On Storytelling and Community: A Conversation with Anne Gregg ‘25

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“As kids [say], they’re like, ‘I’m gonna be this thing.’ And I was like, ‘I’m gonna be an author.’ And the bug never died.” 

A Midwestern Review Editor-in-Chief Anne Gregg ‘25 recounted the dream that she has had since third grade as our conversation flowed through a relaxing Friday afternoon. Dated back to 1988, The Midwestern Review publishes bi-annually and features fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artworks made by DePauw students. 

“I’m very happy because I love getting to see what everyone is creating and doing. I love being able to be in that space where I give them a place for it,” Gregg stated, explaining why she took on her current role. Although she hates deadlines - as everyone does - she loves the process of putting the magazine together and celebrating stories going into the world. Gregg’s biggest takeaway from the experience is the awareness of talents on DePauw’s small campus. 

“I want to encourage everyone to submit, I think everyone has art in them and can make art,” Gregg shared. “It’s a very vulnerable thing because you don’t want to be rejected. And I think the idea is that if you are rejected, it means your stuff is bad. That's not what it means.” She cited the difference between taste and craft, emphasizing how the rejected works might just not be what the editors lean towards. Gregg has preferences herself, although she didn’t participate in the selection process. As the Editor in Chief, she knows the author of every piece, but the reviewers had no idea. 

“There’s been some poetry that I was gobsmacked by,” Gregg said after sharing that getting into poetry during middle school was her “moody era.” (I think that for an editor of a literary magazine, it is highly recommended that you have a moody era.) This semester saw the most poetry that A Midwestern Review had ever received, which Gregg is happy about because creators trusted the team enough to be vulnerable. She also loves the way writers get “really funky” with fiction, ranging from horror and science fiction to mundane everyday ideas. Regarding art, even though she has never been able to practice the craft, her love for it is always there and past coursework has helped her develop a better eye for techniques.

But Gregg doesn’t have a favorite genre. “They’re all my children,” she said. She was looking forward to knowing the selections and organizing the end-of-semester party, when authors do readings. Gregg considers her experience a learning curve that resembles a submission and review process of a general publication, but on a smaller scale. 

“I have to budget everything and I get very stressed and nervous,” Gregg discussed an aspect of her role that she did not enjoy as much. Luckily, Managing Editor Jane Duffy ‘26 and Public Relations Coordinator Brooklyn Cornelius ‘26 are her partners in crime. They are there for her to bounce ideas off of each other. Along with her community of reviewers and editors, Gregg has learned that even as a leader, she can mess up. “I'm a control freak, I like to do things myself. And so having and knowing that there are people who were like ‘we are in this together, we are working on this thing, we are going to do this job’ is so nice,” she shared. 

After our conversation, and even as we were talking, Gregg apologized for her long answers. But I told her that I appreciated all the details. Plus, she is a storyteller - who would expect short answers from a storyteller?