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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.