When writing fiction, we travel into a world with no limits. The writer is both the navigator and the passenger on a journey to which they may or may not know the destination. This destination most always, though, starts with a character. Most writers of fiction, including professor Rachel Hall with whom I took a workshop focusing specifically on writing characters with, will tell you that plot comes from characterization. A character must want something in order for there to be a story. But this raises the question–how does one go about writing a character? Sometimes, we can mine our lives for characters, but other times, the story calls for a character who is unlike us or who has experienced different things than we have. Continue reading →
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Posted by Rebecca Williamson, GD Managing Editor for 9.1
As a fellow writer, I understand that submitting your work can be scary. You’ve probably revised and edited many drafts. You’ve poured countless hours into making sure each word, each punctuation mark, is perfect. All writing, even if it’s fictional, is personal. Now that I’m on the other side of the submission button, I’m recognizing that there’s more to submitting your work than just pressing the button once you have your final draft. One thing that writers need to consider is their cover letter. Continue reading →
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Posted by Marissa Filipello, GD CNF Editor for 9.1
Humor employs word play designed to elicit a certain response. With humor, writers have the power to guide a reader’s emotion throughout their story. Effective humor will humanize the writer and form a bond between the writer and the readers. The incorporation of humor within a piece can transform mundane writing into a meticulous, and well thought out piece. The best part is, humor can be used in any style of writing: fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, even cookbooks!Continue reading →
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Posted by Sarah Channels, Poetry Reader and PR Manager for 9.1
My taste in literature often varies from season to season. When it starts getting cold out, I look for reads that will keep me cozy as the days get shorter, but also that keep me on the edge of my seat through the darker months. Here are a few of my favorites. Continue reading →
On October 29th, I attended the twelve-hour digital colloquium known as FUSE, or, The Forum for Undergraduate Student Editors. Created in 2002 by students and faculty from the Writer’s Institute at Susquehanna University, FUSE was created to “foster visionary magazine work and to support undergraduates who are eager to pursue careers in writing, publishing and editing.” In other words, FUSE was formed to foster a community among young writers and editors across the country. Continue reading →
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Has the COVID-19 pandemic got you feeling isolated? Yeah, us too. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. We might just have a remedy for that!
In my last Gandy Dancerblog post, I talked about the fact that less than three percent of literature accessible in America is international and/or translated literature. Non-Western literature isn’t traveling outside the borders in which it was first written, and readers in the Western world have limited access to literature that was written outside their own borders. When living in a literary vacuum, it’s easy for both parties to feel isolated. If this situation sounds familiar, that’s because it is. “Isolation” has recently become a trending word.
Meet your new Managing Editors of Gandy Dancer, Sara Devoe and Rebecca Williamson! They look forward to reading your submissions. Our deadline is October 8th!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first time the Editing and Production class (the class in which we create Gandy Dancer at SUNY Geneseo) will be all online. Although our means of production will be different, we’re sure we’ll still receive the same high quality of work we usually do.
Here’s a short interview we conducted so you can learn more about us.
At the end of most semesters, you can find us celebrating the launch of Gandy Dancer in the College Union at Geneseo. We have food and drink. Guests can hear contributors read their work in person, purchase the new issue or a Gandy Dancer T-shirt, coffee mug, or baseball hat. Sometimes we have live music or a raffle, but we always have fun.
This semester, we’re all spread out across the state, hunkered down at home, but we still want to celebrate the new issue, the hard work of putting it together—especially after we went to remote learning—the artists and writers from across SUNY who entrusted us with their work. You can view it below, on our YouTube channel, or with the current issue.
As always, you can purchase an issue here or view it online at gandydancer.org.
We hope you’ll enjoy the work you see and hear.
Many thanks to Allison Brown, Michele Feeley, Dr. Rob Doggett, and the Parry family. Thanks also to the contributors for sharing their work and to the creative writing and art instructors in whose classrooms this work was encouraged to bloom.
The Gandy Dancer staff
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Posted by Lara Mangino, CNF reader for 8.2
Along with being a creative nonfiction reader for Gandy Dancer, I also serve as the editor-in-chief for MiNT Magazine, another Geneseo literary journal, and getting to work on both simultaneously has given me a unique viewpoint. Coming to Gandy Dancer with a background in editing has allowed me to offer my perspective on a number of issues; for example, I recall a discussion in class on themed issues. Because MiNT utilizes themes—Roots, Ashes, and Tides have been our most recent—I prefer them and was able to elaborate on their advantages and disadvantages. I bought up how we often feel pressured to choose submissions that fit the theme, although we never require contributors to adhere to it. However, having themed issues also allows us to tell a kind of story with our magazine. In Ashes, we organized the pieces according to tone and told a story of life, death, and rebirth. Thus, my background in MiNT informed how I approached Gandy.
We’ve all heard it before; some of us have even been at the receiving end (I certainly have). It’s a devastating blow—the getting-socked-by-a-300-pound-body-builder equivalent of literary criticism, and frankly, its usage needs to stop. I’m not even saying this because of its major assault to my self-confidence. I’m saying this because it’s just not good criticism.
First, I’ll admit that I occasionally read fanfiction and just as occasionally will write it myself, and with my limited experience in the genre, I can confidently say that fanfiction is as diverse as the types of gummies in the world—some of them are pure art, some of them are just crap, and most of them are somewhere in between. Of course, we already know when the good ol’ “like fanfiction” destroyer comes out, it’s never meant to imply anything good. It’s safe to assume if anyone says your writing reads like fanfiction they aren’t calling it the Haribo Fizzy Colas of literature or pure art. Nah, maybe the generic Sugarless Gummy Bears of literature (although you’d better hope it’s not that bad).