Welcome LPR’s new publisher: Q&A with Kellyn Mahan

Close-up photograph of a woman's hand writing on some papers. A notebook and coffee mug litter the table beside her.

The Little Patuxent Review is thrilled to welcome Kellyn Mahan as our new publisher. Kellyn first came to LPR through a literary event in Columbia, Maryland, and was so impressed with the journal’s content that she became a subscriber. Two years later, she’s jumping in as our new publisher.

Kellyn currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland, where she works as a consultant doing brand marketing and strategic development around cultural initiatives. She has extensive experience in community planning and engagement through exposure to arts and culture, and is passionate about sharing the arts to all.

We’re very excited to have Kellyn bring her experience to LPR. She sat down to answer a few questions as she takes the helm:

Q: We’re thrilled to welcome you to the LPR team — what made you decide to say yes to the publisher role?

KM: I’ve loved the review since I met it. It was a no-brainer when I was asked if I was interested in the role. After learning about the needs and possibilities for growth, I just couldn’t say no.

What are you most excited about for the future of the journal? 

I would love to see the journal grow through subscriptions and literary partnerships. I also am excited to see how the journal can support youth programs. We are exploring exciting new opportunities for growth. It will be great to see those materialize.

You never know what resonates with someone else or what will open your next door or next idea.

What are your goals for the journal, and how do you envision accomplishing them?

My main goal for the journal is to increase its exposure and promote it whenever I can get a chance. The review receives an amazing number of submissions for each issue, but it would be fantastic for the subscription rate to increase as well. The subscriptions are very important to the success and longevity of the review. There are several ways to accomplish this goal. I would love to see an increase in partnerships, word-of-mouth referrals. An area of opportunity would also be to continue to foster an online community.

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What’s your writing life like outside of LPR?

Poetry is my main focus of writing. From time to time it starts as a journal entry, but then will morph into something more poetic. Recently, I have focused a little more on visual art mediums. I am getting to a place now with some of my concepts that I would like to start incorporating poetry/written word into the visual arts.

As a lofty long-term goal, I have started very preliminarily developing a whimsical children’s/young adult story that is rooted in mythology and indigenous symbolism of animals. But we shall see where that takes me!

You’ve also worked extensively in marketing. How does that kind of writing overlap, if at all, with more literary writing like what LPR publishes?

I write A LOT A LOT of marketing copy. This writing is helpful to practice because I am constantly thinking, “Did I write this in a three-second-or-less way that someone can read on the fly? Did it capture your attention? Is the headline correct?” This type of writing has a purpose and function. To me, though, the writing in the review serves a different purpose. It is much freer and has an individual personality.

What is one favorite tip you give to folks who ask you for writing advice?

I always remind myself when writing (or doing anything, really) that you never know what resonates with someone else or what will open your next door or next idea. The purpose is to keep with the practice for your own sake instead of writing or doing based on someone else’s standard. There are so many examples of artists who did not seek validation while creating in their lifetime, but their work still stands the test of time and has something apropos to say. 

What is something that your LPR colleagues might not know about you?

I am head over heels in love with food and gathering around food. I think it is one of the most important traditions that we have cultivated over the centuries.

The other thing is that I am a travel addict. I am usually once a month heading off to a new adventure. A big reason I decided to start my own company was so that I did not need to limit travel to just predetermined vacation days. In the past three years, I have visited Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, London, Mexico, Ireland, and the Caribbean, and taken many different trips around the United States.  

You can be part of Kellyn’s vision for the journal! Subscribe to LPR today.

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