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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

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Another Long Break, Which Means Lots of NEWS.

It has been a while since I have posted, and that is because things are beginning to happen very rapidly with the magazine. And, since the deadline for written submissions is today, as I'm sure you recall, the speed will only increase from here on out.

The first news is that we have finished our cover design using one of the awesome images we were sent. I wish very much that I could tell you about it, or even show it to you, but of course this will be top secret until our release on May 15th. Suffice it to say that our focus was to be striking, original and to maintain a theme - I believe we did all of these things. This theme was a design decision for the cover alone and will in no way effect the process for the selection of the inside. The cover is the cover. Now that it is all done, we can turn our focus to the fun part (at least I think so!): reading and voting on poetry and fiction.

March was something of a calm before the storm, and so we were able to talk over some ideas that may become reality in our (short) weeks to come. Firstly, there has been a bit of discussion about possibly publishing the few color images we have already selected in their original color format inside the magazine (the cover is guaranteed in color). We are limited a bit by our graphics department here on campus, but there is a very good chance that, we will have two or three COLOR photographs and art inside. This is pretty exciting - it really gives you an idea of how far we are moving, and at what a rapid pace. Last year no color was possible besides two solid colors on the cover, which we opted against. Not only that, but it was only three years ago that the SVR was staple-bound, without the true binding we have had for the last two issues and now take for granted a bit. As years go on the magazine will only look more professional, and its renown will only grow. I look forward to this.

Secondly, an idea has been brought to our attention by the staff on campus to do something unheard of in all of SVR's history: solicit for manuscripts. The idea would be that we would ask one writer to give us his or her submission and publish it under a "featured writer" section. The idea is an interesting one, as we then had to ask ourselves how the magazine would be effected by a decision like this. It may increase recognition of the magazine, but is this truly a fit for what we see the Suisun Valley Review representing? For that matter what does the magazine represent? To put it simply, we decided that the Review is intended to be a reflection of Solano County and the surrounding areas first, and a review of national contributers second. Our focus is to provide a local voice and to bring talent from all over to the county. We have no agenda to publish already famous authors. So what to do with this idea? Michael brought up that we have a local poet come and read and answer questions at the school every spring, and wouldn't it be interesting if we linked our "featured writer" section with the featured reader section, creating a connection between what we do in class to things actually happening on campus and thereby presenting the outside with a complete picture of what the school as well as the class can do to contribute artistically to the world around it. We may even, should we have time, actually be able to sit and have a Q&A section with the writer, and then publish that within the magazine.

This is still in the works as a possibility right now, but seeing as our featured reader, Indigo Moor, visits us very shortly, we will have to make a decision and I will update you as soon as I can. Meanwhile: what do you think of this idea? Is it something that would make you want to read SVR?

Speaking of, it is has been a personal mission of mine to get the magazine sold over the internet so that all of you fine people will be able to read the new issue come May, as well as mave access to last year's issue. The online archive will cover all past issues, but the process of putting it up will take much time, moreso than we had anticipated. So I felt it was important to give everyone, not just locals, a taste of the quality of work that goes into the SVR. We are going to launch the SVR site very soon, perhaps as soon as next week, and when that happens it is my goal to also have a page to purchase a copy of last year's issue. I will keep you updated on this as well.

Today at our meeting we will begin our true process. We have set up a Wiki in order read submissions and vote, which will cut back amazingly on paper usage for this class (another genius move forward for the magazine). At 1 o'clock, we will each register to use the Wiki and thus, over the course of the weekend, start reading, voting and discussing our written submissions. I can't explain to you how excited I am, because I'm not sure if it makes sense. It would seem like this is the most stressful time, since we have so much to do and so few weeks left. But there is a sense of excitement, a sense of real purpose and meaning in our voting process, perhaps even a sense of honor in reading a part of someone's soul they put down on paper and then trusted us with. I can't tell you how much I look forward to us voting our first "yes"!

Until next time, we will be hard at work and you will be sending us your submission within the next twelve hours. Artists who submitted: We are going to have to wait until the final layout decision to send you news of your fate, unfortunately. Hang in there. We will not forget about you!

Wish us luck on our first week of reading!

- Elfie