NSC's lit journal, 300 Days of Sun, attending literature conference

Written by: Sierra Lomprey

Nevada State College's literary journal, 300 Days of Sun, recently published its sophomore journal compilation of creative fiction, nonfiction prose, poetry and photography and its founding professor is looking to a national conference to help him promote the publication.

Humanities chair, Gregory Robinson, along with four journal editors, will be heading to Minneapolis, Minn. on April 9th for the American Writing Programs (AWP) Conference, which is the biggest conference of its kind for writers, publishers and colleges alike. The AWP conference serves to promote sales of collegiate literary journals and encourage writers to submit to other journals on a larger scale.

As for the participants, Robinson says, Almost everyone that goes is either an author or a publisher, and those are just sort of the regular folks around and then you have the well-known authors that come to do readings too [last year] Chuck Palahniuk was there and Sherman Alexie and just a ton of other authors.

300 Days of Sun began as a pet project in Robinson's Contemporary American Poetry course last spring where he assigned the students to create faux journals and the idea grew from there.

We just kind of were like, Oh, we can actually do this, he said. The group met every few weeks, but Robinson says it was a struggle, I just had bundles and bundles and bundles of paper everywhere with ratings all over it that I couldn't put together, so it was really, really tricky initially. Nobody knew what they were doing. I was trying to organize it one day and so it filled this hall (humanities office), it was just all papers.

Former editor and NSC alum Josh Ranck says, The number of submissions was overwhelming. It was a major commitment to invest time reading them all, but well worth it. We were all very happy to have a finished product we were proud of."

The group met throughout the summer and into the fall, working to categorize the submissions into acceptances and rejections with the acceptance rate floating near a tight 11 percent.

They almost accepted nothing, initially. Like nothing was good enough, and then we talked about it and I was like, look we re not going to have a journal, and they sort of came back around, said Robinson.

The latest edition now has only two of the original editors, Leslie Burns and Victoria Weeks, and its acceptance rate is closer to 30 percent. Additionally, the new journal has a much more efficient system in place that is automated through a website called Submittable.com that allows online reviewing, ranking, and writer responses to be made in one place. Submitters simply fill out the information, attach their submission and reviewers go in and look at it, comment and review. After at least three editors have reviewed the piece, it either gets accepted or rejected.

Former editor Jodi Peterson called the experience, An unforgettable process, selecting the accepted pieces with the other main editors. For the first edition, two editors came over to my home and we duked it out over which ones we really wanted in the journal. There were some intense moments and it was really a blast to experience and be a part of it.

With the new edition comes a new editing team, and the journal has a different feel that reflects the new group of members collaborative style and taste preferences.

The editing group is not limited to English majors. Students majoring in other fields are welcome to join the new committee and attend meetings and give input on submissions. Anyone who enjoys writing prose or poetry, or has a knack for photography is encouraged to submit.

The new journal, which costs $10, will be available for purchase in the Bookstore in mid-April.

This article was published in the third edition of NSC's school newspaper, The Scorpion's TALE. To receive a copy or learn more about The Scorpion's Tale, please visit: http://scorpionstale.nevadastateblog.org/