November 5, 2013

"Literary Renaissance" or Corporate Miserabilism? You Decide!

This listing has disappeared from Grub Street's job opportunities page, so either they've come to their senses or the position has been filled. As a gift to posterity, however, I'm posting it here. 

With its exquisite synthesis of journalese, ad-man lingo, and management-speak, it's a sterling example of the exciting "literary renaissance" that Boston is currently "undergoing." 

Note how "writers" is comfortably nestled between "philanthropic funding" and "publishing entrepreneurs." And I can never get enough of "liaising" as a verb! Not to mention the with-it swagger of "growing" as a transitive verb -- "growing the list"! And how about the coy afterthought of "a demonstrated love and passion for the literary arts" as a "plus" for any candidate (after "political and fundraising experience" and all the other qualifications, of course).*

I'll have more to say in future posts about Boston's "Literary Cultural District" initiative, but in the meantime: Long may the immortal spirit of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow liaise with the "branding process" and grow the "improved signage"!

Literary Cultural District Coordinator (part-time)

September 12th, 2013
By the mid-nineteenth century, Boston was called “The Athens of America” because it was home to publishing powerhouses like Ticknor and Fields and Little Brown, as well as some of the most enduring writers in our history, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Washington Street was a mecca of magazine and journal publishing. Writing published in Boston contributed both to the development of literature and social justice in the United States.
Today, our city is undergoing a literary renaissance. We are blessed with the Boston Public Library, the important archives at the Boston Athenaeum, and the work of publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Beacon Press. Grub Street has become the leading literary center in the country, welcoming over 2,500 writing students a year and hosting a premier writers' conference each May at the Park Plaza Hotel; the Boston Book Festival draws 30,000 people to Copley every October; 826 Boston inspires children to write and publish. Literary stars like James Carroll, Steven Pinker, Tom Perrotta, and Anita Shreve work here, and new presses like Plympton and SixOneSeven are planting seeds.
We have a unique opportunity to harness the work of these organizations, clustered together downtown, to create the nation’s first Literary Cultural District. With an intentional, coherent approach to our collective work, improved signage, partnerships with hotels and restaurants, and marketing, we will make our neighborhood more vibrant by increasing cultural tourism and participation in literary arts and by attracting more philanthropic funding, writers, and publishing entrepreneurs. Current Partners include the Boston Public Library, the Boston Athenaeum, the Boston Book Festival, The Drum, and the City of Boston, but we will be growing the list significantly now that we have funding to make the project happen. Interest is very high.
The LCD Coordinator will be overseen by Grub Street management, and will work 18 hours/week on the project at Grub Street’s offices.
The overall role of the LCD Coordinator is to give the project momentum, to keep all partner and collaborating organizations on track and to facilitate partners' work for district by handling all administrative tasks. Specific responsibilities include:
  • Applying to MCC for cultural district status
  • Managing the branding process with outside design firm
  • Coordinating all project meetings and moving the project forward by creating a timeline and benchmarks
  • Facilitating the Literary Data Tool project
  • Managing marketing efforts for the calendar and website
  • Generating content for the newsletter
  • Liaising with hotels and restaurants
  • Actively researching funding options
  • Helping to write the district-wide marketing strategy
The idea candidate is a dynamic, self-starter, with excellent and proven project management and organizational skills, experience planning and facilitating meetings, excellent communications skills, and an ability to work well with a wide variety of people. Political and fundraising experience is a plus as is a demonstrated love and passion for the literary arts.
$18,000 yearly stipend.
To apply, please submit a resume and brief cover letter to No calls, please.


* With extra credit bonus points awarded for the romance-novel overkill of "love AND passion"!