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Intern to Managing Editor in One Year

Hannah Haney


During the winter of 2014, I was 18 and doing the same thing every other college student was: scrambling for a summer internship. Unlike most other college students, I didn’t have a lot of options. Editing internships for English majors in NYC are lovely, except for when they’re unpaid and super competitive.

So I crafted a casual tweet hoping to catch the eye of some small company that wanted a college sophomore with no experience. Dan Bowman, who happens to be a professor at the college I attend, responded. He told me he had contacts at some literary journals, and to let him know if I was interested. I responded in five seconds with a very emphatic yes.

He gave me a couple names and told me to tell him what I was interested in. Relief caught my attention immediately and I couldn’t stop reading the mission statement: “The goal of this publication is to pursue a complete picture of Christ and life –- real, gritty, painful, wonderful, this-side-of-heaven life...Christ’s goal was never to keep us sheltered and comfortable.  He did not pull his punches.” Relief was everything I wanted from Christian writing and art—honest, unflinching examples of reality and grace. I emailed Dan and told him that Relief was my top internship priority. He said he would make it happen. And he did.

I spent the summer of 2014 doing many things, but interning with Relief was my favorite. I worked under the blog and social media editor and helped keep blog posts coming in on deadline and doing some minor edits. I had been interested in the publishing industry before Relief, but this internship confirmed that this is where I was meant to be. So at the end of the summer, when my boss told me that I had done good work and asked if would I like to come on as an assistant editor, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Junior year was fantastic. Not only was I back at school, but I got to continue working for the journal that was now one of my deepest passions. I started making friends with my bloggers, who continually poured immense wisdom into my life, whether they knew it or not. I was and still am continually flabbergasted that I get to work with such incredible writers.

This January, Relief started transitioning. Brad Fruhauff, our editor-in-chief at the time, asked me if I could fill in as Interim Managing Editor and Web Editor, ultimately transitioning into Managing Editor. I quickly said yes. I started running the Relief blog solo and helped get everything finalized for issue 8.1. I loved every single second of it. I got to intimately be a part of furthering the conversation of art and faith through the blog and the print issue. I have never flourished like I have here. 

I started my senior year at Taylor University this month. I’m working on writing my senior thesis for my BA in English Literature and I’m also a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest Online. I am beyond thrilled and honored to be the managing editor for Relief. I get to continue working with incredibly wise and talented people to promote the thing I love most. There are excellent plans in place for this journal and I am on the edge of seat.

“For authors who cry out for an appropriate venue and readers who long for stories that don’t make them gag, we present Relief.”