the cover of Portal 2022. A rusted out interior of a truck.

“Portal” 2022 Cover / Image via @portalmagviu on Instagram

VIU’s student-run and full-colour annual literary magazine is going to be celebrated in-person for the first time in three years thanks to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. The launch of the new issue will celebrate the accomplishments of the nearly 90 VIU student contributors since 2020.

Portal 2022, on newsstands across the country in May, will be launched in Nanaimo on Friday, April 29th at The Grand Hotel from 6–8:30 pm (doors open at 5:30). The evening will feature readings from contributors to all three of the 2020–2022 issues, music by local musician Soren Van Helm, and the awarding of Creative Writing department scholarships. The issue’s Managing Editors Brennan O’Toole and Chris Beaton will emcee and the department Chair Sonnet L’Abbe and other faculty will be there to cheer them on.

Portal 2022 brings to vibrant life fiction, poetry, non-fiction, scripts, artwork, and photography within its 100 pages, transporting readers from the mountains of Nepal to the edges of space. This issue also tackles important topics of abuse, loss, difference, identity, recovery, and healing.

As one of the Fiction Editors for the 2022 issue, I had the honor and privilege to work with Ashley Smith, author of a humorous yet poignant short story about a compulsive liar who crashes an AA meeting, and Santiago Dominguez, who crafted a beautiful story about a day in the life of a little boy on the Autism spectrum. Working with the talented authors of these one-of-a-kind stories was a incredibly rewarding experience, and I can’t wait for readers of Portal to see the end product.

Portal 2022 also shares an exclusive interview with celebrated Canadian poet and current Toronto Poet Laureate A. F. Moritz. The Navigator News Editor Sophia Wasylinko and I sat down with Moritz in March to learn about his writing process and passions over an enviable 50-year career.

Also unique to this issue is the Portfolio Spotlight on two students, Susan Garcia and Zeel Desai, who share personal stories from their Indigenous and Indian cultural backgrounds, respectively. The issue also features the winning screenplay from Portal’s 2021 Portent Script contest by Sarah Stirling, Be My Neighbour. Next year’s $500 Portent Prize is for Nonfiction.

Tickets to the launch cost $15 and include a copy of the 2022 edition of the magazine. They can be purchased at the door, but advance sales help to confirm numbers as the venue capacity is 120 people. Contact Joy Gugeler, the magazine’s Publisher, at to arrange a purchase.

Follow Portal on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for sneak peeks of the cover and excerpts from the magazine’s non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and scripts unveiled in advance.

Portal 2022 can be purchased for $10 at the launch, on newsstands, and at VIU’s bookstore and online shopping cart.

Celebrating three years’ worth of Portal issues, April 29th at the Grand Hotel is sure to be a gala affair and a fitting end-of-semester party.


Isabella Ranallo is a third-year Creative Writing student at VIU. She's loved storytelling ever since she stole a sheet of her mother's office paper at age four to write the first page of a story about ten kids stranded on a desert island. Her short story, "The Journal," was published in VIRL and Rebel Mountain Press' In Our Own Teen Voice 2019. These days, she spends her free time scribbling away in Moleskine notebooks or searching for cat-inspired stationery.

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