Editor in Chief
- Kenyon Review
- Location details
- Gambier, Ohio
- Position type
- Administrator, Other
- Organization type
- 4-year college or university
- Employment category
Editor in Chief
President Sean Decatur with KR Board oversight
Kenyon is one of the nation's finest liberal arts colleges, a small school where academic excellence goes hand in hand with a strong sense of community. We bring together 1,700 young men and women to study with nearly 200 professors on an exceptionally beautiful hilltop campus in central Ohio. Our curriculum is rooted in the traditional liberal arts and sciences and enriched by interdisciplinary programs.
We set high academic standards and look for talented students who love learning. Small classes, dedicated teachers, and friendly give-and-take set the tone. Kenyon welcomes curiosity, creativity, intellectual ambition, and an openness to new ideas. We see learning as a challenging, deeply rewarding, and profoundly important activity, to be shared in a spirit of collaboration.
Our greatest strength is our faculty, outstanding scholars who place the highest value on teaching. Close interaction with students is the rule here: professors become mentors and friends. Requirements are flexible enough to allow for a good deal of exploration. Other notable strengths include our distinguished literary tradition, many opportunities for research in the sciences, and programs connecting students to our rural surroundings. The Kenyon experience fosters connections of all kinds — to classmates and teachers and friends, to the life of the mind, to global perspectives, to our own unique traditions and history, and to a place of inspiration.
Building on a tradition of excellence, the Kenyon Review has evolved from a distinguished literary magazine to a pre-eminent arts organization.
The Kenyon Review was founded in 1939. The resources for the new literary journal were provided by Gordon Keith Chalmers, President of Kenyon College, while the inspiration to establish the journal and raise the national stature of the institution had come from his wife Roberta Teale Swartz, herself a poet and a friend and protégé of Robert Frost. Frost encouraged the idea and visited Kenyon more than once. Chalmers recruited the poet and critic John Crowe Ransom to Kenyon with the express purpose in mind of launching a distinguished magazine. During his 21-year tenure, Ransom published such internationally known writers as Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, William Empson, Mark Van Doren, Kenneth Burke, and Delmore Schwartz, as well as younger writers: Flannery O’Connor, Robert Lowell, and Peter Taylor, to name a few. It was perhaps the best known and most influential literary magazine in the English-speaking world during the 1940s and ’50s.
In 1969, discouraged by the quarterly’s financial burdens and sagging reputation, Kenyon College ceased publication of The Kenyon Review. The journal was revived in 1979, and in June 1990, internationally acclaimed poet and editor Marilyn Hacker started as the Review‘s first full-time (and first female) editor. She quickly broadened the quarterly’s scope to include more minority and marginalized viewpoints.
In April 1994, the trustees directed that The Kenyon Review continue, but with significant cost-reducing and revenue-enhancing initiatives. After Hacker left, David Lynn (acting editor in 1989-90 and Kenyon English professor) was named editor. The magazine’s financial picture has since stabilized and improved dramatically. The creation of a Kenyon Review Board of Trustees and a renewed commitment by Kenyon College guaranteed the financial health of the Review and freed its editors to pursue increased excellence. Such is the status of The Kenyon Review today.
Today KR is devoted to nurturing, publishing, and celebrating the best in contemporary writing. KR is expanding the community of diverse readers and writers, across the globe, at every stage of their lives.
With a bold new design, the Kenyon Review has transformed itself from one of America’s most important literary magazines, publishing groundbreaking work by both Nobel Prize–winning authors and daring new voices, to a fresh, exciting, and timely multi-platform publication, reaching out to a diverse audience. The growing family of KR publications, both bound and digital, includes:
Our flagship print magazine, elegantly redesigned and more reader-friendly, presenting timelessly artful fiction, poetry, and essays, six times per year. Surprise and delight on every page, in every issue.
KROnline, published every two weeks at kenyonreview.org, reaches out to new audiences, including younger readers and writers, with innovative fiction, poetry, and essays.
KR Reviews, published every week at kenyonreview.org, features timely reviews of small press and indie books by some of the rising stars of today’s literary landscape.
Special issues of KR and special features of KROnline broaden the range and reach of literary forms, exploring literary excellence in science writing, ecopoetics, travel writing, and the arts.
Digital publications offering new fiction, poetry, and essays, direct to subscribers’ inboxes:
• Popular monthly electronic newsletter, offering news, views, and the best of KR.
• Weekend Reads, a delightful dose of reading when Friday rolls around.
• A lively series of KR podcasts, disseminating the oral tradition of reading aloud.
Programs and Education
The Kenyon Review builds literary community through education:
- Summer writing workshops designed both for young writers finding their voices and adults working to perfect their craft in a range of genres and forms.
- The Young Writers Workshop, for 16- to 18-year-olds, is often described by participants as life-changing.
- The Writers Workshops offer more than half a dozen workshops each summer. They allow adult writers to find the time, guidance, and support to generate new work, inspiration, and momentum for the coming year.
- The Kenyon Review Fellowships for post-MFA or PhD authors on the verge of establishing an important literary reputation.
- for college students interested in careers in publishing.
- Associates Program for college students learning the ropes of publishing.
- School-year writing workshops for children as young as elementary-school age.
- on topics of broad literary interest such as “Art and Identity,” a two-year interdisciplinary inquiry into art ownership, restitution, and cultural heritage.
- Knox Reads! galvanizes the local community to engage with a selected book each year through reading, discussion, writing, and an author visit.
Building literary community through celebration:
- The Kenyon Review Literary Festival. An annual literary festival in Gambier, Ohio, drawing participants from near and far.
- The KR Reading Series. A vibrant reading series featuring distinguished writers and exciting new voices.
- National contests to identify new voices among outstanding young poets (The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers) and short-fiction writers (The Short Fiction Contest).
- The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. Presented at gala benefit dinner each year in New York City honoring careers of extraordinary literary achievement, recognizing writers whose influence and importance have shaped the American literary landscape. Past KRALA recipients include Rita Dove, Hilary Mantel, Roger Rosenblatt, Ann Patchett, Carl Phillips, Elie Wiesel, Simon Schama, W.S. Merwin, Louise Erdich, Richard Ford, Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Roger Angell, Umberto Eco, Seamus Heaney, Joyce Carol Oates, and E.L. Doctorow.
A Binding Promise to the Future
Thanks to the vision of KR’s editor David H. Lynn and the generosity of its Board of Trustees, the Kenyon Review looks forward to identifying new ways to excite readers and support writers during a time of rapid change and new opportunity among literary publishers, literary genres, and literary audiences. In all things literary, we will be there, helping writers to produce the best in new writing, delivering their work to the eyes and hands of thoughtful readers.
For the surprise and delight of the well-crafted word, in all its forms, think Kenyon Review.
The Editor in Chief serves as the Executive Director of The Kenyon Review. As such he or she is responsible for and oversees its operations in their entirety. This includes managing a portfolio of offerings, including all aspects of publishing and editorial responsibilities, the KR Associates Program, Fellowships Program, the Young Writers Workshop, Festival, the Kenyon Review Award for Literacy Achievement marquee event among other community, professional and academic initiatives.
- The Editor is appointed by and reports directly to the President of Kenyon College in consultation with the Kenyon Review Board of Trustees.
- The Editor develops the mission of the organization in collaboration with the KR Board of Trustees, and then carries it out.
The next Editor in Chief (Editor) will be responsible for drafting, executing and managing the strategic direction of the Review and will collaborate closely with Kenyon College leadership to sustain and progress the Review’s excellence in literary standards. The Editor will concurrently direct programs and special events on and off campus while also overseeing the hiring, development and review of current and future KR staff.
The chief responsibilities of the Editor will include the following:
- Organizes the processes for selection and production of The Kenyon Review, an international journal of literature, culture, and the arts.The final selections of content, layout, and design are at the editor’s discretion.The Kenyon Review holds itself to the highest literary standards, seeking to publish the most talented and diverse new voices alongside already well established and distinguished authors.
- Oversees the continuing evolution of electronic media and literary content, including the KR website, KROnline, initiatives on the Internet, podcasts, blogs, and others yet to be identified, in pursuit of expanding the editorial reach of The Kenyon Review.The goal is to reach both a larger international readership and a younger audience which is less likely to read in traditional formats.
- Oversees the search process and selection of the Kenyon Review Fellows.These are writers and teachers who have already completed an M.F.A.or Ph.D. and who show extraordinary promise as poets, fiction writers, and/or essayists.They are in residence in Gambier for a two-year period.Currently, new Fellows are selected every other year.
- The Editor will embrace the relationship between KR and academics.This includes opportunities to teach, to advise, and to participate in the activities of the English Department and the academic life of the College.
- Is encouraged and expected to remain engaged as a writer, scholar or critic with publication in national venues.
- Selects and directs the KR Student Associates (volunteers) and (paid) interns where the role of the Editor is to shape and guide the learning experience of the Associates.
- Oversees the hiring, training, and reviewing of all KR staff, including the managing editor, the program director, the office manager, and their assistants.
- Oversees the development and ongoing processes of the KR budget and other financial materials.Makes regular reports to the President of Kenyon College and to the Chair of the Finance Committee of the KR Board of Trustees.
- Works with the Chair of the KR Board of Trustees to identify and recruit new trustees; to set the dates, meeting place, and agenda for trustee meetings; and to manage the work of the board as appropriate.
Programs and Special Events:
- Directs the year-round processes of all KR writing workshops, currently including the Writers Workshop; the Young Writers Program, the Writing and Thinking workshops for entering Kenyon students, and the Traveling Writing Workshops.This includes the hiring of all faculty and the selection of participants.
- Directs and hosts the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, an annual gala and fundraiser in New York City.Recommends recipients of the award to the board of trustees; collaborates with Kenyon Review Board in the solicitation of potential sponsors and negotiates with the restaurant as necessary.
- Directs and hosts the Kenyon Review Literary Festival, a two-day program of readings, panel discussions, and lectures, immediately following the Award dinner in New York. The honoree travels with the editor back to Gambier and provides the keynote address.
- Directs other special events, readings, and receptions as organized around the country.
- Responsible for communication and outreach to friends of the KR as part of annual fundraising efforts.
- Oversees, with aid from the Kenyon College Office of Advancement and the Development Committee of the board of trustees, the ongoing solicitation of gifts for the Kenyon Review endowment.
- Personally acknowledges all gifts to The Kenyon Review.
Direct Reports to the Editor-in-Chief
- Managing Editor
- Director of Programs
- Associate Editor
- Fiction Editor
- Kenyon Review Fellows
The Editor in Chief must be passionate about the Review, its history, legacy, and future direction by advocating for its success and must serve as the representative and spokesperson to the literary world at the local, national and international levels. The Kenyon Review seeks candidates with significant editorial, writing, and communication experience complimented with successful management, strategic planning experience, financial acumen and fundraising skills to ensure the success and long-term health of the brand for years to come.
The Editor will develop and execute the strategic plan and vision statement and demonstrate a keen ability to advance KR’s overall platform, programs and reach. This leader will be an exceptional communicator in both written, oral and listening skills. As has been the history of success at the Review, the Editor must lead with a collaborative, inclusive and collegial style.
- Editing and writing experience:The Editor serves as the face of the world-renowned Review with a firm rooting in the literary world; s/he aims to leverage the KR platform to elevate ideas, and to inform and educate all writing.
- Leadership experience:The Editor provides the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure that the Review has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures and people in place to achieve the organizational mission.The Editor will be responsible for devising and executing the KR strategic plan.An acute ability to successfully navigate Board and College dynamics are also central to this appointment.
- Financial acumen:The Editor, with the support of and in partnership with the College and Review staff, ensures organizational and financial strength, operating efficiency, target revenue pursuits, assess current programming portfolio while preserving and facilitating the Review’s storied history and mission.
- Experience in a college or university setting:The Editor will be invested in the academic community at Kenyon and needs to be a thoughtful, reflective and collaborative leader who can work fluidly in the non-profit leadership and academic settings.Maintaining a strong relationship with the English Department and larger academic partnerships at the College will be critical.
- New Media:The Editor must be able to work fluently within a changing media landscape.The Review has grown in different channels based on delivery and reader consumption, and the Editor must identify and meet those needs and be able to promote overall writing across all disciplines on various new platforms.
- Communication: Communicating well with all constituents and partners is essential for this role.The Editor needs to be able to work well with the Board, the immediate KR staff, the literary world of authors, MFAs, literary patrons, publishers, the College leadership, current and prospective students, alumni.
- Commitment to values of diversity and inclusion:The Editor shares the value and commitment of Kenyon College and Kenyon Review to diversity and inclusion, striving to bring diverse voices and perspectives to the Kenyon Review publications and programs, as well as working to bring the Review’s work and programs to diverse audiences.
Master of Fine Arts in Writing or Ph.D. in related discipline strongly desired.
A competitive compensation package will be offered to the finalist candidate.
Interested and qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume and cover letter to: TheKenyonReviewEditor@kornferry.com
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