I’m going to start off by saying that I have a mad, deep love for fall. Every single thing about it. From the time I was small enough to hide in leaf piles and scare my parents raking the lawn, I have loved this season. I love the transitions of foliage from green to orange to brown to crunching under my steps. I love scarves (the bigger and fluffier the better); sweaters (not that I need any more; my collection could clothe a small country); drinking hot apple cider from big mugs and reading books about dragons and new worlds and space and magic while cocooned in fuzzy slippers and a snuggie with Gandalf (my cat, not the wizard, though that would be pretty awesome); and I especially love the smell of change in the air as the city sheds its humid blanket and takes up a crisp one.
My name is Lauren Dembicky and I am this fall’s Circulation Assistant (I was also here last fall, but was too busy reading everyone else’s stories to write one about myself). I am so lucky that I should get to return to my favourite co-op placement doing the thing I want to ultimately do forever during my favourite season. I am currently studying English Literature and Rhetoric at the University of Waterloo, and have but one academic semester left before graduation. Being in the co-op program, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to explore various career options including working with alumni advancement, in the university archives, as a Communications Officer with Aboriginal Affairs, and of course, as a Circulation Assistant with TNQ. I am so grateful to Pamela Mulloy and Sophie Blom for bringing me back for my final co-op term. After being a part of TNQ for only a week when I began last September, I knew that this world, this bright, shining world of different perspectives and new ideas and hundreds of writers who have thousands of stories to share with readers like me was the world in which I wanted to park my life’s DeLorean.
Fall, I’ve found, is also an amazing time of year in the publishing world: it is festival season. I was lucky enough to begin the term by manning the TNQ tables (along with our editors) at both the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival in Guelph and Word on the Street in Toronto. TNQ’s 4th Annual Wild Writer’s Literary Festival took place this past weekend, and it was an incredible success if I do say so myself! If you bought tickets at the door, or stopped by the merch table to browse our issues and fantastic tees and tote bags, you probably met me! I love being behind the scenes (a passion that started in high school when I fully enjoyed the behind-the-counter lifestyle I had working in customer service for a certain grocery store) and getting to be a cog in the greater machine that is the festival planning process. Also, I got to surreptitiously fangirl over authors while hiding behind stacks of our issues.
I can’t say enough how thankful I am to The New Quarterly for not only giving me the opportunity to experience the literary magazine publishing process from start to finish, but the chance to be involved with such an incredible festival and have years of great Canadian literature at my fingertips. This time next year, I am hoping to be at Simon Fraser University pursuing my Master of Publishing, but I know I will always look back at this fall and last and know that being a part of the TNQ family will have been the best thing that ever happened to me.