How long have you been the Editor-In-Chief of (585) Magazine? How did you come into your current position?
I started in June of 2015, so three years! I knew the people who started (585) Magazine through my career in garden writing. I was the gardening columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle for nineteen years and I started a gardening magazine, Upstate Gardeners’ Journal, which I still own, in 1995.
Tell us about your publication…
(585) Magazine is a city/regional publication focusing on food and drink, culture, people…everything that makes Rochester unique and interesting.
What are your responsibilities as EIC?
I decide on issue themes, assign stories to writers and photographers, edit the copy, select images, and work with production to bring each issue to publication. I also oversee all of the social media and the website, work with the rest of the staff on promotion and attend a heck of a lot of events. It’s fun.
What part of your job might our readers find surprising?
I think people are surprised when they come to the office and see there are only three of us here. Our main office is in Buffalo, so that’s where the bookkeeping, production, etc. all happen. Also, there’s a lot of tedious proofreading that goes on. A LOT.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Definitely managing expectations around our production cycle. I get hundreds of press releases and pitches every week and most of them are about things happening in the coming week or month. We only got to press every other month. We aren’t a daily or weekly paper. So I like to say, “We can never be first. We can only be best."
Tell us about the last fire you put out….
Oh jeez. We ran a very short story about some comedy shows coming up in Rochester and were absolutely skewered on social media (and the radio) for not mentioning any women. It was frustrating because we are far from being a misogynist publication, and I felt like people overreacted. But we (the writer and I) took our lumps, apologized, and did what we could to fix it.
What makes it all worth it?
Oh, that is easy. The positive feedback that we get from our readers and the idea that we are making their lives better by helping them discover more of the wonderfulness right in their backyards.
What advice do you have for women hoping to work in this profession?
Try everything, take every opportunity, and make opportunities for yourself. Don’t be afraid of being too busy. When you are starting out, you should almost never say “no.” You never know which direction your career is going to head in or what’s around the corner. Also, work hard!
Name three fellow creatives that you admire and why.
Tanvi Asher, because she is so strong and determined in addition to being talented. Anne Esse, because she has an uncanny ability to nurture creativity in other people. David Andreatta, because he is hilarious.