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.
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.
Cover of The Experimentalist, 1955 by Alice Doorley
Posted by Lara Mangino, Creative Nonfiction Reader for Issue 9.2
I’ve been involved in literary magazines at SUNY Geneseo since my freshman year. In fact, I selected Geneseo because it housed two different literary magazines. However, despite being very involved in publications here, I knew so little about their history. Gandy Dancer may have its entire history documented here on our website, but what about MiNT Magazine? What about Opus or Our Time or The Experimentalist? Who is documenting their history? Continue reading
Image source: https://arts.columbia.edu/profiles/rob-spillman
Posted by Sara Devoe, GD Managing Editor for 9.1
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
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.
Posted by Elana Evenden, Art Editor & Poetry Reader for 8.1
Art and literature are often paired together, specifically in the realm of a liberal arts major. Being well-versed in classic literature and art has always been something that many people hold to high regards and often use as a measure for someone’s intellect. However, when it comes to contemporary literature and art many people who defend the classics seem not to care. As art editor of Gandy Dancer for our Fall ’19 issue, I have been reflecting on just how important art is in a literary journal. Having worked on the Gandy Dancer team last year, I believe that the art helps add life to our journal. Looking through the art submissions is my absolute favorite part of the Gandy Dancer production process. It is so exciting to see students’ creative eye and work from all different areas of life among different SUNY Schools. Continue reading
Posted by Brittany Pratt, GD Fiction Reader for 7.1
When I first started writing, I constantly entertained the idea that someone — another living, breathing human being — might, one day, read my work. I fantasized about people falling in love with my characters and trying to find the places I described. I all too quickly realized, however, publishing wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped.
The fact of the matter is my work was rejected — a lot. It’ll be rejected in the future, too. I know that, but luckily, I also know basic math. Therefore, I know sending work to more than one place increases your chance of being published by, well, a lot.
(I said I know basic math. That doesn’t mean I know statistics.)
Still, finding places to send your work can be difficult. Hours of combing through Google can result in a measly one or two publications accepting submissions with guidelines your pieces fit into, so I’ve compiled this list of five literary journals for student writers. Hopefully, I can spare someone else a few hours of frustration. You’re welcome, guys.
Posted by Emma Corwin, Fiction Reader for issue 6.1
About a week into reading submissions for the upcoming issue of Gandy Dancer, I noticed how different, and sometimes challenging, it is to think with the mind of an editor. Having taken multiple writing workshops since starting college, I anticipated that reading for Gandy Dancer would be similar. Although there are certainly similarities between the two, there are also a few things about editing that I hadn’t considered. Continue reading
Posted by Katie Rivito, Poetry Reader for issue 6.1
Although I cannot recall its name, the first literary journal I was introduced to left a lasting impression on me. This was not because I found its contents intriguing or its purpose inspiring, but because I was forced to study it page by page with excruciatingly focused attention while my friends tailgated our high-school football game.
My dad had come home that day just moments before dinner time, calling out to my sister and me to quickly meet him at the dining room table. We walked into the room to find him sitting at the head of the table with two copies of a book in front of him.
“You won’t believe what I showed my students today,” he announced excitedly as he slid us each a book from across the table. Continue reading