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Letter From The Editor in Chief: Charlotte Van Schaack

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Dear AmFam,

It’s all over. The Spring 2023 AmLit magazine has transformed from an assortment of Google Docs sorted in a spreadsheet, to a PDF outlining all of the works, to a physical book we can hold in our hands. I could pretend that I’m Italo Calvino as I describe the book to you (How did you get this book before you? You must have picked it up from a newsstand. You feel the gloss of the cover and the slick of the pages as you lick a finger to flip through.). But I am not Italo Calvino, I am Charlotte and I am writing about my personal journey with this magazine, giving a miniature memoir of our relationship, if you will.

Before I even decided to attend American University, I knew that I wanted to be involved in my college’s literary magazine and I knew that I would do what I could to become Editor-In-Chief. I found the name “American Literary” tucked away on the student media website, hunted down their instagram, and applied to be an assistant my first semester. I jumped from prose to poetry to representing AmLit in the student media board work group. I even joked in a contributor bio once that I had “completed step 1/? in [my] plans to take over the (literary) world.” Well, as a sophomore, that opportunity to be EIC came much more quickly than I expected.

I applied. I was accepted. And I found out that someone named Anjoleigh Schindler was to be my new partner in crime, my confidant, and my friend. I can not imagine this semester, or the state I would be in, if I didn’t have them by my side. Maybe I would be foaming at the mouth and ready to drop out.

What nobody told me was that running a literary magazine, even a college mag, feels like a part-time job. You spend hours every week answering texts and emails, scheduling meetings, organizing a Google Drive. There were a lot of fun parts too: sitting in review sessions and watching my peers defend and debate the pieces submitted to the magazine filled me with joy as I watched sparks fly in their passion for art. Sometimes there truly is nothing better than reading a REALLY good poem (I hope the work in the mag this semester does that for you, the way it does for me). This position in the magazine has given me a gift of connection to others, and the realization of how much I enjoy working to bring creatives together.

If you have read this far, I appreciate the consideration and time that you have given my words. This is all I have for now, but you will certainly see more of me, Anjoleigh, and Emma (our new co-EIC) in the fall.

Until then,


Just kidding. I wish you all the best with whatever lays ahead.

Charlotte Van Schaack


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