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The Carletonian

What Would Schiller Drink? Carls’ Tumblr Takes Off

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If you haven’t heard of the blog called Literary Starbucks by now, you’re missing out. “Literary Starbucks” is the title of a Tumblr blog started by Jill Poskanzer ’15, Wilson Josephson ’16, and Nora Katz ’16. The posts are based on different scenarios in which famous authors and literary characters order a drink at Starbucks. Although it only started seven weeks ago, the blog has already amassed over 25,000 followers and is steadily gaining popularity for its concise, witty, and original content. Jill says that the idea for the blog came up one day in class.

She and professor Tim Raylor were joking about what Keats would order at Starbucks, which is why he is the first post on the site. She immediately asked Katz and Josephson to get involved with the project. The Tumblr “basically started as a way for us to store jokes and share them with each other,” they said in an online interview.

When asked how they split up the influx of requests they receive each day, Poskanzer and Josephson joke that, “Nora writes all of the posts and we are just pawns in her evil game.” Katz admitted she is inclined to agree.

In all seriousness, the requests are filed in a communal Google Doc, and each member responds to the requests that speak to them. They added that they usually check each other’s work before posting it to the actual website, making it a collaborative effort. Besides the actual writing work, the group has a “business meeting” once a week in order to debrief and check on the progress of the blog, the follower count, social media mentions, and so on.

Despite already experiencing explosive success, the three remain focused on the future. Currently, the main emphasis is on building the blog through a diverse repertoire, and possibly sharing their work through different mediums. For example, Katz is working on illustrations to go along with certain featured authors/illustrators.

“There are some genres and demographics that we still need to explore, so we have expanded our reading lists and are attempting to branch out in both authors and genres. At this point, it’s tough to think about the long term,” the bloggers said.

Literary Starbucks’ two-month anniversary is on November 18th. “It’s really unbelievable how fast this has grown, so our focus has been on growing our follower base and producing content that we all think is funny. If the audience likes it, too, that’s just an added bonus,” they said.

In the future, the blog hopes to expand beyond just Tumblr. Publishing Literary Starbucks into, perhaps a coffee table book is one of their long term goals.

Since all three have different literary interests and backgrounds (Poskanzer and Josephson are English majors, while Katz is a history major), the diversity helps them to collectively cover a wider variety of authors.

The same droll personality present in Literary Starbucks’ posts shines through in their description of their friendship. Poskanzer and Katz met jamming out in Intertwining Melodies after which they bonded over late-night Sayles pretzels. They also, in their own words, “share mutual enjoyment of Andy Samberg’s face.”

Poskanzer and Josephson met in their short story workshop during which they came to blows about adverbs.

Katz and Josephson were next-door neighbors on 4th Burton their freshman year, and one of the first times they met was when Nora drew a red Salvador Dalí mustache on Wilson’s face.”

Finally, the interviewer asked what Schiller would order at Starbucks. Their answer?

“Guess what? The Carletonian is getting a Literary Starbucks exclusive!” Katz wrote this post, and it is already in the Tumblr queue (it will be published on the site soon). Here it is:
Schiller goes up to the counter and quietly orders a tall espresso con panna. No one listens to him until Ludwig van Beethoven walks in and sets his order to music. Three twenty-somethings in dark sweatshirts run into the Starbucks and kidnap the poet. He occasionally makes public appearances, but he never comes back for his coffee.”

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