By Richard Southard Contributing Writer
The Sandy River Review, a literary journal put together by UMF students and Alice James Books, aims to publish its annual print edition on April 30. This year’s journal will contain works from 31 different contributors, and will mark the journal’s 35th year of publishing.
Alexandra Dupuis and Elayna Chamberlin, both senior Creative Writing majors, have been the print edition editors since the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester. “We’re at the copy editing stage,” Dupuis said, “which is basically sending a copy to the other advisors and making sure the minor edits are done. It’s almost ready to print.”
In addition to publishing a variety of literary and artistic works, the editors have also made an effort to add new elements to the journal. “We tried to make it more modern,” Chamberlin said. “We’ve placed some emphasis on scenery, which has been popular in different works around Maine.” This edition wi
ll also be the first to have its own title, which will be “Blossom.”
While the editing position has had some challenges, both of the editors have found the experience to be highly rewarding. “There’s a lot of self-promotion,” Chamberlin said. “We don’t sell the Sandy, so it’s important to keep very active with social media and advertising.”
The position also requires the editors to become familiar with a variety of programs, such as InDesign, Adobe Creative Suite, WordPress and all of Google’s web programs. While the project is complex, it is also large in its creative scope. “There’s a lot of creative freedom,” Dupuis said, “which is a lot more pressure than it may seem.”
For Dupuis and Chamberlin, the most enjoyable parts of the position have been the physical aspects of it, such as deciding the order of the published pieces. “We printed all of them out and laid them on a table to decide the order,” Chamberlin said. “Anything that feels real has been great to see.”
The editing positions place a great emphasis on teamwork, despite large amounts of independent work. Alicia Hynes, editorial assistant of Alice James Books, helps oversee the print edition and noted how complicated the process can be.
“I would say that publishing has a lot of moving parts,” Hynes said. “There is a great deal to coordinate. Between contacting and communicating with authors to following your own deadlines to working with a printing house, it can be quite a balancing act!”
As part of the journal’s release, the editors are aiming to host a launch party in the UMF Creative Writing house, where the first copies of the issue will be given out, and students published in the journal will have a chance to read their work in print.
The journal will also be announcing a new contest for undergraduate students. “We’ve had a summer undergraduate writing contest in the past,” Dupuis said, “but this will be something completely separate.”