Silk Road Assistant Editor: Laura Shurden

Laura Shurden photoMajor: Creative Writing, Disabilities Studies minor

Graduation Year: 2015

Hometown: Palisade, Colorado

What impact have Pacific University’s English department and professors had on you?

Pacific University’s English department contains many firsts for me. I attended my first literature course simply to fulfill a dreaded Focal Study. This class, during my fourth semester of college, was the first to interest me from all angles: lectures, readings, and assignments. The following semester, after declaring a Creative Writing major, I took a poetry workshop. For the first time, I read copious amounts of good poetry. Sure, it contained the Shakespeare feared by all high schoolers, but I liked it that second time around—enough to choose a poetry emphasis.

How do you think your time spent at Silk Road will transfer into the “real world”? What have you learned/hope to learn?

As a writer I enjoy the opportunity to witness what the writing world is producing, and not just what others deem worthy of being published. Being on the receiving end of submissions gives me a different perspective on publishing works. Silk Road is the first opportunity I have had to experience editing and publishing, which I am interested in, so it is exciting to learn the process of constructing and maintaining a literary journal.

Due to the popularity of digital media and e-books, what do you think might happen to book and magazine publishing in the future? Is there anything you would like (or are afraid) to see happen?

I am traditional in concerns to reading: I prefer a paper copy. In concerns to limited space and frequent relocation, I understand and embrace electronics and the ability to store many writings within a single device. However, I worry the internet creates too easy of access, which inhibits sales and does not support writers.

What does Silk Road embody to you? What words would you use to describe Silk Road to someone who knows nothing about it?

Silk Road is learning. It creates an environment and structure that gives students experience in the editing and publishing field. It gives them knowledge from the perspective of those who will be considering the students’ own work for publishing in the future. It also allows for students to branch out, because it maintains a network with authors, publishers, editors, etc. outside of Pacific University. In addition, students can explore the field by creating their own projects in concerns to the journal.