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Vanessa Mainella

BA English (4th year)

What inspired you to join the White Wall Review (WWR)? How did you get involved?

I first learned about the WWR through a creative writing course that Dr. Kirshner was teaching in my second year. Dr. Kirshner was encouraging student participation and I wanted to be more involved on campus, so I joined as an Events Associate. At the time, I was also researching a career in publishing and knew that WWR would provide great experience for the industry.

You led a couple of interviews, Blow-By-Blow and You Don’t Know Where It’s Going To Go, for the WWR. What was your experience like working on them?

I had a great time writing the interviews for Shyam and David! I worked with Kathleen Brennan, who was a Master's student at Ryerson that graduated last year. Together we interviewed the authors, transcribed their responses, and wrote the interviews. The interview process was a bit nerve-wracking, mostly because I was tongue-tied over meeting such great writers! But both authors were very friendly and provided great conversation for the articles. Working with Kathleen and the WWR editing team was just as seamless, and we were able to interview, write, and publish our articles within a year.

What other projects are you working on or are planning to do for the WWR?

After starting out as an Events Associate, I am now the Promotions Manager and oversee social media, outreach, and events. Our journal has a lot of potential for growth, so all of our upcoming projects are targeting branding and outreach. The promo team is currently working on hosting a local event for the Winter 2020 term.

How has your involvement with the WWR shaped you as a writer and a Ryerson English student?

WWR has provided me with so many opportunities for both professional and personal growth. I gained more knowledge of the publishing process, which I activated to find more internships and advance my career. I was also able to practice writing for a diverse audience and network with other professionals in the field. On a personal level, I became much more involved on campus and met other writerly-minded people. I also learned a lot from Dr. Kirshner, the WWR Editor, who has inspired me in her writing and teaching.

What advice would you give English students who want to get involved with the WWR?

Your involvement with the journal is what you make of it! The more time you spend with it, the more people you meet and connections you make. I hope others will join our team and continue making WWR a success.