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  • Elizabeth Marx

Behind the Paper: An Interview with Editor in Chief Ingrid Nilsson

This year, junior Ingrid Nilsson is the Editor in Chief of the Spartan Review but has been involved for much longer. Nilsson began writing at a young age. Her mom, a writer, encouraged Nilsson’s love for writing. Nilsson and her sisters grew up playing games based on storytelling, and she has kept a diary since third grade.

“Writing is one way where you can put your thoughts on paper and make them sound pretty, in a way that’s really helpful with coping with emotions,” said Nilsson.

Nilsson started writing for the Spartan Review during middle school. “I started writing in seventh grade because I thought I wanted to be a writer. (So) I signed up and wrote.”

Since 8th grade, she has been focused on interviewing staff members about working at Athens Academy.

Nilsson enjoys composing staff profiles because they give her “the chance to really know” the students and faculty. This is a project she has continued to work on, most recently interviewing members of the facilities team. Ingrid has also written on topics ranging from the 2020 presidential election to a critique of the television show “Merlin.”

After writing for the Spartan Review for three years and serving as junior editor for a

year, Nilsson inherited the position of senior editor from Charlotte Luke, class of 2020. As

senior editor, Nilsson stresses that Spartan Review staff should write about topics that interest them.

Photo of Editor in Chief Ingrid Nilsson. Photo by Heidi Nilsson.

“Newspaper, I feel, is designed to give people voices for stories that aren’t often heard, but equally important,” Nilsson said.

Nilsson sees the paper not just as a source of news, but also as a vital link to the past.

“The Spartan Review is the number two way (along with the yearbook) we capture our school’s history based on school trends,” Nilsson said.

Nilsson’s publishing process begins with an email that includes the next deadline, a sign-up sheet, and article suggestions. Once articles are submitted, Nilsson’s editorial work begins.

“Newspaper style writing is very different from English (class) writing,” Nilsson said. “After articles are turned in, I go through and edit them each about two or three times. Then, I work with Ms. Evans, our faculty sponsor, to edit the articles and put them in a cohesive document to send to the administration.” After final review, Nilsson uploads the articles to the website, as they have changed from a paper-based issue to an online one due to concerns over Covid transmission.

Nilsson hopes that in the coming years, the program can expand.

“It is not a full-time commitment (for everyone),” Nilsson said while discussing how they often print photographs, comics or art made by guest contributors.

Nilsson was also quick to add that there is a place for everyone at the Spartan Review, especially interested middle schoolers.

As far as her future goes, Nilsson says that while she no longer holds ambitions to be a writer, she is still interested in minoring in creative writing or one day writing a book. The topic of her novel is yet to be determined, but like all of her work, I’m sure it will be fantastic.