I grew up in a family of publishing. My uncle has a publishing company, and did for all my life. My grandfather was a novelist and my father was an English professor. Reading and writing were not just essential but a beloved family activity.
My earliest memories include helping my grandmother send out catalogs of the books, packing up boxes, and sealing envelopes at the publishing company. I was enamored of the entire business, but I remember asking my uncle, for years, what publishing meant. “So you print the books?” I would ask. “Oh, no? But you write them? Oh, huh.” I eventually figured it out, and since then it has become one of my passions.
I ran my university newspaper for several years, going from Copy Editor to Editor in Chief. I performed many duties including writing more than 70% of the content for two of those years. It’s hard to find writers at an engineering school, so I worked with some professors to encourage students taking humanities courses to flex their writing muscles by working with us. I also ran workshops and attended conferences to hone my journalism skills. My favorite part of the newspaper was the local section that I added, to showcase the city of Newark to students who may not have ventured off campus yet. I put my heart into the section, seeking out new restaurants to review, working with the Newark Museum’s press department, and listing a dozen events each week.
After college, I started a local newsletter of my own. I wrote, published, and distributed each issue myself, from where I worked at the Intrinsic Cafe. Grounds for Inquiry was one of my first publishing successes and I put my heart into it. I worked with my friend and partner at Sneer Campaign, Amanda Wood, who provided illustrations, as well as a printer that was not local. It was something I’d hoped I could continue for years, but having my next job made it a bit more difficult to keep track of and to review local events when I had to be in another city daily on a rigid schedule.
Around the same time, I started a blog on WordPress.com. I missed creative writing and I wanted an outlet that didn’t need a few hundred dollars and printing many copies, like the fact-filled newsletter. Although I’d made websites before using CSS and HTML, this time I just wanted a fun way to express myself, without worrying about any coding. I wanted a quick place to update easily and show my friends, and I wanted them to be able to update easily too. For the most part, that blog was stories about my cats — a pretty silly project.
This site, however, SneerCampaign.com, is one of my passions. I started this site with my best friend who lives in Covington, Kentucky and we maintain the site primarily through chat. I taught her to use WordPress, although most of our writers still need help tagging their photos. We update five times a week and are happy to have some dedicated readers! Feel free to look around, because I finally found my outlet.
Addition: I sometimes, as of recently, answer some support questions for WordPress.com under my account name newarkbee.