When I started my co-op placement at The New Quarterly (TNQ), I remember how nervous and excited I was. I was nervous because I felt unprepared—I didn’t know what to expect. My co-op teacher reached out to TNQ for my placement because of my interest in literature – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I can recite every line from The Crucible by Arthur Miller…I sometimes mess up…joking! So I was worried that they’d expect me to be a ‘literary prodigy’. But I was quickly relieved to find out that it wasn’t going to be ‘that’ kind of placement.
Co-op basically provides high school students with experience in their field of interest. UCEP provides high school students with the best of three worlds—high school, university, and co-op (the workplace). I definitely got the ‘feel’ of what it’s like to work for a Canadian literary journal in this day and age.
“I learned about myself with each task we were given because they shined a light on my strengths and weaknesses.”
Being at TNQ was definitely a great co-op placement. To me, TNQ is like a home for writers. The writers are welcomed with open arms, receive detailed and helpful feedback from the editors (which allows the writers to grow), and they even give back to TNQ by being guests at TNQ’s Wild Writer Literary Festival (WWLF) and by submitting blogs/participating in interviews that will later be posted on TNQ’s website. TNQ has been able to create a tight-knit community with a passion for literature amidst all the distractions and difficulties surrounding them.
In the time that I’ve been with TNQ, it feels like I’ve accomplished so much. Since it’s experiential learning, everything I’ve learned I’ve gotten to do. I’ve helped organize multiple aspects of the Wild Writers Literary Festival (e.g. Young Writers Bursary, each guest writers’ itinerary). I’ve helped in the uploading process of issue 152 and issue 153 on their website. I’ve created multiple social media posts, co-created a Nick Blatchord poetry contest campaign with my fellow UCEP partner at TNQ, Joyce—we’ve helped mail out issue 152 to all of TNQ’s subscribers. I’ve improved my emailing-spreadsheeting-letter-writing-game a lot! These are only a few of the interesting and fulfilling tasks we’ve taken on for TNQ. Being your typical modern-Generation Z high school student, I was familiar with Google Drive, emailing, and basic workplace expectations. But with TNQ, I was able to dive deeper than what I was familiar with and discovered new things, and for that I’m extremely grateful.
I learned about myself with each task we were given because they shined a light on my strengths and weaknesses. I appreciated their trust and belief in my capabilities—even if I sometimes felt overwhelmed. I’m so glad I was able to do my co-op with TNQ.
I was blessed to be given the opportunity to work alongside such a great team who took us in and sacrificed their time and resources to pass down their wisdom for our gain. So for that, everything else above, and all the other things not mentioned, I want to give thanks to TNQ, especially the four ladies in the office—even more specifically, thank you to my supervisor.
My university course ended with the final exam, my co-op placement with TNQ is done today, and my high school courses this semester are wrapping up with the final exams next week. So now I must prepare to say ‘adios’ to one of the best highlights of my high school career.