Our literary journal, Orson's Review, has had the recent fortune of adding Kerri Caldwell to its staff as Fiction Editor. Kerri's a very talented writer and editor, and brings to the table a unique combination of knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm.
We're so glad to have her on board, and, after checking out the brief interview below, we think it'll be easy to see why.
*This interview involves Orson's Publishing (OP) and Kerri Caldwell (KC).
OP: What do you look for most in a submission?
KC: Anything within the piece that sets it apart from others. This could be the storyline, the way the story is told, or the relationship between the characters. The best stories are the ones that make you pay attention because they aren’t predictable.
OP: Favorite thing to do outside of writing and/or editing?
KC: Skateboarding! My boyfriend and I discovered it about 10 years ago. I’m usually the only girl skating, but I can easily keep up with the boys. I even have a few sponsors.
OP: Tell us about where you’re from. Does where you're from impact your writing?
KC: I was extremely fortunate to be born and raised in a very unique place. Virginia Beach, Virginia is the perfect blend of a beach town and the South, with just enough of that “city feel” during tourist season.
OP: Tell us about where you’re going. Where do you hope this writing/editing journey leads you?
KC: I hope my writing/editing journey eventually leads to a stable income, as it’s something I can do from home. I live with an autoimmune disease that keeps me from working a full-time job, so I went back to school to get my degree in Creative Writing and English. I have a few months before my college journey is done, and I’m looking forward to starting my writing and editing journey! However, it’s already given me what money will never have the power to give: a creative outlet that helps me cope with my struggles.
OP: Orson’s Review is unable to pay its editors at this time. How do you pay your bills?
KC: I currently work part-time as a secretary, and go to school full-time.
OP: Tell us about the biggest sacrifice you’ve made to be a writer and/or editor.
KC: I have stared at this question for about ten minutes, and honestly can’t think of an answer. Nothing, at least so far, has felt like a sacrifice. When you’ve been diagnosed with an incurable, lifelong disease, you’re forced to start your life over. Everything I’ve experienced these last three years, as I adjusted to a new life, has felt like an opportunity to move forward. I’ve gained more than I’ve lost while working to become a writer and editor.
OP: What do you want most out of your literary community?
KC: To be challenged creatively. And in order to truly be challenged, you have to put yourself, and your work, out there to be judged. And even in that first step, you’re already challenging yourself with your creative work.
OP: What’s your all-time favorite work of fiction?
KC: “Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt.
OP: What’s your all-time favorite work outside of fiction?
KC: Dito Montiel’s memoir, “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”.
OP: Any words of advice for writers out there looking to submit?
KC: Keep submitting! Every day. Every. Single. Day. Get feedback from friends and family members. Take into consideration the feedback editors give you when sending back your work. If you’re afraid to send that first piece in, for whatever reason, think back to that one specific book or story that changed your life. We all have “that book.” What if that author had been too afraid to send their work out? Your work is waiting to be that life-changing book for someone out there.
Kerri Caldwell was raised in Virginia Beach, VA, where she still resides. She is currently working towards her B.A. in Creative Writing & English from Southern New Hampshire University. She hopes to find her place within the worlds of writing, editing, and publishing.
Kerri has been writing and editing for Southern New Hampshire’s online writing community, The Odyssey, since 2016. She uses this opportunity to publish articles about the hard topics in life that are real, but ignored. She has written successful articles about Celiac Disease, infertility, depression, living with an autoimmune disease, and coping with losing parents at a young age. She recently started an internship with Geekisphere, where she has the dream job of writing articles about TV shows, movies, and comics.