Mar 17, 2017
Since its debut in 1954, Toyon, HSU’s student-edited literary journal, has published dozens of authors, including an unknown-at-the-time writer by the name of Raymond Carver, who would go on to become a celebrated short story author. This week, Toyon continues its commitment to literature, poetry, and art with the release of the 63rd edition of its annual magazine.
Toyon literary journal.The latest issue, compiled by 24 student editors over the past two semesters, features the first winner of a new award for environmental justice writing that joins six other awards for artistic and literary achievement published annually.
The 2017 edition also contains three winners of a new Trilingual Poetry Award Series, which was sponsored and selected by the Department of World Languages & Cultures.
English Professor Janelle Adsit says the new awards highlight the important collaborations between English students and other departments. As the advisor of the Toyon and the instructor of its associated class, Literary Editing and Publishing, Adsit mentors students through the full production cycle of the journal.
Student editors solicit and evaluate entries, then curate and arrange their selections. They oversee typesetting and final design, proofread the magazine, and work with Marketing & Communications to get the journal printed.
“All editorial decisions are made by students,” Adsit says. “I’m just here as a mentor and guide. I introduce students to the publishing industry and help them gain the associated skillset.”
Adsit is introducing a new course in Spring 2018, called Literary Magazines and Contemporary Audiences, that will teach students the post-production mechanics of publishing, coaching them through circulation, marketing and outreach.
This experience translates well to other majors, and the Environmental Studies department is in the process of adding the Toyon class to its coursework for one concentration, prompting the addition of the environmental justice writing award.
The World Languages and Culture department is another important collaborator, as the Toyon is a multilingual magazine. Adsit says student editors fluent in multiple languages improve the quality of the magazine’s multilingual offerings. Art students who regularly enroll in the class as an elective bring design skills to the publication.
“My favorite part was working with people from all departments and backgrounds to put Toyon together,” Managing Editor Angela Compton says on the Toyon’s website. “I liked the collaborative effort we had in lab days where we were all working together. I learned that asking if people need help is the best way to start the process of editing oneself.”
Publishing a literary journal offers a variety of career preparations, Adsit says, even for those who are focused on endeavors other than literary studies. “Community publishing, organizing through print, zine-making – students walk away from class with a full set of skills,” she says.
The Toyon staff will celebrate the release of the 63rd edition with an awards reception and literary reading on Thursday, March 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Kate Buchanan Room. More information is available at www.toyonliterarymagazine.org.