From Small School Magazine to Big Time Publisher

Headshot of Ash Lago

Ash Lago, RWU Class of 2010

Major:  English Literary Studies

A lot of English and creative writing majors dream of connecting with renowned American novelists like Toni Morrison and famous literary critics like Harold Bloom on a daily basis. For RWU graduate Ash Lago, however, this is no dream. This is everyday life.

Lago is an editorial assistant at Yale University Press. On any given day, she corresponds with famous authors, quickly turns around content for editorial meetings, and works on as many as fifty manuscripts at one time. It’s a lot to handle, but Lago has found that many of the skills she learned at RWU prepared her to take on the challenge of launching a career in publishing.

Chief among them is her ability to manage a number of writing projects while meeting strict deadlines.

My degrees in English and creative writing lend themselves to my work at Yale University Press in four significant ways: critical thinking, writing, project management, and conferencing.

While at RWU, Lago gained valuable communications skills and editing experience as assistant production editor with RWU’s literary magazine, Mount Hope. The experience taught Lago the basics of publishing and how to manage an editorial staff to meet publishing deadlines. Lago, who attended conferences as part of her role, also learned how to communicate effectively with diverse audiences about literary topics – which now comes in handy when she travels to conferences with Yale University Press.

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have encouraging voices in your ear,” Lago says of her experience at RWU.

Her success at RWU and in her young career have influenced her so much that she’s now become one of those encouraging voices herself. Lago regularly advises RWU students interested in interning at Yale University Press to help them break into the field also.