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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, February 24, 2010

Warming Up

Today was a continuation of our conversation on craft. We are working through a practice packet of poems selected by the editors, discussing them as if they were actual submissions to the magazine, so when the time comes for us to open envelopes and our email box and begin reviewing in earnest, we are already oiled and functioning, ready to move.

We are picking the process up quickly. For many of the editors this is the first time entering into a critical discussion of a piece of art. It is definitely a challenge (both individual and group) to go from being totally green to being skilled enough (and confident enough in those skills) to make decisions about whether or not a story or poem or image is worthy of publication.

Discussion today was long (we only discussed one poem) and while we struggled a little to find ways to articulate our reasons for our thoughts on the poem as clearly as we were trying to, there were definitely moments when we were speaking to the poem, and that is a beautiful first step.

Our Editors in Discussion:

What’s funny is that this was our first discussion, about a piece not even really up for review, and emotions were welling around the room. We were almost perfectly split between those who were invested in the merits of the piece, and those who thought the merits were outweighed by, let's say, a general looseness to the piece. The Yesses and No’s argued for a good third of our class time, and for a while it actually felt as though the fate of the poem was resting on the outcome of the argument. It was a glimpse of, for those editors who haven’t glimpsed it before, the way we as editors are going to repeatedly turn on and snarl at each other every Monday and Wednesday.

I personally can’t wait for more.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Productivity update #1

Hopefully I'll come up with better titles for these kinds of updates in the future.

Today was very productive. We got the campus fairly well plastered with our call for submission posters. Hopefully the posters (with flier tear-offs so people don't have to even write anything down) will generate a healthy amount of submissions from the community surrounding us. As SVR gains weight and clout, it becomes more important than ever for us to make sure the 'S' in 'SVR' is still submitting.

Beyond posters, we got our on-campus display put up today as well. We actually have a large, prominent display up year-round in the Humanities building, and every year it gets to get torn down and rebuilt to reflect the new editors. It's an interesting tradition, as the end result is often a precursor to the aesthetic of the as yet completely unassembled magazine.

Her's this year's:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


We got our first run of posters today: excitement.

2010 SVR now has a physical presence beyond the classroom. This week will begin the stapling, thumbtacking, and taping of our marketing campaign. Walls and bulletin boards and window-fronts, here we come.

It's a nice design, too - posted below as a new page element - check it out.

Monday, February 8, 2010

2010: SVR Blog, Year 2

Hello Reader!

This is the blog for the English 58 class at Solano Community College, the class associated with the literary magazine, Suisun Valley Review. The motivation and idea behind it (the blog) is to expose prospective students to the insides of a class meant to expose them to the insides of the publishing world, specifically literary publishing (as is implied, I'm sure, by the term literary magazine).

Entries will probably be a mix of reportage of the progress of the class (both the magazine itself, and the progress of the staff as a group of editors), pictures of us as we work and/or argue, editorial accounts of the cocktail of emotions that must be swallowed at the end of a hard week's voting, as well as updates on deadlines, events, and pretty much anything else we can come up with (within limits of relevance, if not reason).

As for what's occurred so far this year - not much. It is only the third real week, and the editors are still getting to know each other. Most of our concerns have been around establishing voting parameters and getting our advertising up and doing stuff for us. We won't actually begin reviewing submissions for a while yet, so for now we're just wetting the field to keep the dust down later.

Anyways, before I sign off (I promise, here and now, that I won't say "sign off" again this year. Sorry) I'd like to thank all the previous editors of SVR for establishing a quality magazine that carries a real pleasurable heft of responsibility with it from year to year. I would especially like to thank last year, 2009's staff for establishing several precedents (this blog being one of them) which have since turned our little mag into a real presence. So: Thank you all, for leaving lights and a path. 2010 won't disappoint.