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A Transformation in Leadership, Too

By Cheri Schulzke

Alongside the changes in Segullah’s publishing format, we’re also making some big changes in staffing. We’d like to first of all thank Kathy Soper, our beloved Cap’n since Segullah was first conceived 8 years ago, begun through a series of emails and phone calls and solidified at a McDonald’s PlayPlace. There’s no quantifying the dedication, vision, and plain hard work it takes to create something like this from the ground up. And so there’s no proper way to thank Kathy and the other founders, including Justine Dorton, who has always kept Segullah’s finances in pristine order, and Melissa Young, who has served in almost every role at one time or another, for giving so much of their lives to create this incredible LDS women’s literary community. Thank you, especially, to Kathy for her courage and honesty in sharing herself with all of us, showing us each how to distill meaning and hope from our unique experiences.

In this time of change, Kathy will remain at the core of Segullah’s Board of Directors, but she is passing the mantle of day-to-day management over to the ever-capable Karen Austin. Karen has a long history of teaching and working with words, beginning in her days as a BYU grad student, and then director of the Reading Center as well as assistant in producing the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley. Since then, Karen has taught a variety of writing and literature courses at UC Santa Barbara, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Shepherd University and Newman University.  Karen wears the new mantle of Segullah Managing Editor with vision, confidence, compassion, and powerful sense for relevant detail. She knows how to unify all the talent and passion of each staff member to create something bigger than any of us. Welcome, Karen.

Signed, Cheri and other members of the Segullah Advisory Board

About Cheri Schulzke

In her previous life, Cheri survived BYU's music undergrad and English master's programs. Now she keeps busy with her four kids, two in junior high and two younger ones who homeschool. In her "spare" time, she reads as often as possible, writes occasionally, and plays piano even less (though she loves them all). Cheri enjoys hiking and being outdoors and is a sucker for well-crafted movies and gourmet food.

11 thoughts on “A Transformation in Leadership, Too”

  1. I am sure there are many good reasons for the online format, and there is sure to be great things to read each month, but I am a little sad that there will be no more issues coming in the mail.
    I enjoyed being able to curl up on the couch and read the paper issue.
    I will probably still read the online stuff, but it is not as enjoyable. The computer is less portable. Smart phones are portable but not everyone has one and not everyone enjoys reading off of them.

    Thanks to Kathy, Justine, and Melissa for all their hard work. Welcome to Karen Austin.

  2. Thank you, Kathy. Your words have changed me in so many ways. And thanks to everyone who's been part of Segullah.

    I'm very much looking forward to the new format and seeing Segullah continue to be wonderful. Good luck to Karen!

  3. I agree with Karen above. I'd much prefer a hardcopy format for the reasons she stated. Also, I'm concerned that an online format isn't taken as seriously in the literary community. Will online submissions be reviewed by an editorial staff? What will be the primary difference between the blog and the online magazine? Can you share what the reasons were behind the change?

    In addition to the two comments above mine, I'd also like to thank Kathy for her hard work with Segullah. What a wonderful vision to put together this community of LDS writers. Her encouraging words touched me personally, and I'm so grateful for the person she is.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Segullah continue and to the new things you all have in store.

  4. Laurel: Yes, there are some palpable losses to moving from a print journal. I am going to miss that format. However, we are not changing our review process for delivering quality literary content. As we speak, Lara N. (poetry) and Holly B. (prose) are working with their editorial staff members to roll out new content in January. Every month the segullah.org page will contain new links to content in poetry and prose. Instead of waiting six month so see something new, readers will be treated to regular, monthly waves of new content. Our webmaster Rebecca will help this publishing process run smoothly.

    We have an advertising team (Debbie H and Christie C.) who will help spread the word to writers about contests, submission guidelines and deadlines. We have an update to these guidelines coming between now and November, but the ones posted online are still valid.

    Segullah is joining a number of literary journals who find that it's wiser to use resources in ways other than print/mailing. The internet has many advantages for delivering content in a timely manner, freeing up funds that would have gone to paper, presses, postage and paypal fees. This broadens our audience to fans all over the globe and prevents people from having to wait for the postal carrier to bring literary content only twice a year. This also helps us work more closely with a subset of writers month-by-month rather than stretching the editorial staff to shepherd new content from multiple writers in all in the same month.

    We are certainly eager to meet the needs of our readers, so if there is anything we can do to make the transition smooth and comfortable, please communicate your ideas and concerns. You can use the comment feature or email us at info at segulllah dot org We are invigorated by your readership. It helps the writer gain greater meaning for her work.

  5. Thank you to everyone who's worked hard to keep Segullah going, and for the new crew who will put in many hours! This forum has been an important part of my development as a writer.

    In reading this announcement it's difficult to not have the knee jerk reaction that change is bad. Especially when I'm not ready to embrace an ereader just yet. I prefer a print version as well (especially as a writer who will be published in Segullah this Fall). It seems like hardcopy publication does have more respect in the writing community, and it's more likely to reach a broad audience. I'll especially miss seeing it on the shelves at a church bookstore. It gave me the feeling that Segullah was accessible, reaching out to women everywhere, in many forms. I'm afraid there are people who will miss Segullah because it's not physically present in the marketplace.

    Anything we can do to support your efforts?

  6. I'm excited for more new content each month in a online journal. I'm sure all the details are a little rough now, and new information on submitting pieces and such will come along in due time. I'm also all about the money-saving.

    What if we have paid for the next year's worth of printed journals?

    A big thanks for everyone that makes Segullah happen. It's a big influence for good in my life.

  7. I understand the move to a new format and am excited to have great content more often. I love the print edition, too, and would welcome its return, but won't be complaining about the change. 🙂

    Kathy, thanks for all your work. I am grateful for you and your beautiful writing.

  8. Thank you Kathy and everyone for making this online community that continues to uplift me. The literary level of the blog drew me in and you have kept the bar high. I trust that Karen will continue the legacy.


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