By Kristin Miller
For the first time in its 50-plus year history, MSUM’s literary magazine, Red Weather, will be publishing two issues during the academic year.
Typically encompassing all genres short stories, short drama, poetry and visual art, the magazine has historically published one volume at the end of spring semester. However, Red Weather is currently only accepting submissions of speculative prose, poetry and artwork for an issue which they plan to publish in late December, said managing editor Nayt Rundquist.
Speculative works include the genres science fiction, horror, fantasy, alternate history, steampunk, dystopian, apocalyptic and other genres which veer away from strictly traditional works.
The move to publish an issue specifically dealing with these types of works came after seeing them in short supply during usual spring submissions.
“I’ve always been disappointed with the lack of speculative fiction,” Rundquist said. With this issue they are looking to broaden the horizons of the magazines and the works featured within its pages.
In all of its past issues, Red Weather has only accepted submitted works from MSUM students, alumni and faculty, but for this issue they are accepting pieces from anyone, anywhere.
“We’ve had submissions from the Czech Republic, the U.K.,” Rundquist said, among other nations.
They also give the chance for some hands-on experience in the creation of the magazine.
“It’s all students,” he said about the Red Weather’s staffers.
All of the reading, editing, layout, financing and publicity work is done by MSUM students. Rundquist said that in past years they’ve had only a “handful” of students who participate in the magazine’s creation, but they hope to see that number rise to match the added work of putting together two issues during the school year.
“It’s great experience,” he said, “Good for writers, too, they learn some tricks, get inspiration.”
MSUM’s on-campus publishing house, New Rivers Press, offers a certificate in publishing to students. Rundquist says they utilize some of that student talent, and give students who may be pursuing careers in publishing some real-life experience.
Submissions will be accepted the rest of this week via the online submissions site Submittable. The site allows contributors to submit from anywhere in the world and editors to easily access documents, leaving the days of heavy printing behind.
Rundquist said that they’ve seen fewer submissions for the new issue than in typical spring issues, but from what he’s seen so far, writers have been rising to the challenge.
For now they’re doing their best to let people know about having two issues instead of one, a change for many of the magazine’s longtime readers.
“We’re really just trying to get the word out,” he said, adding that they’ve been utilizing social media sites to generate some buzz and excitement surrounding the change.
The submission period ends this Friday, Sept. 15, for all interested writers, poets and visual artists. The visual arts category, especially, Rundquist said could use a few more submissions.
More information on the magazine, getting involved with its creation and how to submit work for editors’ consideration can be found at the Red Weather page on Facebook.