There is a season for college literary journal releases, and May seems to be the month. Friday afternoon was the release of the 12th annual Calaveras Station, a student run and produced journal by and for CSUS students. I hosted the release event which featured 12 readers in a nearly full space seating 100 people. Books were sold and signatures gathered. Sacramento's own B.L. Kennedy joined others from outside of CSUS to celebrate. On Saturday, SCC hosted its own release of Susurrus. I was unable to attend this event. CRC offers the Cosumnes River Journal, which is scheduled for release this spring. My apologies to those I might have missed. I'd like to hear from people working on the different journals. Please contact me at PoetryNowEditor@gmail.com. Consider supporting these literary journals by attending the releases, looking for the journals, asking for them at our local bookstores, and encouraging the students.
Having worked on Calaveras Station for the past three years, one as Creative Nonfiction Editor, and two as Executive Managing Editor, I cannot say how exciting it is to post the call for submissions and watch the submissions come in (we accepted works in critical analysis, creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry). Working with the section editors, who spent a great deal of time reading the submissions and needing to whittle down more than 300 submissions over the four categories to a total of 40 selections for the executive editors to choose for publication, was a challenge because, unlike other colleges, Calaveras Station was not a class that met regularly nor a group that could find the time to meet regularly, which meant that we relied heavily on email communication. Another great joy was sending out notifications to writers whose work would be published. We received the electronic copies, sorted and organized them, read through biographies, then sent a cumbersome Word document to the student layout and cover designer. Once completed, proofing was tackled by me and other volunteer editors. The release party still needed to be organized, readers confirmed, a space located, and journals to be picked up from the printer. To be able to hear the writers read their published piece(s) and, in some cases newer pieces, was one of the greatest pleasures. Seeing their excitement, books in hand finding their piece(s), talking with other writers, and asking others to sign their books was another.
The work of these student run literary journals is important. It provides many skills (fundraising, grant writing, party planning, managing, copyediting, proofing, and so much more) that students will take with them into other areas. It also provides an opportunity for many students to have the opportunity to be published for the first time. If you haven't taken a look at these journals, copies should be available at the colleges or at local bookstores, and at the Sacramento Poetry Center.