By Janel Heasley
The Greenspring Review was thrilled to have Danielle Evans visit Stevenson University this year! Danielle Evans is the author of The Office of Historical Corrections and Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, both collections of short stories. The members of GSR were lucky enough to have lunch with Evans before recording a podcast episode with her. The podcast can be found at this link.
At the luncheon, GSR members talked with Evans about the MFA and creative writing program at Johns Hopkins University, where she is an associate professor. We also talked about writing and how GSR markets the magazine and takes submissions. Evans was very interested in where GSR gets submissions from—whether we have opened up submissions to people outside Stevenson or not. We told her about possible plans to open up submissions for aspiring writers in high school and how that is something we have been hoping to get off the ground for the past few years.
After the recording of the podcast, our managing editor, Leah, asked Evans about knowing when her writing is ready for publication and whether she had sent out some of her short stories to magazines before publishing her collections. I really appreciated how Evans was honest about knowing when a project is ready for publication, saying that the project comes to a point and you—as a writer—will just know. I feel like it was a good encouragement to the writers in the room to trust their guts and move forward with a project when they are ready. Evans also told us that many of her stories have been published in magazines and that this is pretty typical of collections of stories—which was also encouraging to an aspiring poet in the room who is considering publishing a collection of poems and needed some ideas on how to navigate the publishing industry in regard to a collection.
Overall, we had a great lunch with Evans and really appreciated all she shared with us as aspiring writers, editors, publishers, and scholars! Reminder to check out GSR’s podcast: In the Room!