The magazines we made

I remind my students time and again that both writing and editing are skills. There are rules and guidelines that can be learned and practiced. A copy of the original rulebook, Strunk’s century-old classic The Elements of Style, sits on my desk, a gift from my college roommate, the editor-in-chief of our magazine. The inscription is to “Michelle: A.K.A. Ms. ‘I am not a writer.’”It took two journalism degrees, press credentials and a journalism award for me to finally concede that I am, indeed, a writer. But it’s taken an army of thoughtful and thorough editors to make me a good one.