Getting the Inside Scoop with Kingsley-Wyn Ukuku, Student Editor for The South Carolina Review
“Honestly, it started out as a backup plan,” answered Kingsley-Wyn Ukuku when asked about her desire to go into the publication field after she graduates in December 2020. Ukuku is an English major and creative writing minor from Charleston, S.C. She expanded on her answer saying, “If I can’t be the one writing stories, I’d like to be the one editing them and putting them out. After I started doing publication internships I realized I actually really liked doing this and was into it.”
Over the past few years, Ukuku has participated in several internships: The Clemson University Press, a local music magazine in Charleston and The South Carolina Review. The South Carolina Review is a literary magazine founded in 1968 at Furman University, but has been housed at Clemson since 1973. Ukuku is currently part of a class, taught by Keith Morris, that allows students to assist with the production, design, selection process, editing and distribution of The South Carolina Review.
A major aspect of working on this team is selecting pieces to go into the magazine, which provides great insight for anyone looking to work in publishing or even become published themselves. Ukuku mentioned that when reviewing pieces, they look for something that’s both entertaining and scholarly. “We really look for something that has enough introspection where we can see the speaker’s mind,” said Ukuku. We want to get things where we understand where the writer is coming from.”
Currently, Ukuku’s role on The South Carolina Review staff — aside from the collective role of editing and selecting stories — involves handling the social media accounts and going through various listings of different databases for a number of literary magazines, in order to make sure they’re all up to date with The South Carolina Review’s address and editors. Through the diverse tasks distributed to the students, this opportunity allows them to grow and develop skills in a number of different areas.
“It’s helped me develop a critical eye toward stories and poetry, and seeing where you can connect different pieces you wouldn’t think go together when you’re trying to line them all up,” said Ukuku. Along with this, Ukuku added that her Adobe Suite skills have also sharpened since joining The South Carolina Review. Whether it’s hands on practice with InDesign or simply observing her peers’ work with Photoshop, she feels more confident with her abilities.
While reading and editing all the different stories and poems is an enjoyable aspect of her job, Ukuku feels as if this experience has also really helped her develop her post graduation plans. “It’s definitely showed me what day-to-day life would be in publication, such as handling certain situations and learning what to do with specific problems.” Ukuku also added that working with The South Carolina Review has made her realize the importance of a well-functioning team, because the only way to effectively get through solving problems is when you have everyone putting in their all.
When asked where she saw herself in five years, Ukuku responded, “I haven’t really figured that out yet. I’ve really just been taking it as it comes and seeing where I can branch off from.” When Ukuku started her journey towards her career path, she had that mentality of wanting to be in a specific place in a specific amount of years. However, she eventually ended up so far away from her original plan that she decided to take life one day at time and let things fall into place.
Ukuku encourages those wanting to go into a publication career to look into joining The South Carolina Review — an invaluable, hands-on experience in that desired career field.
Written By: Savannah Franklin