Issue 35, Final Fringe

The Small Magazine that Made Me Feel Big

by Jill D'Urso 06.21.2013

Fringe published its last issue on Monday, June 24. As part of the goodbye, we asked former contributors and staff to write about their experiences with the magazine.

I moved to Boston in the fall of 2006 to get my Master’s in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College. I was 24, and though I fancied myself well-read and adept with words, I had no concept of what it meant to participate in a literary community. I didn’t read literary journals or The New Yorker. I didn’t smoke or drink whiskey. I had attended a few readings in college, but nothing since. When asked, I said my favorite writer was Virginia Woolf.

When you’re in graduate school, hanging out with writers, you can be made to feel small if you haven’t read the latest “it” book or don’t have a subscription to Tin House. You can be made to feel small if you’re a candidate in the publishing program, not the vaunted MFA program. You can be made to feel small when you attend literary parties and don’t have anyone to talk to, so you slip out the back door.

It was amidst these feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty that I found Fringe. Or Fringe found me. Fringe offered underrepresented writers and artists a welcoming space, a home for their work. I started out as a reader, then wrote a few book reviews for the blog, and then Lizzie asked if I would be interested in becoming the Blog Editor, an offer that humbled and excited me.

During my years as Blog Editor, Fringe underwent a massive redesign and several staff changes, threw some awesome parties, and published amazing pieces of writing and art. I learned a lot while managing the Fringe Blog—how to analyze statistics and page views, incorporate links, SEO, and basic HTML coding. I learned what it takes to manage a group of freelance bloggers and try to produce a coherent voice and identity for a blog. I wrote and edited and posted many blog posts. Most importantly, I learned what it was to participate in a literary community—a community of brilliant, brave, and talented writers and editors that I’m proud to know. So, thank you, Fringe, for making me a part of your community. I will miss you!

Jill D'Urso

Jill D'Urso

Blog Editor Emerita

Jill is an editor and book enthusiast who lives in Brooklyn. She also can be found at Looks & Books, a literary style blog.

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