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The Suisun Valley Review was established as a way for the students of Solano Community College to learn the art and craft of editing a literary journal while putting together their own magazine once a year. Since the first issue was published in 1981, student editors have collaborated on over thirty issues of SVR, carefully selecting the contents from new and established writers from across the U.S. and abroad. The students are also directly involved with creating the overall design aesthetic and narrative of each issue. Each spring, all of their hard work and endless creative energy is repaid with a bound collection of prose and poetry, sold and kept as a testament to sleepless nights.
SVR's 2014 Submission Guidelines

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Late Update, Much to Cover.

Greetings to you all. I'm afraid that I have fallen a weekend behind, and will have to make up for it. But that only means that there is plenty to cover in this entry.

So. What makes for a quality piece of writing? Does it follow traditional trails, or does it defamiliarize? When one reads it aloud, does it flow in a pleasant, or at least interesting way? Will the reader be moved by this piece? Will the reader be disturbed? If so, why? Does this seem intentional? What would give one the ability to make a concrete, confident decision to publish one piece over another, or, for that matter, one over a great many?

We began on the 2nd of March (last Monday) with this conversation. The most interesting part of this course is that people can bring to the table different levels of experience and therefore different levels of confidence and insight. Building that confidence and learning to tap that insight will give us the eclectic mix of editorial opinion that we will need to make various decisions.

We also spoke a bit about the Quinton Duval award in creative writing, which has just been introduced this year. The editors have very little to do with the process, but entries for the award will be sent to our address, since the winner will be published within our pages. Quinton Duval is a former teacher at Solano Community College, and only SCC students will be eligible for the award. Duval himself will decide the winner.

On Wednesday we began to look over the visual art we were sent, and I hope I'm not stepping outside my role as an editor so say: Those images were killer! Thank you to everyone who got in their art. It will be hard to pick a small amount from the large pool of great ones we got, but we will do our best and let you artists know asap. We are also going to be talking cover very shortly, which is a secret I expect I'll have to sit on... I expect I'll have trouble with that.

On Friday, Michael Wyly, our professor, and I met with Scott Ota, webmaster of the SCC site. Our hopes were tentative and abstract, but generally we wanted to begin the steps to create a space exclusive to the SVR that would link to the SCC main page and start the project of uploading back issues into an archive. Scott surprised us by giving us much more of a creative say and becoming enthusiastic about giving us the means. We are going to meet with him again with the information to create informational pages for the magazine itself as well as the course, set up a page as a hub for all of our other faces (including this one), set up a few pages as writers' resources, including contact information and submission guidelines, and a space to begin filling as our archive (this, however, will most likely take several months). Also, we were encouraged to find a way to lay out the pages simply but uniquely, and Scott told us he could set up something classy without too much of an issue.

I am very excited to think that we will have an all-encompassing online presence! And I will update everyone with the details as they come to me.

Last week was our busiest so far, and I expect they will get exponentially busier still. The written submissions we have received so far are relatively scant, so if you will, please take another look at our submission guidelines (below, the first entry) and don't procrastinate in sending prose and poems to us. We cannot wait to read them.

Yesterday we had a very focused day and finished viewing all of those pictures. We are down to about twenty finalists which should be down to less than ten in a few weeks.

As always, tell your friends about us, if you have any questions, it's, and tell your friends about an established literary magazine finally coming into its own. And don't forget to say that we're taking submissions until the first of April!

- Elfie