The other day, as we were wrapping up production on the May–June issue of Arizona Wildlife Views, I started musing about all the people who had contributed to the article I was now reviewing one last time.
This particular article is about an annual turtle-trapping event at the Phoenix Zoo, which raises awareness of the problems that occur when people release nonnative pet turtles into the wild.
I remembered this article was born in an editorial planning meeting with my boss, magazine editor Heidi Rayment, in mid-2015. We hold one big meeting each year, to start planning the next year’s content. At that meeting, she suggested we contact the turtle experts at Arizona Game and Fish for ideas that might become feature content in 2016.
It’s pretty neat to work at a place where you have turtle experts on call, but that’s Game and Fish: if it’s wildlife, we’ve got someone on staff who knows all about it.
In response to Heidi’s suggestion, this article was proposed and then written by Cristina Jones, whose job title is “turtles project coordinator.” Cristina is wicked smart, as they say back East. She cares about elegance of expression as well as accuracy of content. Plus, she’ll seize any excuse to laugh or to make me laugh. I find her a joy to work with.
Cristina wrote the article and sent it our way. In my edits, we worked on shaping an opening section that grabbed people’s attention, and I helped her make sure the article conveyed its key messages clearly and with vigor.
Then it was time to look for photos. Cristina combed through her project files for relevant images. Some were from biologists, others from freelancers. Staff photographer George Andrejko added more to the mix.
Once the photos were ready and the text was in final form, our art director, Cecelia Carpenter, got ahold of the raw materials. That’s when something that had been really good became more than that: It became art. Cecelia’s creativity pushed this package to reach its potential.
And now, here it is. About 10 months after Heidi said, “Let’s do something on turtles,” we have an article ready to publish. Will our readers know that at least 10 people collaborated on it, bringing our different skills together to produce these pages?
They will now!
The May–June issue of Arizona Wildlife Views will reach subscribers by late May.