Author Archives: mep24

How Bold Are Literary Journals?

And how open-ended could they be?

By Walter Paskoff

As technology continues to develop at an unmanageable pace, the mediums through which we consume and produce literature have expanded along a similar path. Blogs, forums, vlogs, songs, and interviews are all now looked at with some credibility and weight. Chuck Klosterman, in his existential ramblings of “But What if We Were Wrong?” even thinks that what we now know as a “book” will become obsolete in the future and that the word itself will likely change meaning entirely. This is not uncommon in our language, as we still talk about the best “albums,” “records,” and “singles,” in the music industry despite most of those releases being exclusively digital. With that in mind, many literary journals are embracing this change. Gandy Dancer accepts original songs, the SUNY Geneseo student-run Recess and Iris add playlists to their submissions list, and Catapult (along with countless others) is a journal that is fully online.

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The Struggle of Writing About Family

By Jessica Marinaro

When we write something about ourselves we open up the world to our life. While that can be a liberating experience, it is also littered with roadblocks. One such roadblock that many creative nonfiction writers deal with regularly is the struggle to write essays about family that are genuine to your own experience. Writing about family members is never easy, and more than one problem tends to arise when writers consider including their family members into their narratives. Continue reading

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Should Straight Cisgender People Write Queer Characters?

Posted by Charlie Kenny, Co-Fiction Head for Issue 10.1

Alice Mattison writes: “Writing about people from any marginalized group can be scary. It’s also bad for your imagination to put limits on it. You ought to be free to become anyone when you make up a story” [sic] (74). This raises an age-old question: should non-queer people write about the LGBTQ+ community? If you asked fourteen-year-old, newly out Charlie, the answer would have been a hard “no!” Back then every queer person I saw on T.V. or in books were always written the same—as a gay, not a person. The only time I ever saw someone like me not as a stereotype was when I saw or read something written by another queer person. Continue reading

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Approaching Creative Nonfiction

Posted by Alison DiCesare, Creative Non-Fiction Head for Issue 10.1

When I began my studies in creative writing, I had a solid grasp on fiction and poetry as genres with specific rules and expectations – I had never heard of creative nonfiction. I had heard of memoirs, of course, and academic essays, but it had never occurred to me that nonfiction could really be creative. Since then, it has become one of my favorite genres to work with, and I understand that it has limitless possibilities. I know many fellow writers, especially students, also aren’t familiar with the genre, so I’m going to attempt here to introduce you to the possibilities of creative nonfiction as well as give you some tips on how to approach writing it yourself. Continue reading

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You Miss All the Shots You Don’t Take: Literary Opportunities Available to You in College

Posted by Liz Roos, Fiction Head for Issue 10.1

“You miss all the shots you don’t take,” is a bit of cliché, overused advice—but I wanted to begin this post with that advice because it is a phrase that I have repeated to myself again and again when sending an application to an internship, or an email to a professor, or a Google form to a writing contest. A key addition to that advice is, “If there’s no detriment, then why not?” If there’s no submission fee to submit that short story to that literary journal, then why not submit? The only cost is your free time—which is a precious commodity in itself. However, it has been my experience that the fifteen minutes it might take you to submit an application or send an email is worth the experiences and connections that might come out of that application or email.

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