Glimpse Graduate Program Testimonials

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“The Glimpse Correspondents program provided me with the opportunity to further examine the society that I’d been living in and get to know some incredible people while doing so. As a correspondent I was able to delve deeper into the coal mining culture that I’d been so fascinated by since arriving in eastern Ukraine two years ago. On the editorial side of it all, I received a great amount of support and learned some valuable lessons on revising and editing, for which I am very grateful.”
Christopher Miller, Ukraine
Fall 2011 Glimpse Correspondent

“I was pretty astonished to be included in the Glimpse Correspondents Program. My pitch didn’t really seem to fit into the idea of ‘Your Stories from Abroad’; I was going somewhere I’d been before, somewhere many people had been before, somewhere already thoroughly explored and documented by a lot of very, very, well-established writers.

Hats off to editor Sarah Menkedick; she took a chance on me, and on the possibility that there were still stories worth telling in New York City. It was a daunting task. If I found one interesting, originalish story in New York I figured I’d be doing pretty well; finding two in the space of a few months seemed impossible.

Finding material for the articles required a kind of discipline, but it also took me well away from my usual paths, and showed me some sides of the city I never would have noticed otherwise. There was, in fact, no shortage of material; my problem ended up being how to fit all the emerging ideas into two coherent pieces.

Once the writing process started Sarah’s intuition was invaluable. My first drafts were completely muddled, but she was able to read through them and extract my underlying intentions. She often seemed to know instinctively what I was trying to say, even when I wasn’t sure myself. She also knew when to kick my ass over some bad writing habits.

I totally underestimated the scope of the work required for the program. Mostly this is down to the impeccable standard Sarah held me too. I would send off a draft that I felt certain looked good; she would return it and ask me to push it further. Every sentence had to justify its own inclusion.

It advertises itself as ‘Your Stories from Abroad’, but the great strength of the Glimpse program is that it recognises that we all have different abroads, and that great stories aren’t just found out there in the abroad, but rather that they have to be created, shared, worked at, struggled with, and shared again. And again and again.”
Philip Johnson, United States
Fall 2011 Glimpse Correspondent

“For years now I have been a traveler and a writer. Before Glimpse, I had blogged about my adventures around the world and freelanced for the local paper in my hometown. I dabbled in travel writing. Glimpse afforded me the opportunity to combine my two passions with a specific purpose: to compose essays on an expatriate-run volunteer organization in southern India.

From the beginning, Sarah was both a supportive and demanding editor. I had to adjust my technique and voice back from blogging to essay writing. I was in the habit of writing little vignettes: parts of stories, anecdotes, and funny wonderings. My blog posts did not necessarily have a beginning, middle, and end. With Sarah’s help, I set about reorganizing my writing, creating a structure to guide my conversational tone.

I learned the discipline required to travel and write. Sometimes I spent an equal amount of time searching for a quiet place to concentrate as I did actually writing when I got there. Sometimes the power went out wherever I had settled and I had to retreat back through the bustling, honking, people-packed streets.

Working with Sarah helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I needed her critical-eye in editing, and pushing me beyond my comfort zone. She asked me provocative questions that inspired new descriptions of a scene or character. As it turned out, crafting a cohesive essay inside a country of chaos proved a formidable task. There were moments of great frustration that Sarah reminded me were normal; were part of the process.

In the end, Glimpse provided me with an invaluable learning experience. I gained awareness about my creative self, from evaluating my writing habits to understanding the conditions under which I’m able to be most productive. I discovered my weaknesses even as I celebrated my strengths. I began to understand what becoming a professional travel writer would be like. Writing for Glimpse was an incredibly opportunity and one that I would whole-heartedly recommend to any aspiring writer.”
Brittany Jordt, India
Fall 2011 Glimpse Correspondent

“The Glimpse Correspondence program was hugely beneficial for my writing. More than building clips and a byline, the main value of the program for me was the editorial guidance. The editor really took the time to work deeply with my pieces, and the quality of her feedback was on par with what I’ve received in university workshops. With publications strapped and editors stretched, such personalized, professional feedback is rare these days. The fact that Glimpse offers this not just free-of-charge, but actually provides a stipend for participants, makes it a truly unique opportunity for early-career writers.”
Lauren Quinn, Cambodia
Fall 2011 Glimpse Correspondent

“Prior to landing a gig with Glimpse, I had kept a blog where I reflected on my travels and the lessons they taught me. I spoke from my heart no doubt, but my simplistic, yet personal, approach likened itself to a journalistic writing I had done since I was twelve. I did little to no editing. I included very little imagery. I made no real attempt to tell a story that brought to the mind of readers memories which gave them behind the scenes access to my experiences.

For someone with no background in creative nonfiction, writing for Glimpse while I was farming in Uganda was challenging. I welcomed it, and grew from it, thanks due to an excellent host on site and the thoughtfulness with which Glimpse editors approached my work. This experience pushed me to go back to re-learning the fundamentals of writing – being concise, using precise imagery, and avoiding overused metaphors. Uganda gave me so much to think and write about – the dancehall music playing from dusty downtown storefronts stacked on each other, the smell of chapati on a cool night among the chatter and laughter of locals, and I could go on.

As evidenced in the various rounds of edits, my writing improved so much and eventually was of a quality I was unable to produce before. I, perhaps not completely successfully, pushed away the fear of vulnerability, the prejudice of my own biases, and the comfort of what was known, all to share a part of me – the good, the bad, and everything in between.

The program humbled me, showing me that in an imperfect world, I have more than enough room to improve as a writer. I don’t know what this means for my career (now that I am in law school, haha), but I am truly grateful for Glimpse giving me the opportunity to share my perspective in a space that supports critical thinking and dialogue about the world.”
Julian Hill, Uganda
Fall 2011 Glimpse Correspondent

“The Glimpse Correspondents Program has been like a compass for my journey. It has
guided me to places I might not have otherwise gone, and navigated me toward questions I might never have thought to ask. Although studying abroad is a life-altering experience in and of itself, diving into the adventure as a Glimpse Correspondent has allowed me to go even deeper, to look even closer, and to recognize that each day is a valuable story.”
Josh MacIvor-Andersen, Mexico
Spring 2008 Glimpse Correspondent

“I was excited to have a motivation to get myself into interesting situations. I really enjoyed working on the cod fishing story—simply because it was an experience to go out on a cod-fishing boat for a week with a bunch of salty-dogs. Plus, I got to eat the cod eggs. Mmmm.”
Ben Black, Iceland
Spring 2008 Glimpse Correspondent

“Glimpse has given me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and experience the real activities of people abroad. Some of the coolest things I’ve done so far in New Zealand have been on assignment for Glimpse. I’ve met some truly amazing people, and could not be happier with my experiences so far as a Photo Correspondent.”
David Kelbe, New Zealand
Spring 2008 Glimpse Correspondent

“I’m very much aligned with Glimpse’s mission, and I was excited to have a venue to share my unique cultural experiences. I think it’s imperative that Americans learn to appreciate and value other cultures. I particularly enjoyed the writing experience and learning from my editor, as well as the open-ended themes I could cover in my stories.”
Lauren Moloney-Egnatios, Spain
Spring 2008 Glimpse Correspondent

“Over the course of the program, I learned some important lessons about revision. Even when my first drafts were utterly deformed, Glimpse editors helped me shape my experiences into readable stories. I’m grateful for their editorial support.”
Joe Bookman, China
Spring 2008 Glimpse Correspondent

 

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