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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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

How the Best was Done!

What a frenzy these last weeks of SVR 2009 have been!

That's right, since my last update in April everything has come to a breathless close for us. We hurriedly made our final decisions, created an order with a distinct narrative, carefully laid out each page of our book, dealt with the problems that arose (and each little problem felt like a giant one!) and finally, finally printed and bound our magazine! I am proud to present to you the best Suisun Valley Review issue yet!

SVR Issue 26

Photo: Caught! by Jami Beck

I'm so proud of everyone this semester, we really were down to the wire. The sheer amount of reading required is intense, and yes, every single editor in our class read through every single manuscript. From all of us to everyone who submitted, THANK YOU for giving us such interesting, beautiful, strong and quirky late-night reading. Part of the reason we had trouble near the end was because there was just so much work that we needed to choose between for the final cut. They were easily the most difficult decisions of the semester, and I am truly sorry that we didn't have the space to include everything we loved so well. It takes a lot of guts to send in your art or piece of writing, and you all should feel empowered to keep on putting yourselves out there!

A special congratulations to Barbara Schmidt, winner of the first annual Quinton Duval Award for creative writing! Expect her poem to be one of the samples from this issue coming soon to our Myspace page. And a huge thank you to Indigo Moor, Solano College's featured reader for the semester and the featured author in the Suisun Valley Review. We had the privilege to read and choose seven previously unpublished poems from his recently compiled manuscript Ethos and the Dreamwheel. It was also an honor to have him visit us during one of our meetings to talk to us about writing and publishing. If you ever get the opportunity to meet Mr. Moor, I really urge you to do so! He is a powerful writer and a very kind man.

My third year on the magazine, and I am still completely exhausted after the book prints. When working on a literary magazine, in addition to the choices one needs to make regarding the content, one has to decide on an endless amount of little things - things that, as a reader, you might take for granted! The page layout is amazingly important. How will a reader be presented with each piece? Shall we emphasize the name of the piece or its artist/writer? Where do we put the page numbers? What font should we use? It is incredible how much deliberation goes on when choosing something and seemingly simple as font! Order was also a priority, and we worked hard on this as well. Our challenge was to create a subtle narrative throughout the pages, and give the very different pieces cohesion, hopefully making it tempting to read the book cover to cover. Then there was just the last-minute problems! Cuts needed to be made, our cover had design issues... it is beyond lucky that we have an amazing team in our graphics department on campus (We love you guys!) and a binder with superhuman speed. Without them and our professor, Michael Wyly, we would not have made it in time.

And my fellow editors truly came together in our final hour! There were a few little bumps (and I few very large bumps...) and we were a collection of truly different personalities, but every person found a voice and a place to flourish. I truly hope that confidence and enthusiasm you found carries over into your life, because you kicked a lot of butt!

So the editors have sent out the book to be printed and bound, the letters to the writers and artists are all sent, and are records are up to date. What do we do now? We party, of course! On Friday, May 15th the editors, a few authors and fans of the written word gathered in the SCC library to witness the unveiling of our brainchild. We dressed in all our finest, read our favorite works, and had some of the writers read their's. It was a runaway success! We had our magazine for sale for the first time and we sold a decent number. Everyone had a blast (and homemade cookies!) and we recieved many compliments on our book. I will update again with pictures as soon as I collect them from various sources.

If you are wondering when you can get your hands on the 26th issue, fear not! It will not be long before we launch our webpage and we will be able to make the SVR avaliable for sale for the first time over the internet! I am very excited. Will update with more news.

Now that everything's over, we can breathe and relax until next year, right? WRONG! Our activity will not simply cease over the summer. We have a few goals that we will be focusing on for the next few months: The first is distribution. In addition to internet sales, we are determined to get SVR sold in our local bookstores. This is a matter of persuasion and time, possibly paperwork. And we will do it. The second is the forming of a collective (or a club, if you will) on campus for those of us who love the written word. We would encourage writers of every type to join and use our numbers to bring focus to the SVR, because we truly deserve to be recognized! If you are a student at SCC and are interested in an English/Creative Writing club, please email we would love to hear from you!

This blog is far from wrapped up, and we are far from finished. This is only the end of one chapter in the long history of the Suisun Valley Review - and a most eventful one at that!

Remember: love poetry, love prose, love ART, and support your local creative outlets!

Until next time,

SVR FTW!! (That's Suisun Valley Review For The Win, thank you)

- Elfie