As Courtney and Christina move away from Algonquin to start on fresh new adventures, we’re excited to welcome new staff members to take over their roles. A warm welcome to Julianne Lowell, former Algonquin Publicity Intern and a new face in our publicity department! Julianne wrote today’s post about how it feels to be back in North Carolina after a couple of years in New York.
The strange thing about Algonquin’s office is that it’s practically located in the neighborhood where my parents live, and where I grew up. In college, I strictly avoided that end of town on principle. Going “away” to college in my hometown was difficult enough: making sure that I didn’t become that kid who went home every weekend, lugging a sack of laundry and eager for a hot meal courtesy of Mom, but at the same time, wanting to show off my knowledge of Chapel Hill to all my new friends. I vowed to pretend that the UNC campus, a mere 10 minutes away from my parents’ home, was located in another state completely. So, riding the bus across town, from one end to the other, to get to my college internship—it felt like traveling back in time.
Now, in Chapel Hill again after a few years in New York City, everything looks and feels utterly different. Still without a car, I take the same bus that carried me to my internship, except now it takes me to a job in Algonquin’s Publicity department. It’s a good feeling. And instead of a self-conscious fear of being seen as a “townie,” I’m pretty stoked to be back in Chapel Hill. I can really appreciate the close-knit family that makes Algonquin so successful at producing great books and making sure that each one gets the attention it deserves. Being able to slow down and enjoy what I’m working on and cultivate relationships with each author is pretty awesome. Of course, the ultimate sign of importance and indication of my changed status—I now have my own office! No longer do I reside at the intern’s table right by the front door, a spot that feels removed from the exotic and faraway land that is the rest of the office.
Here, there’s no scanner in the lobby. No ID card to rummage around for in my purse every morning, just my own copy of the building key for those mornings when I’m the first to arrive at work. And—get this—people bring their dogs in to work, on a regular basis. The difference between Algonquin then and Algonquin now? The same great people, great books, and great work environment—what’s to change?