August 10, 2022

SUNY Cortland launches online literary magazine

01/28/2020

SUNY Cortland’s new online literary magazine, Hoxie Gorge Review, blends innovative poetry, fiction and non-fiction from established domestic writers as well as emerging talent.

It was also a labor of love for the 12 students in a graduate level course on the publishing industry taught by Heather Bartlett in the English department. These students served as editors, soliciting, selecting and editing submissions for the first issue published in December.

Although there are many online literary magazines that feature the work of undergraduate writers, including Cortland’s own Crystallized reviewfew are in the mold of Hoxie Gorge Review: an undergraduate-run magazine featuring the work of national writers.

“Having a national literary magazine staffed by undergraduate writing students is very important,” Bartlett said. “What I wanted to do was create a way for our students to participate directly in shaping and contributing to literary discourse, which we talk about all the time in class.”

The first issue includes work by acclaimed writers Christine Kitano and Ashley M. Jones. It also features writings from those who are new to publishing.

SUNY Cortland students screened more than 1,000 submissions and ultimately chose writings from 25 authors. They handled correspondence with authors regarding acceptances, edits, and rejections.

Bartlett, who designed the course with a Fine Teaching Development Award and a Teaching Innovation Grant, believes that the hands-on, behind-the-scenes experience of creating a literary magazine from scratch will only help students in their journey as writers.

“It was really encouraging to think that as a writer, when you submit your work and it gets accepted or rejected, it can be very easy to get really disappointed when you get a rejection,” he said. she declared. “When you’re on this side, it really puts things into perspective. We received over 1,000 submissions and published only 25 authors.

“It wasn’t always about whether the writing was good; it was about whether it would fit and help create those echoes we were looking for. It was a good dose of perspective for all of us as writers. When you send your work out into the world, that’s what happens.

The artistic choices of student-editors were another main focus of the course. They decided against choosing a separate theme for the first issue, but were mindful of how the final selection of pieces would work collectively.

“We read other online magazines to get a sense of publishing trends in terms of contemporary literature,” Bartlett said. “We were trying to answer the question, ‘What makes a story, a poem or an essay necessary and publishable?’ Students solicited work from writers they admired and found through this research and analysis. They were working together to establish the vision and aesthetic of what this issue was going to be.

Since the launch of Hoxie Gorge Review, Bartlett has received tremendous feedback from contributors, readers, and faculty at other institutions. This thrilled Bartlett with the idea of ​​formulating a strategy for a second issue. The same goes for the energy of the 12 students who produced the first issue of Hoxie Gorge Review a reality.

“Seeing how the students have become so fully engaged in this area has made teaching and the things I wanted to teach — crafting, writing, and professional writing — so much easier. They were so into it and it was so important to them.

Read the first issue at HoxieGorgeReview.com. For more information, contact Bartlett at 607-753-2230.