The deadline for the 2013 issue of Portal magazine is approaching fast. Jan. 11, at 11:59 p.m., is the cut-off for students to submit their works of previously unpublished poetry, creative non-fiction, short fiction, scripts, graphic art/original artwork, and photography to the nationally distributed literary magazine run by students in the Creative Writing and Media Studies departments here at VIU.
“Many students are pursuing other academic avenues but are also gifted creative writers,” says Art Director Diane Bolt. VIU Students of all ages and disciplines are encouraged to submit their original work for a chance to be published and forever recognized as a member of VIU’s creative community. Submissions are limited to a maximum of three pieces in any combination of genres. While there are no guidelines for specific content of the work, Bolt says “[p]ersonally I am looking for an engaging story that is thought provoking and entertaining.” Pieces are judged and considered by blind voting, and so students are asked not to include their names on any submission attachments. Contact information is required on an accompanying cover letter, which must also outline title, genre, word-count, and previous publications of the student’s work.
This year’s issue features a Creative Non-Fiction Photo Essay Contest, with a prize of $50 along with publication in Portal 2013. Contest entries must include 3–5 original photographs paired with a maximum 2000 word creative non- fiction essay. Judgment will be placed on the compatibility of the visuals with the text as well as the overall quality of the submission. Collaborative teams of co-authors and artists are acceptable.
The first issue of Portal was published in 1991 and it has since grown as a respected product of VIU’s creative minds throughout communities across the nation. The 2013 issue will have a circulation of 750 copies, and will be available at the VIU bookstore, among other locations, for $7.
“Portal is a national publication so can be found in outlets all over Canada,” Bolt says. “It is a great opportunity [for students] to gain exposure in a national literary magazine.” The publication also functions as a professional basis for students to engage in hands-on experience in the publishing business. The 2013 issue is run by students under the guidance of Creative Writing professor and Portal publisher Joy Gugeler. Throughout the two-semester course, students are assigned various roles, including, among others, editing, fundraising, marketing, and advertising, and must work together to generate submissions and funding, ultimately functioning as a publishing house to ensure overall quality of the magazine.
“Portal provides a crucial role to the creative writing program at VIU. Not only does the publication create an opportunity for students to immerse themselves into the publication industry, it also provides a platform for new and emerging writers to showcase their talents,” Bolt says.
For further submission guidelines and cover letter examples, please visit, <www. mediastudies.viu.ca/portal>.