By Katie O’Connell
English and creative writing students are getting a chance to work hands-on in a new literary magazine being published by Trevecca’s English department.
The new publication, the Cumberland River Review, will replace Legacy. Legacy featured poems, stories and art by current Trevecca students and was published yearly during the spring semester.
The new publication is different than Legacy in that the English department is now accepting national and international submissions with some submissions coming in from as far away as the United Kingdom.
As part of the process of becoming a national publication, the journal is neither soliciting nor accepting the work of Trevecca students.
“It’s something I have been wanting to do for several years now,” said Graham Hillard, assistant professor of English and editor of the publication.
He met with university administration and worked on a proposal over the summer of 2011. The Cumberland River Review then began accepting submissions in mid-January of this year. Since then, about 50 submissions have been received.
Hillard anticipates an initial print run of 300 when the journal first comes out in October of this year.
“I think that’s a pretty respectable number for a start-up journal,” he said.
A major reason Hillard wanted to start the publication was to give English and creative writing students the editorial experience of working as staff on a national journal. For students, working on the journal gives them a chance that few undergraduate students get, Hillard said. Usually, if a literary journal has students on staff, they’re graduate students.
In addition to looking good on their resumes, staffing the journal also gives students the chance to see what goes into getting into a literary journal.
“I think it’s a good framework, so when I’m submitting to publications, I kind of have an idea of the kind of people looking at my work and how they’re going to accept it,” said staff member Abbi Watkins.
Senior English major Todd Osborne was asked by Hillard to be the managing editor. This means that he will be the one who deals with the “ridiculous amount of paperwork” involved in working on a literary journal, Hillard said.
When submissions come in, Osborne picks them up, writes down the identifying information of the submission and the date and puts them in a tray to be read. Each submission is read by three staff members who give their opinion of the piece, then the submissions are read by Hillard.
During a monthly meeting, the entire staff votes on what pieces should be published. Roughly half of the 50 submitted works have been read, and about half of those had some potential and were voted upon at the first meeting.
The grand total of accepted works so far: one.
“It has to be the best of the best,” Osborne said.