An Interview with El Portal’s Incoming Editor: Kayleen Burdine [by Alexandra Itzi]

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A native of Carlsbad, New Mexico, Kayleen Burdine will be assuming editorship of El Portal in August 2015. After graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in English from Eastern New Mexico University this May, she will be entering the Graduate Program in English at ENMU in the fall semester of 2015. Although Burdine will be hard at work as El Portal’s editor, she will hopefully still have time for some of her favorite activities which include playing video games, reading, and writing fantasy and general fiction. She enjoys reading young adult and fantasy literature and her favorite novel is House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.

El Portal will be in capable hands—Kayleen is an excellent reader with a critical eye for quality writing. She is familiar with the aesthetic and workings of the journal, as she has served as Assistant Editor since August of 2014. Burdine says that she first became aware of the journal when one of her professors handed her a copy and encouraged her to submit her own writing. In fact, her submission entitled “Uncomfortable Truths” took first place in El Portal’s short story contest in the Spring of 2014.

Burdine’s interest in the journal transformed her from contributor to staff member. Regarding her experiences working for El Portal, she says: “I really enjoyed my work as assistant editor, and I’ve always wanted to have a career in editing. Being editor of the journal is a great way to gain experience in my field and it also just sounds really exciting to take charge of something and hopefully improve it in a way that’ll be beneficial to future contributors and staff members.”

El Portal will not see any drastic changes in the coming year. Instead, Burdine will focus her attention on improving the infrastructure which is already in place. While El Portal will continue to encourage submissions from the national and international writing community, Burdine wants to draw attention inward as well. She says that “the number of submissions El Portal receives nationally and internationally is wonderful and I always encourage more, but comparatively very few are from our own student body. I’d love to see what sort of material a larger pool of student submissions would bring to the journal.”

Burdine’s drive and passion for editing—which she hopes to make into a career after graduation—coupled with her professionalism and willingness to work hard promise an exciting future for El Portal. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating her achievements with the journal.

Kayleen Burdine can be reached at: Kayleen.Burdine@enmu.edu

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