Stepping down as BSR’s editor

It's so hard to say goodbye

After more than two years at the helm of Broad Street Review, I am stepping down to take a full-time job as (of all the unlikely sequels) a copywriter for an inbound marketing firm. Much as I’ve loved overseeing this proudly idiosyncratic enterprise, it turns out that I can be lured to the world of Mammon by a good salary and really good benefits.  

The BSR offices, prior to my arrival.

I’m leaving with sadness, but also with a fair amount of pride — a most un-Quakerly emotion. Dan delights in calling me “the world’s most assertive Quaker” — he does so again this week in his column. Okay, I’ll admit I might occasionally advocate over-enthusiastically for the clearly most rational option (i.e., the one I prefer) when it’s time to reach a consensus. But there’s one way in which I really am very true to Quaker values: I’m not one to brag about my accomplishments.

But dammit, I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished here:

  • Created BSR’s social media presence
  • Started a weekly newsletter for BSR writers with listings of events looking for reviewers — a must, given that we don’t assign reviews  
  • Proposed and served as staff liaison for the major site redesign and upgrade that we launched in October 2013
  • Created the What’s New, What’s Next section to add previews and features to the BSR mix (with a shout-out here to assistant editor Alaina Mabaso, who’s been my coconspirator and sounding board in so much of what I’ve done, and who manages that section so ably)
  • As editor in chief, had new functions installed, like the slide show that allows us to run photo essays (such as this week’s piece on a “yarnbombing” installation at Morris Arboretum)
  • Brought in many new writers, expanding the range of points of views that we present
  • Brought in an illustrator, Mike Jackson, who’s doing a few drawings a month for us (such as this week’s illustration for a Perry Block humor piece)
  • Advocated for and participated in a major long-term planning project that resulted in our bringing in a publisher to get us onto a firmer financial footing

I’ve obviously made a lot of changes during my time here, and undoubtedly my successor will make even more. Who will that successor be? We’re still discussing that — if you’d like to apply, contact Dan at drottenberg@broadstreetreview.com. And what will those changes be? I can’t wait to find out!

But for now — thanks for reading, and thanks for your support.

By the way — the Oxford comma, which Dan dismisses so cavalierly in his column, is an example of a “clearly most rational option” for which I advocate. Editors delight in coming up with examples of sentences that have gone awry in its absence: my favorite is “I’d like to thank my parents, God and Ayn Rand.”

The serial comma will often make the sentence more clear, and will never make it less.

Just sayin’.

Our readers respond

Treacy Ziegler

of Newfield, NY on March 31, 2016

Just sayin' a public thank-you for all the great insights you provided over the past couple of years!

Author's Response

Thanks, Treacy! I've loved working on your essays with you!

Shannon Cline

of Philadelphia, PA on April 04, 2016

Judy, you've been so supportive, especially of smaller organizations occupying unique niches. You will be sorely missed!

Editor's note: Shannon Cline is the executive director of Piffaro the Renaissance Band.

Author's Response

My pleasure, Shannon -- supporting local groups is part of BSR's DNA!

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