Humans of Spectrum: Jenny Bardwell
Why did you decide to participate in the production of Spectrum?
I joined the Spectrum staff because I am interested in the publishing world and I wanted to experience it from both the editing and the submitting side. Spectrum offers a great opportunity for students to take on leadership roles in a literary magazine and read and edit submissions. How could I say no?
What do you look for in the submissions that you receive for the magazine?
I read mostly poetry and some short stories here and there. As a reader, I am looking for pieces that move me. I want writers to tackle subjects that make them uncomfortable or confront them with emotions that they would rather ignore and I want them to write through it honestly. I believe the best work comes when we push past what is comfortable and write about what we would rather ignore.
What genre or form of Spectrum interests you most, and what about it speaks to you?
I am most drawn to short stories. There is something incredibly powerful about a well written short story. Only a great author can both craft a dynamic plot and relatable characters in so few pages. I also love short stories because they often leave more up to the reader than novels. You never get the same full story in a short piece than in a long piece. In a short story, the audience is often forced to leave the characters before their stories have ended. I love that lack of conclusion.
Can you share a short story about your own writing?
I was always ahead of my age when it came to language and communication. While other kids were barely speaking in preschool I was eavesdropping (and often commenting on) the teacher’s gossip. “Yeah you're right, Jack is so weird,” and stuff like that. And I was always telling crazy stories when I was little. One time I came downstairs with one wet sock and I explained to my parents, “Well this happened and that happened and next thing you know my foot's in the toilet.” Everyone was surprised when I vocalized my dreams of becoming a writer but I’m not sure why it came as a shock. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and telling stories for long than that.