Working at NAR

Working at NAR

Our first mission, of course, is to publish America’s longest-lived literary journal, continuing an important national discussion since 1815. With the generous support of the University of Northern Iowa, North American Review (NAR) provides a superlative learning experience for people interested in independent literary publishing. We are uniquely situated to provide genuine production experience with a magazine that is read and shared globally. At the same time, we are committed to the education and further development of the literary publishing community within the state of Iowa. This means teaching the concepts, skills, and ethics of independent literary publishing to ensure smaller voices can be heard in a world of ever-larger media entities.

What to expect: 
Interested University of Northern Iowa students, originating from a variety of backgrounds, will work in a relaxed atmosphere that employees find comfortable and friendly. This easy-going environment belies the hard work and considerable experience students gain while employed. Students who have had experience at NAR find themselves sought after in the fields of publishing and communications. Immersion in literary publishing starts from day one. We train students to read, select, and track manuscripts, copyedit, proofread, lay out the magazine, and conduct the business of running a literary publication. We work to help students identify their interests and strengths in publishing and tailor their experience to their personal goals. Whether the student’s journey is on to another academic institution, into the publishing world, or on to some other field, this is a great starting place. Of course, everyone who works at NAR receives credit on the masthead of the magazine, which serves as a showcase to family, friends, and future employers.

Time commitment to NAR runs from a minimum eight hours a week to a maximum of 20, with an average of about 12 hours a week. We ask for eight hours a week minimum because our experience has indicated that students who work less than this have trouble retaining their training. One good strategy for time management is to log extra time at the beginning of the semester to complete training early on. The larger benefit of this strategy is that when time-consuming tasks unfold—such as large assignments or major tests, visitors, illness, or other occurrences—students do not fall behind in their time commitment or lose out on any part of their financial aid award. Of course, a student’s job is to be a student first, so we do not like to see students here much more than 15 hours a week. The maximum 20-hour-a-week schedule is generally reserved for visiting students who pursue NAR internship from another institution.

Student life is complex, but scheduling is easy at NAR. We are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding UNI holidays and breaks. We encourage students to arrange their working times, as it is convenient to their overall schedules. If something comes up, we can be flexible as to when students work, as long as their commitments are met.

We know the students’ time is valuable and are honored if they choose to share it with us. We could not possibly pay them what their time is actually worth. However, we can go beyond the time students spend at NAR and help them during their first steps in their chosen career. We have served as references and written countless letters of recommendation for employment, scholarships, and creative writing programs. We are glad to provide support in crucial times; it is our way of rewarding the students’ hard work at NAR. Students who have worked for us have gone on to nationally distributed commercial publications, smaller independent publishing, law schools, PhD and MFA programs, visual design firms, national testing centers, and other fascinating careers.

We only ask for the ability to stop and ask questions when the student is unsure of what to do. We love questions. We do not expect the students have previous knowledge about publishing—we aim to teach them that in short order. This work is entry-level and designed to give students crucial experience to aid them in acquiring jobs and meeting  with success later in their life and work.

Interested in working at NAR? Consider one of the following opportunities:

Federal Work-Study—As part of their financial aid package, students may be awarded Federal Work-Study. Students from nearly every major at UNI have worked here and gained valuable experience. We have welcomed students from physical education, biology, business, music, art, information systems, public policy, communications, philosophy, natural sciences, and English, just to name a few majors. If students have Federal Work-Study, they can work at NAR and be paid every two weeks. Contact Shelly Criswell, Managing Editor. Phone: 319-273-3026 or email:

Cooperative Education—Working with UNI’s Cooperative Education Office and professors in the students’ majors, students can be granted the Cooperative Education internship. In some cases, there is a monetary award, and the students can work at the NAR and be paid every two weeks. Students from a variety of majors such as public relations, marketing, finance, information systems, and graphic design have found this experience enriching and useful in their careers. Contact Mr. Al Stamberg, Director of the UNI Cooperative Education Program. Phone: 319-273-6041 or email:

Graduate Assistants—The UNI Department of Languages and Literatures often works NAR into graduate students’ assistantship experiences. No matter what their goals are, nearly all students have found that their time at the NAR gives insight into their professional field or helps them gain valuable skills that readily transfer to their scholarship or creative endeavors. Graduate students should contact Dr. Anne G. Myles, Graduate Coordinator at the UNI Department of Languages and Literatures. Phone: 319-273-6911 or email:

English Practicum: Professional Writing—Working with Dr. Adrienne Lamberti, students can receive class credit and valuable hands-on learning and real-world professional writing skills such as project management, editing, and design. Students who have taken this practicum have gone on to work in publishing or even start their own magazines. Contact Dr. Ken Baughman at the UNI Department of Languages and Literatures. Phone: 319-273-6098 or email:

English Practicum: Creative Writing—Working with Dr. Vince Gotera or Dr. Grant Tracey, students can earn class credit while discovering the properties of a good manuscript, how to submit to a magazine, and the importance of document design in creative writing. Students who have had this experience report that it has helped them get their own work published more quickly than previously thought. Contact Dr. Ken Baughman at the UNI Department of Languages and Literatures. Phone: 319-273-6098 or email:

Internship: Visiting Student—Graduate and undergraduate students from other institutions are welcome to include NAR as part of their course of studies at their own college or university. Students from schools such as Wartburg College and Central College have already benefited from this arrangement. A professor at the student’s institution will evaluate the student while we provide the experience. Students or their professor may contact Shelly Criswell, Managing Editor. Phone: 319-273-3026 or email:

Volunteer— North American Review’s doors are always open to students and community members who want to gain publishing experience but do not fit the situations outlined above. Some community members have used NAR experience and gone on to their own editorships or started their own presses. Contact Shelly Criswell, Managing Editor. Phone: 319-273-3026 or email:

Some people who might advise you about working at North American Review:

Dr. Vince Gotera
Creative Writing & Literature
Phone: 319-273-7061

Dr. Grant A. Tracey
Creative Writing & Film
Phone: 319-273-3782

Dr. Ken Baughman
Department of Languages & Literatures Advisor
Phone: 319-273-6098

Dr. Jim O’Loughlin
Creative & Professional Writing
Phone: 319-273-2002

Dr. Anne G. Myles
Department of Languages and Literatures Graduate Coordinator
Phone: 319-273-6911

Dr. Adrienne Lamberti
Professional Writing
Phone: 319-273-2627

Ms. Shelly Criswell
NAR Managing Editor
Phone: 319-273-3026

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