Beth Staples to Become SHENANDOAH Editor

     Shenandoah is pleased to announce that Beth Staples, currently a senior editor at Ecotone, editor at Lookout Books and instructor at UNC-Wilmington, has accepted the position of Editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review.  Ms. Staples, who holds degrees from LaSalle and Arizona State University, will join the WLU English Department as an assistant professor in June.  Her first issue of Shenandoah, a 68-year-old journal on-line since 2011, will be published in the fall.

Staples brings to the position a wide range of experience as editor, teacher of editing and fiction writing and as a writer of both non-fiction and fiction.  At Ecotone, Lookout Books, and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU (where she edited Hayden’s Ferry Review), she has built a formidable reputation as a scrupulous and imaginative advisor and guide, as well as an astute reader and canny publisher.  An astonishing number of stories and essays Professor Staples has edited have been reprinted or cited for excellence in prize anthologies such as the O’Henry Award Stories, Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and others.  She also directs Ecotone’s diverse and professional blog.


Shenandoah ( will soon announce the new editor’s initial calendar for submissions to the journal, and Ms. Staples will begin to reveal her early plans at that time.  In addition to her editing duties, she will also teach writing courses and the literary editing courses at WLU.

Retiring editor R. T. Smith says that he is “excited to see Shenandoah turned over to such a skilled editor and lover of language that is exact and evocative.  Any writer whose work falls under her scrutiny is bound to learn and grow from the experience.  Any student who signs on as an intern under Ms. Staples will be taking a significant step toward literary professionalism, as well as narrative delight.”

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7 Responses to Beth Staples to Become SHENANDOAH Editor

  1. Sarah Gordon says:

    Excited for Shenandoah and its new editor, but sad that Rod Smith leaves as editor. What a fine job he has done for these two+ decades!

  2. Brendan Galvin says:

    Adios, Rod–

    You’ve still got that good eye!

  3. Sydney Lea says:

    This is sad news for the litworld, Rod, but I hope welcome news for you after your noble years of steering one of the best.



  4. Steve Kronen says:

    Hi Rod – I am happy for Beth Staples, but I will miss you at the helm. All best wishes – Steve

  5. Hi, Rod. Just found this out. Good luck on your retirement, and let me know how you’re doing when/if you have time. Lex

  6. Allison Funk says:

    Dear Rod,

    You’ve been a wonderful editor. I wish you all the best in your retirement.

    Allison Funk

  7. Suzanne Stryk says:

    Hi, Rod —
    You’ll be missed at Shenandoah, though glad to hear the baton’s passing to such a talented editor. Hopes for your fruitful retirement years —

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