Letter on the Editor

by HRM on August 10, 2011

by Adriana Sarro

Festival and Co

photo by Thomas Pirel

My friend Heather Hartley, Paris-based poet and editor of Tin House magazine, invited me to give a lecture at Oxbridge’s creative writing class on the rue d’Assas. She asked me to speak about my experience in founding and managing a literary magazine, and to discuss how I balance the roles of editor and writer (and still find a way to make enough money to pay the bills). She also asked me to read from some of my work. I was nervous to speak to these sixteen year-olds; I didn’t know what to wear. I really enjoyed it, though: I loved  meeting them, enjoyed their questions (“What books were your favourite at sixteen? What did you want to be when you grew up?”) –  the whole thing made me feel energized. Heather sent me a copy of the school’s publication, in which this piece by Adriana was featured. I wanted to publish it here because Adriana articulates so many of my goals with this publication – to provide and curate a space “where a group of very talented and dedicated people who genuinely love what they do [come] together”, collectively creating a “true work of art.”
– Harriet Alida Lye

I was late for Creative Writing and was rushing up the stairs when I suddenly met my class who were on their way to the computers to hear our guest speaker. Immediately I pictured a middle aged man or woman ready to tell us about his life and career as a writer, resumed into a tedious two hour lecture. Of this I was completely mistaken. As we arrived at the computers, I glanced around the room, my eyes searching for this mysterious guest speaker, and was surprised when my teacher pointed towards a young-looking woman, whom I had mistaken for a new student, and introduced her as Harriet Alida Lye, Editor in Chief of Her Royal Majesty Literary Journal. Surprisingly, at first my train of thought went a little like this: Wow she’s young. I really like her necklace. I like her hair too. She looks like she truly loves her job. What a dream to do what she does.

From there she started talking to us a little about what Her Royal Majesty is, how it came about, and how it runs. I was very impressed by the passion and dedication she puts in her work, but what truly impressed me was her thrive at such a young age, and the fact that the magazine was more than just articles, it encompassed and admitted a very wide variety of artistic works, from writing to painting to photography and just about anything that would spark interest in the reader’s mind. The way she went about explaining how the team behind this operation worked was like a breath of fresh air. [The magazine] felt like a free open space, where a group of very talented and dedicated people who genuinely love what they do, came together to create a non-discriminatory, inviting, true work of art.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cristy Perez August 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

As Adriana aunt, I am very proud of her.

Janese October 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm

And I was just wondrneig about that too!

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