RJ Johnson ’16 graduated with their B.F.A. in Creative Writing. During their time at Stephens College, they enjoyed workshop classes and literature classes involving different cultures. They have two large dogs and since graduating received their Master of Business Administration in one year in Denver, Colorado. Now, they spend their time hiking, performing as a drag king named George Not-Strait, working on their novel, and running their own marketing consulting company.
Kristine Somerville, assistant professor of English and Creative Writing: What year and issue of Harbinger did you edit?
RJ Johnson: I was on Harbinger two years. The first year I was the poetry editor of the “Negative Space” edition. The second year I co-edited “More than Myth.”
What did you learn from your experience as an editor of Harbinger?
You may start out with a bunch of pieces that seem to be unrelated, but once you’ve selected the best and assembled it all, coming up with the theme is easier than you might think. Creating a literary magazine is no small feat and each year’s Harbinger is nothing short of a work of art.
What is your job now? What do you love about it? What are the challenges?
I just finished my M.B.A. in one year and am currently looking for work as a content writer in marketing. I also started my own marketing consulting company called Fable Consulting, LLC. My philosophy with this company is to focus on the stories people and companies have to tell through a marketing lens. I have worked in this field previously and loved being able to marry my love of writing and business/marketing. People always think that English and creative writing majors will become teachers, writers, editors and librarians, but there are a lot more options out there for us! Being able to use English correctly and write well is an important and rare skill.
What advice would you give to graduating English and creative writing majors?
Keep writing. I know it can be hard to get caught up in other things without someone literally forcing you to attend workshop and literature classes, but you chose this major for a reason. Don’t lose that love.
Please list your favorite books.
American Hippo: River of Teeth, Taste of Marrow and New Stories, all by Sarah Gailey
Please share a quote from one of your most admired people.
“I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” -Audre Lorde