Wet Zebra is pleased to welcome a new member to the family.
Naomi Pyburn is following on from Catherine Airey, who did a wonderful job in the position during Wet Zebra's initial stages.
Catherine played a vital role in getting WZ up and running, and turning it from an idea into a working reality. We are ever grateful to Catherine for the skill, honesty and energy she brought to the team, and wish her every success as she takes her next step. She has kindly agreed to stay on as an editorial consultant and has promised to come along to events when she can, on the condition that fine wine and conversation flow in equal measure.
On to the new recruit.
Naomi is a young woman with big ideas and a big future. Having graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA in English, she accepted a content writing post at a marketing firm, but quickly decided this wasn't for her. After some consideration, she agreed to join Wet Zebra on an adventure into the world of online publishing.
Her love of reading has thankfully not been smothered by her degree. On the contrary, she hopes to use all that she has gained and enjoyed from an extensive termly reading list to polish the work of others with one eye on the present literary scene, and one grounded in the classics.
Naomi absolutely must have at least three books on the go at any moment, usually a couple of novels, some poetry and a work of feminist theory. She loves Donna Tartt, Laura Bates, Laurie Penny, Willa Cather, Beckett, Fitzgerald and Shakespeare, among others. Next on her list are Ali Smith's How to Be Both, Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing and Steven Strogatz' Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order.
When not reading, Naomi enjoys discovering new hiking spots, cycling and writing for her blog, The Cambridge Idealist. She can often be found in the kitchen, experimenting with alternative baking, and makes a mean sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate cake.
Here's what she has to say:
'The concept of Wet Zebra really excites me. I love the voting aspect and how much of a social effort is made by the team and WZ writers. They aim not only to interact with readers, but to actually involve them in the publishing process, and I can't wait to see what will happen in this format.
It's interesting to see how these new digital forms will change the reading experience, as we know it in modern times. It is no longer a case of walking into a bookstore and picking from a selection of titles. Now we can enter into conversation with the authors we read and our fellow readers from anywhere in the world. There is a real community of readers developing online, bonded by their decision to devour books, despite the invention of TV, video games and Snapchat.
The way we read is changing, for certain, but our zeal and emotional connection to good literature have not diminished.
Social media, forums and audiobooks mean there isn't the same sense of distance and isolation that used to come with solitary reading - everyone has the option to engage in a much more dynamic process. Wet Zebra seems to take this further by 'electing' books to be published democratically. The readers have more control than ever over their reading experience, and I'm thrilled to be a part of this new approach which embraces the digital way.'
You can reach Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org