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • How the Common got started
  • What is involved in running a literary journal
  • Why grants and institutional support matter so much in the literary arts
  • The importance of finding mentors and building a network
  • How the Common creates community

Our guest is: Jennifer Acker , who is the founder and editor in chief of The Common, and author of the debut novel The Limits of the World, a fiction honoree for the Massachusetts Book Award. Her memoir “Fatigue” is a #1 Amazon bestseller, and her short stories, essays, translations, and reviews have appeared in Oprah Daily, Washington Post, Literary Hub, n+1, and The Yale Review, among other places. Acker has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship and LitFest. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband.

Our guest is: Elizabeth Witte, who is a writer and editor based in western Massachusetts. She is a recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Artist Fellowships in Poetry and author of the chapbook, Dry Eye (Dancing Girl Press); her work appears in a variety of journals, including Prelude, Word For/ Word, and Denver Quarterly. She is Associate Editor of The Common and directs the journal's education program The Common in the Classroom.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, the co-creator and co-producer of the Academic Life. She is a historian of women and gender.

Listeners to this episode might also be interested in:

You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island and neither are we. We reach across our mentor network to bring you experts about everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring on an expert about something? DM us on Twitter: The Academic Life @AcademicLifeNBN.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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