Current Team 2023-24: Issue 32

Like a new season of American Horror Story, every issue of ROPES is taken over by a sparkling new cast of MALP students, ready for brand-new plotlines, character arcs, and dramatic finales. This consistent evolution allows ROPES to take on a refreshingly mouldable format, with each MALP group bringing a fresh set of eyes to every issue. Before introducing ourselves, however, we’d like to briefly introduce you to the journal itself.

Without getting too historical, we’ll fill you in on the origins of this cherished publication. ROPES (Review of Postgraduate English Studies) was founded in 1992, a journal originally publishing material encompassing Irish literature, history, and politics. As an extracurricular project attached to the MALP programme, the publication is conceptualized, edited, designed, marketed, and produced by master’s students of Literature and Publishing at University of Galway. In 1998, ROPES incorporated its first piece of fiction, allowing the journal to move in a more creative direction. In recent years, ROPES can be seen as a celebration of a variety of innovative work, both written and visual.

So, back to us. This year’s group of MALP students hail from all over the world, with each member bringing something novel and treasured to the 32nd issue. Brought together by a love of literature and an inquisitiveness about the mystical publishing world, the year's team is one of promise, passion, and enthusiasm. We aim to utilize ROPES not only as a charitable project, but as a platform to showcase emerging and diverse artists, both international and from Ireland. In the 32nd issue of ROPES, we aim to create a tangible and artistic expression of the city of Galway, as well as reflecting the wonderful diversity and creativity to be found within our own team. With that in mind, we’d like to introduce ourselves and give you all a feel for who we are and what we do.

Without further ado, here’s to Issue 32!

Laoise Ní Raghallaigh - Managing Editor

Dia dhaoibh a chairde! My name is Laoise, and I'm delighted to be serving as Managing Editor for the 32nd issue of ROPES. I was born and raised in Meath and have a BA in English, French, and Creative Writing from NUIG (or UG, as the kids say). I'll read just about anything, but I have a soft spot for particularly weird and wonderful short stories, and I'd spend every evening at the cinema if I could afford it! I hope this coming issue reflects the heart of our town, and I'm so excited to continue ROPES's legacy for another year.

Áine Feeney - Assistant Managing Editor

Hey! My name is Áine, I’m from Cork, and I recently graduated from University College Cork with a BA in English and History. My favourite genre at the moment is contemporary Irish fiction and when I’m not studying, you can find me hunched under a tree or over a cappuccino with my latest read. I am really excited to be taking part in ROPES this year as Assistant Managing Editor and I hope this journal will be a reflection of the talented writers in Galway and beyond, as well as the diversity of our team this year.

Megan McCreanor - Editorial Lead

Hi everyone! I’m Megan, I’m from Donegal, and I’m the Editorial Lead for ROPES 2024. I’m honoured to be part of such a passionate and enthusiastic team, and I’m sure that we will produce something truly special in the 32nd issue of ROPES. Having faffed around in Spain for the past few years after obtaining a BA in English and Spanish, I’m excited to get stuck into a Master’s in Literature and Publishing. In my free time, I love podcasts, photography, thrift-shopping, and being outdoors. Reading-wise, I’m not fussy, but I tend towards contemporary Irish fiction (preferably strongly feminist—anything by Anne Enright will suffice!)

Laura Murphy - Production & Design Lead

Hi! I’m Laura, I'm the Production and Design Lead for ROPES 2024. I’m from Dublin; lived, studied, and worked there, but I’m loving living and studying in Galway now. I completed my BA in English, Media, and Cultural Studies in 2020, so I’m ready to get back on the academia train. A couple of things about myself: I love podcasts, horror films, and the sit-com Friends. My favourite song is Strawberry Swing by Coldplay, and Jeff Goldblum once liked a tweet of a painting I did of him, but then he deleted his Twitter account so I have no proof. Devastated.

Courtney Knudsen - Sales & Marketing Lead

As a lifelong reader and bookworm, I always knew I wanted to work with books. I pursued an undergraduate degree in English, graduating with a First-Class Honours from Concordia University Texas in 2010, and I’ve worked in bookshops since 2007. Most recently, I was a buyer, focused primarily on children’s books for Santa Fe, New Mexico’s oldest and largest independent bookstore. When I’m not reading or helping others find books they’ll love, I’m probably hiking, camping, road-tripping, or taking photos—sometimes all of these at once! I’ve travelled a lot of places, and lived on multiple continents, but Ireland has always been and will always be my favourite place in the world.

Tazi Buchholz

Heya, I’m Tazi, and I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I completed my BA in English and Spanish with additional studies in History and Creative Writing at the University of Alabama. In the last few years, I’ve studied in Chile, Scotland, and Germany before settling in Spain for the last two as a primary school language assistant. I’m a massive fantasy and science fiction nerd, but as my Goodreads shows, I read just a bit of everything: poetry collections, memoirs, graphic novels, contemporary fiction, etc. I’ll be working on both ROPES's Sales and Marketing and Editorial teams this year, and I can’t wait for y’all to see just how we’ve made issue 32 so special.

Yaiza Llamos Ramos

Hello! I'm Yaiza, and I’m from Lanzarote, Spain. I completed my BA in English this year at the University of La Laguna in Tenerife. I've been a beta reader and advanced reader for some authors, and I've also done several courses related to publishing and creative writing. I love reading and my favourite genre is fantasy. I’m so happy to be part of ROPES this year!

Leah Smith

I’m Leah Smith and I’m from Cavan. I completed my undergrad at the University of Galway in English, Geography, and Creative Writing. As part of the editorial and production and design teams, I hope to put everything I learned during my undergrad to good use. When it comes to reading, I tend to switch genres depending on my mood, and I like to read in either physical form or as an audiobook. If you don’t know where I am, I’m probably in the swimming pool. I’m excited to be a part of ROPES this year.

Vlad-Claudiu Mateescu

Hello there! My name is Vlad and I come from Romania. I completed my BA in English and German Language and Literature at the University of Bucharest. I must confess I am far from an avid reader, but whenever I have time to spare, I thoroughly enjoy sitting down and devouring any book I can get my hands on, especially if we’re talking fantasy, science fiction, or historical fiction. I am committed to ensuring that future generations of readers have a wide selection of good books to pick from when the craving hits them, and, to that end, I am very much looking forward to working on the coming issue of ROPES as part of the Production and Design Team!

Marieke Oggel

Hi! I’m Marieke (Marie). I’m originally from South Africa and grew up in Limerick. I completed my BA in Film Studies & English Literature at Trinity College, where I was also involved in making videos for the college newspaper. I love reading all things, but specifically young adult and literary fiction. I’m very excited to be working on ROPES’s production team this year!

Manuela Herrera

Hey! I am Manuela, and I’m from Venezuela. I moved to Spain six years ago to study Journalism. After graduating, I decided to focus on my passion for books and storytelling and moved to Ireland to study an MA in Literature and Publishing. I am excited to be part of the Production and Design Team and the Editorial Team for ROPES. My favourite genres are fantasy and sci-fi, sprinkled with romance and adventure. But occasionally, I’ll read mysteries. I also love movies and TV series (especially if they are related to any of Disney’s brands), arts and crafts, baking, and writing.

Blaise Gilburd

I’m Blaise Gilburd and I studied my undergraduate here in Galway in Creative Writing, English, and German. I am extremely excited to be participating in the production of ROPES for my Master’s, and will be helping out with the editorial and marketing departments. I am a writer myself so I can’t wait to be inspired by all the amazing submissions. You can read my own work in Tír na nÓg, Skylight47, Crossways, and Here Comes Everyone.

Laoise Ní Chainte

My name is Laoise Ní Cháinte and I’m thrilled to be on the Editorial Team of ROPES. Born and raised in Galway, I graduated from University of Galway in 2022 after studying English and French through Irish. I’ve always been passionate about reading, and I’ve spent my life trying to surround myself with literature and books. In the past year I’ve worked with the James Hardiman Library, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Oxford University Press, and I’m so excited to be back in Galway doing the MA in Literature and Publishing with this lovely bunch!

Gloriana Loria

Hello! I’m Gloriana from Costa Rica. I completed my undergraduate in English at the University of Costa Rica. I love discussing books, exploring different cultures, and capturing moments of everyday life through photography. My interests in literature range from women’s writing to gothic and translated fiction. You can find my ramblings and photos on Instagram: @gloriousprose. I am thrilled to be part of this year’s ROPES and I’m looking forward to seeing issue 32 come to life.

Claire Allen

Hello! I'm Claire and I'm from the United States, specifically North Carolina, which is down south and along the east coast. I completed my BA in English Literature and Writing at Gardner-Webb University last year. I'm thrilled to be continuing my studies of English literature, writing, and books in general through the MALP program and through ROPES. My favourite genres are fantasy, gothic, historical fiction, paranormal, sci-fi, southern gothic, or any blend of all those. I’m also a big fan of classics, folklore, and mythology. I hope to be very involved in ROPES, especially in Sales & Marketing and Production & Design.

Yelaina Anton

Hi, hello! I’m Yelaina, and I hail from a minor city outside Boston, USA. I dug a little hole for myself here in Galway while I did a BA with Creative Writing at NUIG, and there I remained. I’m a reader, a writer, and a die-hard fan of coffee, escapism, and cats. I have a few tiny publications, including one in the ROPES 2021 issue, Ephemeral, and I served as the fiction editor for a small literary magazine for a pleasant two years. I’m fond of stories about things that tempt and distress me—which is unfortunately most things.

Emily Corso

Hi! My name is Emily, I'm from New York, and I'm so excited to be working on ROPES! I graduated with my BA in English and BA in psychology from Binghamton University. Some of my personal favourite genres include YA, fiction, and mystery. I also love theatre, and my neighbours’ dog. This is my first time living abroad, and it's been such a wonderful experience; I'm absolutely loving Galway. I'm part of the Editorial team, and I’m so excited for everyone to get their hands on our edition!

Tamára Pinto

Dear reader, my name is Tamára and I’m from Lisbon, Portugal. I finished my degree in Arts and Humanities a year ago and I’ve been working as a movie reviewer since then! I have a Major in Asian Studies and a Minor in Editing, which basically means I love learning about new languages and cultures and I’m nitpicky about all things grammar. Art is my passion, especially literature, cinema, and the fun ways they intertwine, but I'll always trip over my words explaining them to someone. If I loved it less, I might be able to talk about it more.


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