Honors Student Reflects on Time as Editor-In-Chief of Luna Negra

Lindsey Sellman Encourages Students to Challenge Their Comfort Zone

Lindsey Sellman, wearing a mask in her backyard in Stow, Ohio.

Lindsey Sellman, a senior Honors College student majoring in journalism and minoring in creative writing, has spent her final year at Kent State as the Editor-in-Chief of Luna Negra magazine. Luna Negra is a student-led literary and arts magazine in Kent State’s Student Media department. Since 1956, the magazine has changed names and departments, but maintained its tradition of publishing the art and writing of Kent State students.

Lindsey recalls being apprehensive about applying to the position of Editor-in-Chief. She explains, “I was afraid I couldn’t handle that big of a responsibility, but I just went for it because I knew the work experience would be great!” Since being selected for the position, Lindsey’s past experiences at Kent State have helped her be a strong leader. With her journalism and creative writing background, Lindsey says she has been “able to consider Luna [and its work] from these two angles.” Not only has Lindsey’s academic background given her a well-rounded view of the magazine, but her practical experiences have also helped her succeed. Lindsey notes that she was on the Luna Negra staff in the 2019-20 year, so she had a general understanding of the publication process, which helped her become more comfortable as Editor-in-Chief.

While Lindsey’s experiences made her qualified for the position of Editor-in-Chief, she also explains that the position given her additional skills and perspective. Lindsey notes, “I’ve really appreciated getting to work with the Luna staff this year[,] even though we’ve all been working remotely.” This experience leading a team of editors and designers has helped Lindsey become more comfortable as a leader. The need to work virtually also challenged Lindsey to adapt the magazine’s editorial process, since the team is unable to meet in-person. This flexibility and leadership experience from her time at Luna Negra make Lindsey uniquely qualified for her future goals. Planning to attend Kent State’s graduate program for education, Lindsey hopes to teach and work on literary projects in her spare time.  Her experience as the leader of Luna Negra showcases Lindsey’s ability to organize others and work independently, two skills important for any graduate student or teacher.

Lindsey also acknowledges the people who have enhanced her experience at Luna Negra. She mentions Kevin Dilley, the Director of Student Media, saying, “Kevin . . . has been a big help with any questions I’ve had[,] especially since this is my first leadership position in student media.” Lindsey also highlights Samantha Schaffer, the Art Director at Luna Negra, for all the work Samantha has put into designing this year’s issue. Lindsey has even connected with leaders and honors students in other student media organizations, saying, “I’ve become good friends with Uhuru’s Editor-in-Chief[,] Zaria Johnson.” Uhuru is another Kent State student media magazine that promotes the voices and innovations of people of color on campus. All of Lindsey’s connections both within Luna Negra and across the student media department have helped Lindsey grow even more as a creative leader.

When asked for her advice for fellow creative Honors College students, Lindsey says, “When it comes to submitting, my personal way of going about it is just clicking the submit button and then forgetting about it. . .  That way[,] if I get an email saying I’ve been accepted to something, it’s a surprise!” Lindsey also advises students not to see rejection as a reflection of their artistic abilities. She explains, “[If] you check a submission some day and see it’s been declined[,] you just have to remind yourself that there are tons of people that submit to these things and that a lot of publications have a particular aesthetic or feel they might be going for—you’ll find one that likes your vibe eventually!” Every creative experiences rejection, so Lindsey encourages her peers to keep exploring their artistic styles, regardless of rejection.

This encouragement to keep taking creative risks also applies to students who want to work for a creative magazine. For Luna Negra specifically, Lindsey adds, “[O]ur staff applications are usually open sometime early in the summer and we are always looking for new faces to be on staff. You don’t have to be in any particular major! Just keep an eye out on our social media and the Student Media website for information.” Lindsey encourages anyone thinking about applying to the Luna Negra staff to submit an application. She knows students often worry about their qualification for magazine positions, but she encourages her peers to trust in their own abilities.

In reflecting on her time as Editor-in-Chief, Lindsey says, “It’s not happened yet, but I think my favorite memory will be seeing this year’s edition of Luna on stands around campus!” The print magazine is dispersed on the Kent campus each spring, and Lindsey is excited for this year’s issue to reach students. Lindsey is grateful to the faculty and peers who have supported her as Editor-in-Chief, and she is excited to continue writing and publishing after graduation.

For more information about Luna Negra, please visit the Luna Negra website. For more information about Uhuru or other student media organizations, please visit the Kent State Student Media website.


PHOTO CAPTION 1: Decorative "K" fixture on campus.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Lindsey Sellman wearing a mask outside of her home in Stow, Ohio.

Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal, smoskal@kent.edu, 330-672-2312

POSTED: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 01:18 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 02:43 PM
Olivia Wachtel, Honors College Writing Intern