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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

When you approach the end of a journey (such as college), it is almost inevitable to fear the future. Oftentimes it is the future that consumes us in these times of uncertainty, but this is not the case for senior Diana DiLoreto. For her, this step is far more emotional because of what she is leaving behind.

Diana DiLoreto is the Managing Editor-in-Chief of Generic, an Emerson genre fiction magazine. When asked what she will miss the most about her college experience she said, “Definitely Generic. I would be lying if I said otherwise. I already know I’m going to cry at the book launch, especially since this is the tenth edition of Generic.” A pretty incredible feat, considering the long journey this publication has gone through to be what it is today. At a college such as Emerson, it can be difficult to submit genre fiction stories for workshop and critique. Diana, a lover of genre fiction herself, saw this void and took action.

“One of the things that we have been really proud of at Generic is our writing workshops,” she says. “We used to do specific genre workshops and then when I became managing editor, I went to…our editor at the time and told him I really wanted to do a first page workshop. So students were able to bring in the first page of their genre fiction piece, like they would in a normal writing workshop class. And that was partially in order to get people to be able to talk about their fiction in maybe a way they haven’t in classes.”

It’s safe to say that this method worked. “We’re actually in the middle of voting right now, but looking at the quality of writing, and receiving the most submissions we’ve ever had, I know this is going to be the best edition we’ve ever done.”

If you haven’t read this magazine, you are truly missing out. They have published stories with subjects ranging from superheroes to Loch Ness Monster erotica. But what is our accomplished editor’s favorite story? “One of our readers, who is actually one of our editors now, submitted a piece called ‘The Witch.’ It was just this really cool and different take on witchcraft. She did something really different and it was really beautifully done and incredibly poetic. It was kind of partially a romance, but not really. When I read that one I was like, ‘OK, Generic’s on another level now.’” Another level indeed. The increasing popularity of this small magazine is hard to ignore. Even Diana admitted, “I’ve loved not only getting to share genre fiction with other people but also watching the magazine grow. We’re getting more and more submissions every year, more followers on Facebook every year. It’s just been a wild ride.”

How can genre fiction not be a wild ride, though? It is such an underappreciated type of literature in all levels of writing education, even at Emerson, a school that prides itself on being progressive. So how did Diana fall into such an underappreciated field? The fellow genre writer told me, “When I got to Emerson, I was kind of bummed that there weren’t any genre fiction specific classes. And then I found Generic, via Pub Club (Undergraduate Students for Publishing). Generic was the thing that they talked about the least, but they needed a marketing assistant and I was like, ‘Oh my god. I’m in.’”

Even with all this success, there is no denying that genre fiction has a long way to go. I asked Diana what problems genre fiction runs into when trying to reach the masses and she told me, “It’s building a world… Actually trying to build a credible world and then also tell a story in 5-10 pages (the length of their submissions) is difficult. Realistic fiction doesn’t need as much space for building a world that genre fiction does. So sometimes I feel like the quality of the pieces are not less, but rushed. So it can be kind of hard to convince people that it’s something serious.”

Considering all these obstacles, it is pretty impressive that Diana, along with both the Generic and Wilde Press staffs, have brought this closer to the spotlight at a school that is almost overwhelmed with incredible student publications. The biggest problem that still may not have been conquered, however, is that of the writers’ timidness to submit. Diana understands this and urged people to, “First, find the people who love genre fiction. Find someone else who writes in your area or is interested in your area.” This has proven to be less and less difficult, as Generic has helped encourage incredible fiction writers to come out from the woodwork. The most important thing for Diana, however is “to encourage—especially younger students—to submit their work. I think a lot of time there’s this barrier at Emerson of ‘Oh, my writing’s not good enough compared to what I read in The Emerson Review, or anything really. I want to encourage people to move away from that thinking and just submit. Just submit. Do it. You never know. And almost always you are your worst critic.”

Perhaps the most important question for this Fall 2016 graduate is: What’s next? “I would actually love to do PR for a genre fiction publisher,” she says. “I interned at Da Capo Press over the summer as one of their publicity agents, which was an incredible experience. I just really like publicity and marketing work in publishing in general.” An interesting field to be sure. And how did a writing major go from writing to marketing? For Diana, “Everyone comes into Emerson thinking, ‘I’m going to be the next great American novelist,’ and when they realize they’re not, they’re like ‘Then I’ll be the next David Godine editor,’ and then you’re like ‘Oh! Not that either.’”

It’s a balancing game for Diana, and not an easy one at that. “What it comes down to for me is I’m a writer primarily,” she says. “I love writing. Writing is my craft. And it’s important to me to keep writing as my craft, separate from my work, that way it doesn’t become work and stressful. And I think I realized that if I did editorial I would be working other people’s manuscripts all day long, and then going home and working on my manuscript all night long. So I decided that marketing and publicity for books was a different way to stretch that creative muscle in the publishing field without letting my own work and writing suffer.” And as a second semester senior working on her fiction writing thesis, she knows a thing or two about juggling writing and work.

Diana is a great example of one of the many stories here at Emerson that go untold. We hear about the accomplished actors who go to do great things in movies and TV shows. We hear about the amazing directors and cinematographers that certainly bring pride to our school. Hell, we even hear about the crazy graduates that go off and publish a book or two. But it is hard to get the full scope of Emerson’s talent and prestige without mentioning the amazing people in publishing and marketing at our school that are truly breaking down walls.

It’s scary thinking about where you are going to end up after graduation. For Diana, it feels more like an adventure. In her ‘dream world,’ she would be doing “publicity for something like Tour or even Candlewick Press. In the meantime though, I’ll take anything in publishing that’s publicity, PR or even social media that pays. #hireme.”

In my opinion, this soon retiring Generic editor has nothing to worry about in her job hunt later this semester. For the time being however, it is not about jobs and only about Generic. And who can blame her? “Generic is something that I’ve worked on for so long and to finally be stepping away from it is going to be a lot. It’s like my baby.” And with Diana’s help, along with many others who will soon graduate, there is no doubt this magazine will be able to walk on its own for years to come.

I am a Writing, literature, and Publishing Major. I love Netflix, food, and sleep. College lets me experience all 3 of my favorite things simultaneously.
Emerson contributor