Sydney Love

Writer & Editor

Atlanta, GA

Sydney Love

Email Copy, Writers' Festival

Agnes Scott College Writers’ Festival Contest Entry Deadline: December 1, 2016 Dear Scotties, The Agnes Scott College Department of English is proud to announce its 46th Annual Writers’ Festival. The festival will be held at the college Thursday and Friday, April 6-7, 2017. We would like to personally invite you to submit to the contest. Finalist entries in the contest will be judged by guest writers Claudia Rankine, Patrick Phillips, and Kayla Miller ’11. Contest categories are poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and one-act plays. Entries are judged by writers not associated with the college. Finalists will be notified by email in January, and their work will be included in the festival magazine, published in April. They will also be invited to a lunch and workshop with the guest judges on April 7. A prize of $500 will be awarded during the festival to the winning entry in each category. The contest is for students enrolled in colleges and universities throughout the state of Georgia. Complete contest rules can be found attached below or online. Only entries following these rules will be considered. The deadline to submit is December 1. Cheers, The Writers' Festival Team -- Sydney Love Agnes Scott College '16 English Literature & Creative Writing

Magazine Preface, Writers' Festival

Dear Reader, My first exposure to Atlanta’s literary scene began during my first year of college with the Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival. This event quickly became something I eagerly looked forward to each year. Now, as a senior, I am excited to be involved in the planning and promotion of such an event. Each festival brings life-changing writers and books that I now cannot imagine not knowing; I have no doubt that this year’s lineup, featuring Richard Blanco, Dani Shapiro, and Charleen McClure ’10, will be no different. The Writers’ Festival, now in its 45th year, is a time where fellow lovers of literature come together to celebrate the work of both emerging and well-established writers, to gain insight and ask questions about other writers’ interests and creative processes, and to receive the push to breathe life into our own projects waiting to be acknowledged. Invented in the 1440s, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press helped progress the spread of books and knowledge to the greater public during the European Renaissance. It for this reason that the printing press is a central theme for this year’s celebration. The writers featured in the magazine this year each function as an unique piece of type in our festival’s printing press. Whether writers of poetry, fiction, drama, or nonfiction, each has something to say, their imprint to make on the world. Read these, and after you are done, take a moment to reflect on them as a whole. What do each come together to say about the experiences, values, and concerns of 2016? I hope you will enjoy the following works and, of course, the festival events as much as we do. Happy Reading, Sydney Love ’16
Writers' Festival Magazine Link to Story

Interview Series, Writers' Festival

Andrea Rogers won the Agnes Scott Writer’s Festival Poetry Prize in 2015. She is currently a Ph.D. Poetry student at Georgia State University, where she is an Advanced Teaching Fellow. Rogers is currently a writing instructor at GSU and Agnes Scott College, and works as a Writing Consultant at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
Writers' Festival Blog Link to Story

Email Marketing Campaign, The Big Roundtable

While we take a few weeks off, we wanted to share with you stories to both read and to hear. We've asked our terrific summer interns, Sydney Love and Jonathan Carey, to go through the BRT archive, as well as other publishers of narrative nonfiction. Each week we'll send you three stories to read, and one for listening.
MailChimp Link to Story

Blog Post, SalBeloved

I’ve been following Chrome Yellow Trading Co. for some time now and finally made it to the shop today. Featured below is their vanilla bourbon latte with almond milk, yum! I recently had to switch to decaf (my anxious self gets too hyped on espresso). Anyway, I think I found one of my new hangout spots.
WordPress Link to Story

Personal Statement, BuzzFeed Emerging Writers Fellowship

It was during my sophomore year at Agnes Scott College that I was assigned to read Nick Flynn’s The Reenactments and learned about creative nonfiction, a genre I had not known existed. It was the first book in college I found myself willingly reading late into the night and, in fact, didn’t put it down until I had finished. I did not know it then, but the raw and intricately knit story Flynn told in his memoir would launch me into my own exploration as a nonfiction writer. Following my reading of The Reenactments, I wrote a short memoir piece which strung together a series of memories about growing up with my mother and my desire to better understand her. I was never able to finish the class—I temporarily withdrew from school in the fall of 2013 to confront my battle with depression—but the work and conversations it started within me would continue to reappear throughout the rest of my writing. During my ten-month recovery period, I began my first editorial internship with the publication Her Agenda and learned to write content through a journalistic lens. The praise I received from my boss and the amount of content I produced that summer reaffirmed my ability to write. I returned to school the following fall feeling empowered with my new writing skills and continued to apply them by becoming Managing Editor for the college’s student-run newspaper, The Profile. The newspaper had died in recent years, but I knew there were important conversations stirring amongst the campus community; the newspaper was an effective medium to bring those conversations up to the surface and begin campus-wide dialogues. “Induction to the Black Ring Mafia,” an article on Agnes Scott’s ring ceremony tradition, made a big impact, as it highlighted the experience of students who couldn’t afford to pay for the ring and take part in the ceremony; after the article was published, many students came forward, sharing their thoughts and experiences around the ring. Leading The Profile the past two years and helping writers produce articles such as this one has brought the newspaper’s name back into relevance. That school year, I also enrolled in a creative nonfiction class. There I continued to write stories surrounding women and motherhood, including “Salmon Patty Psalms,” a story about cooking with my grandmother and how her kitchen manners speak into her history and my experience of her. Last summer, I began exploring the idea of a career in publishing and secured a 10-week internship with The Big Roundtable—a publishing platform focusing in narrative nonfiction—in New York City. I again found myself working with editors with backgrounds in journalism, and their focus in longform exposed me to yet another type of nonfiction writing. Since then, I have started several new projects that mean a lot to me. In the spring, I started “On Mastering the Rules of Mother’s House,” a directory giving instructions on how to survive in my mother’s household and, also, “Coming to the Altar” and “Notes from an Ex-Lonely,” two short memoir pieces reflecting on my experiences with spirituality; the two latter stories have expanded into what will be my largest work yet for my semester-long senior capstone project, which involves submitting a project proposal and research, workshops, and a public reading of the final manuscript. I am also in my second semester of interning with Agnes Scott’s 46th annual Writers’ Festival and am enrolled in a course designed to introduce interns to the publishing industry, specifically book and magazine editing. Agnes Scott’s English department gives its students opportunities to interact with contemporary writers through experiences such as the Writers’ Festival and guest-led courses. Books such as The Reenactments and Song for Night, assigned in preparation for the appearance of Nick Flynn and Chris Abani at the Writers’ Festival, left me aching and feeling raw in the best way possible. In a scene of Abani’s Song for Night, the main character, a boy soldier called My Luck, is ordered by his platoon leader to rape a village woman. When the village woman sees that My Luck is hesitant to follow orders, the woman lovingly calls him toward her, comforting him as he rapes her in the platoon leader’s presence. I was in awe of the way this scene turned something as horrendous as rape into something beautiful; I will never forget the way I teared up in front of Abani, telling him how powerful that scene was for me. Both Flynn and Abani take on positions of brutal honesty in their work, exposing the most ugly and disturbing parts of their history and, yet, doing so in a beautiful manner. It is the influence of these works that has challenged me to write about the hard and painful pieces in my own stories and bring them into the conversation surrounding the human experience. Many of my favorite authors and works have also been found through the literature courses I have taken in gender and race studies. In the short period of time I was back home in San Diego, I enrolled in a local state university for the spring of 2014 where I took a course in women’s literature and read Alice Walker’s essay, “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens.” I had already read her renowned novel, The Color Purple, but did not know she also had also written several collections of personal essays. The first time I read “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens,” the words brought me to tears. I had been on a four-month hiatus from writing. The experience of being hospitalized for depression and returning home to go through rehab threw me into shock, putting my whole life on hold. Walker’s essay pays homage to the untold stories of black women from our past who possessed artistic talent yet did not have the ability to freely express it. Walker argues for the the black woman’s need for creative outlets and how it is our responsibility to pursue the creativity our ancestors were not able to. The piece spoke to my already blooming need to write about women figures in my life and, furthermore, my desire to be a writer. After that, I knew I wanted to continue pursuing creative writing. Walker’s work has influenced much of the writing revolving around my mother, including the piece, “In Search of my Mother’s Missing Garden,” which I wrote the this past spring. However, the two books that have most recently impacted me are Maxine Hong Kingston’s China Men and bell hooks’ Bone Black. In China Men, Kingston recalls the memories surrounding men in her family and how they came to America. It was while reading this novel that I was first introduced to postmemory—the deliberate decision to pursue, listen and connect to the trauma in one’s family history and embrace it as their own. In the same way Kingston explores her family history and its relevance to her life, I had felt a desire to dig into my own family history and uproot what was hiding there, but I did not have the words to describe that desire or know how to begin the process; China Men and its use of postmemory gave me a way into that. Even further, the work Kingston does—tellings stories that have either become forgotten or left unsaid—requires her to use both memory and her imagination, and the novel is a beautiful example of the ways one can combine fiction and memoir. Similar to China Men, the memoir, Bone Black, recounts hooks’ experience of growing up as a black girl in Kentucky and how she came to be a writer. The memoir is broken up into vignettes that come together to form larger conversations on issues such as identity, race, gender, and spirituality. There were parts to hooks’ memoir that were so relatable, specifically her battle with loneliness and her identity as someone on the margin, that there were moments where it felt as if I was reading my own story. Bone Black is an ideal example of how the simple can still be complex and beautiful; this memoir heavily influenced my writing of “Coming to the Altar” and the work I am doing for my senior capstone project. The topics I continually find myself returning to revolve around gender, race, literature and writing, family, and identity, and I suspect that I will continue to write about these topics throughout my life. For the fellowship, the story idea I am most interested in pursuing is on postmemory and how it applies to writing about my family, specifically the women who came before me. As I have gotten older, I have noticed there is a common thread of abandonment running through the stories of my family history. I would love to dig into the memories of my mother and grandmother and recreate the stories of our family, but fear and questions revolving around the ethics of it all has always stopped me. Exploring these thoughts in a personal essay would help open myself to writing more on the topic of family and trauma. Second, there is currently a lot of discussion around the reality of the publishing industry being predominantly white, but no one is talking about who is actually publishing people of color. Who are the people of color in publishing? What are their roles, and what work are they doing? What publishing houses and/or small presses are making an effort to publish minority voices? Answering these questions in a reported piece would be an impactful way to highlight those already making a difference in the industry. The essay focusing on the thread of abandonment throughout my family history involves the most risk, as it will look into the personal stories of my mother, aunt, and grandmother—women who are all still living. However, being the only writer in my family and the only one interested in this narrative, I know that if I do not write their narratives, they will go untold. Also, as a black woman interested in both entering the publishing industry and being published, the issue of publishing being predominately white is personally relevant. It is easy to state there is an issue within the industry; I want to contribute to the conversation by looking at the issue from a more positive angle. People of color currently in the publishing industry deserve more attention in the media; this kind of exposure can then inspire and guide others looking to break into the industry. Along with discovering and developing my own voice as a writer, tutoring students in writing and speaking, leading my campus’ student-run newspaper, and interning with publications have all affirmed that I also find fulfillment in helping people to craft and share their own stories. Upon graduating in December and completing BuzzFeed’s Emerging Writers Fellowship in the spring, I plan to do a summer publishing program and begin a career in publishing. From there, I hope to work my way through the industry and, eventually, become a creative nonfiction editor for a publication or publishing house. However, I find significance first and foremost in being a writer, and no matter what career I pursue, I will always continue my own work as a writer. By the end of my career, I hope to have fully explored my writing capabilities and published both short stories and memoirs. Participating in BuzzFeed’s Emerging Writers Fellowship is an ideal step in achieving my career goals, as this opportunity offers an environment where I can continue fine-tuning my voice as a writer and receive invaluable guidance and mentorship—that would otherwise be difficult to find—on how to pursue writing as a career. During this time, I would like to gain more familiarity with the publishing process and different pathways to publication—specifically, how to execute ideas that can then become complete, polished stories ready to send out into the world and to the right publications. Also, my experience thus far has been focused within memoir and reportage; therefore, one of my major goals for the fellowship would be to learn more about the art of personal essay and practice writing within that genre. Throughout my college career, I have tried to seize as many opportunities in order to become more involved in communities of writing and publishing. BuzzFeed’s Emerging Writers Fellowship is another chance to continue that pursuit, all with the ultimate goal of making a sustained life and career of writing.

Profile Piece, The Profile

For weeks the sign, “Jeni’s Ice Creams,” has been shining in the place of what used to be the frozen yogurt shop, Froyolo, in Decatur Square. Well, last Thursday on November 6, The Profile was invited to cover their opening event, and we jumped at the opportunity. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams began in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio.
The Profile Link to Story

Interview, Her Agenda

After working in the business and internet world for several years, Leslie Fishlock had become the go-to woman when her friends and family needed tech help. As Leslie began helping more and more women, it was then that she realized that women had a strong need and desire to gain more knowledge in technology.

Editorial Piece 1, Her Agenda

“When the poet Jean Toomer walked through the South in the early twenties, he discovered a curious thing: black women whose spirituality was so intense, so deep, so unconscious, that they were themselves unaware of the richness they held.” – Alice Walker. We know what it’s like to have writers pull our heartstrings.
Her Agenda Link to Story

Editorial Piece 2, Her Agenda

Four days after being hospitalized, placed on suicide watch, and diagnosed with severe depression, I returned to Agnes Scott College only to pack my belongings and withdraw from school. I barely made it out of the academic advising office before I broke down and cried in my dad’s arms- I was no longer a student.
Her Agenda Link to Story

Blog, African American Women's History

Why are there so few black women in executive positions of companies? Are black women, such as Michelle Obama, changing the image of black women as leaders, or are they conforming to present-day white society? In the article, “Black Women Face Hurdles in Corporate America,” Sheryl Nash argues that black women are working hard and taking risks, but they are still not being recognized, promoted, or paid enough.
WordPress Link to Story

Flyer, Internship and Career Development, Agnes Scott College

Ugonna Ume is a junior majoring in Religious Studies and Social Justice. During fall 2014, she served as the communications intern at Hagar’s House, an emergency shelter and assessment center for women and children, in Decatur.


Sydney Love

As a graduate with a B.A. in English Literature-Creative Writing, I studied under a number of literary genres with a focus in creative nonfiction. I also tutored writing and speaking, led Agnes Scott’s student newspaper, and have completed several editorial and marketing-based internships. I am currently pursuing opportunities in communications and publishing.

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  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Journalism
  • Blog writing
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  • Interviews
  • Editing
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