Transforming your creativity into publication  

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The Long River gives UConn students an opportunity to be recognized by their work. Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels

The Long River Review is a creative literary magazine created by undergraduate students at UConn. It gives students opportunities to publish, earn credit and express themselves. Yesterday, Camryn Johnson, vice president of the Literary Minds presented on what it’s like to be a part of the magazine’s publication process.  

“Here at the Long River Review we want to publish new voices: Voices from the mouth of the river and beyond, voices drowned out by other voices, voices that might not have otherwise been heard,” Johnson, who quoted the magazine’s mission statement said. “We publish work that is bold, unique, inventive and most importantly, in your voice.”  

The Long River Review is published annually around September, according to Johnson. The magazine is not only open to submissions by UConn students but also to the public. Johnson explained that the literature and artworks in the magazine usually have an annual theme. The 2021 Long River Review’s theme was on “movement.”  

According to Johnson, the creation of the Long River Review magazine process begins during the fall semester. Students who are interested have to apply with a personal statement and interview. After initial screening and acceptance, students must enroll in ENGL 3713 for the following spring semester.  

The magazine begins its assembling process in the spring semester. Members of the Long River Review have to meet once a week and work on specific assignments, also helping to curate what content to include. The Long River Review is divided into fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and translation panels. Johnson explained that although the course can be time-consuming, the key is passion and time management. Members are also paid for their work throughout the spring semester. Students in the class also participate in different opportunities to engage with guest speakers and writing events.  

A common misconception is that only English, communications or journalism majors join the publishing industry. She states that other disciplines are equally valued, whether you come from puppetry or the STEM field. If they are passionate about writing, those from other fields can provide very niche insights to the publishing field, according to Johnson.  

“Those voices that go underrepresented, those voices that might be crowded out by others — we need you in this field because no one else is here or because it’s something so new that no one knows about it,” Johnson said. “The pursuit to bring it to life is a beautiful thing. So 100% apply, don’t feel daunted, express the interest: that I may not come from a conventional background, but I have a desire to learn about — this that I’m valued in that way.” 

When Johnson first arrived at UConn, she was immediately drawn to creative writing and was later introduced to the Long River Review. Since her passion is creative writing, the application process came naturally for Johnson. She explained she aspires to be an editor once she graduates, and that reading the raw emotions from UConn student submissions inspires her to continue to write. 

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