(Amherst, Mass. August 4, 2023)— The Common, the award-winning, international literary journal based at Amherst College, has announced its fourth Literary Editorial Fellow: Olive Amdur ’23. The fellowship launched in 2020 with support from the Whiting Foundation and is sustained by the generosity of Amherst College alumni donors.
The Literary Editorial Fellowship (LEF) was introduced with three goals in mind: to strengthen the bridge between The Common’s existing Literary Publishing Internship (LPI) for undergraduates and the professional publishing world; to provide real-world experience for an Amherst graduate, transferable to a wide range of fields; and to increase the capacity of The Common’s publishing and programming operations.
The full-time, postgraduate fellow writes, edits, and proofreads prose and poetry; creates multimedia web features; writes and designs publicity materials; manages print and digital production; and develops, organizes and staffs innovative events on campus and across the country. The fellow also helps to mentor and train current interns.
Olive Amdur ’23 is the fourth Literary Editorial Fellow, following Sofia Belimova ’22, Elly Hong ’21, and Isabel Yao Meyers ’20. Amdur was an editorial assistant for The Common for two years, and then the Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellow—a leadership position among LPI students—during her senior year. She graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in May 2023 with a degree in English and Gender Studies.
“I am thrilled to continue my work with The Common as the next Literary Editorial Fellow,” Amdur said. “The mentorship of past LEFs has been crucial in my development as a writer, editor, and member of a publishing team. I look forward to deepening both my knowledge of the literary world and my engagement with The Common’s community-building projects.” Amdur has a particular interest in expanding the magazine’s programming to facilitate more connections between its authors and writing at Amherst College, in the Pioneer Valley, and around the world. The LEF is designed to provide recently graduated students with a stepping stone between academic work and the greater publishing world.
“As the newest Literary Editorial Fellow,” The Common’s founder and editor in chief Jennifer Acker said, “Olive will build upon the editorial and organizational skills she has developed during her time with The Common, helping guide the student intern team and preparing for advanced work in the literary world.” Since 2010, Acker has directed the Literary Publishing Internship, which employs eight to ten students during the school year, the January Interterm, and the summer. She also directs Amherst College LitFest.
The LEF position is only one example of Amherst’s commitment to supporting hands-on learning, introducing students to practical and intellectual applications of its liberal arts curriculum. “We are fortunate that The Common focuses on providing undergraduate students with rare opportunities to gain real-world publishing experience, and fortunate that the Literary Editorial Fellowship enables this focus to extend beyond graduation, as students take the first steps toward literary careers,” said Catherine Epstein, Amherst College Provost and Dean of the Faculty.
About The Common
The Common is a print and digital literary journal published biannually. Issues of The Common include fiction, essays, poems and images that embody a strong sense of place. Each spring, The Common features a rich portfolio of Arabic fiction in translation, introducing English-language readers to new and exciting voices from across the Middle East and North Africa. Since its debut in 2011, The Common has published more than 1,600 authors from 54 countries. Pieces from The Common have been awarded the O. Henry Prize, the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Award for Emerging Writers, and have been selections and notable mentions in multiple genres in the prestigious Best American series. The journal’s editorial vision and design have been praised in The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, Slate, The Millions, Orion Magazine, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Former Literary Publishing Interns have gone on to publish acclaimed novels, win Watson Fellowships, study English literature at top graduate programs, and work at nonprofit organizations and literary publishers around the world. Beyond mentoring undergraduates, The Common supports educators from high school to graduate levels through The Common in the Classroom and hosts summer writing courses for high school students via The Common Young Writers Program. Read more about the magazine’s programs here.