COURTESY OF ALLY PANG
Like many others wading through the challenges the pandemic has brought forward, LandEscapes editors have had to reimagine the way they assemble their magazine.
LandEscapes, WSU’s literary and arts journal, features work from WSU students and accepts submissions in the fiction, nonfiction, art, poetry and photography categories. The journal, also run by WSU students, publishes one issue a year online and in print, both available for free.
The magazine is currently accepting submissions for pieces to be published in the 2021 issue. Managing Editor Noelle Niemeier said fall semester is usually spent on marketing, trying to garner as many submissions as possible.
At this point, the paper’s various editors are focused on developing multiple marketing materials, both on social media and in the real world. After the deadline has passed, editors will work with the writers of the chosen pieces to edit and refine them before being published. The 2021 publication will come out in late April, said LandEscapes Editor-in-Chief Ally Pang.
The pandemic has come with various challenges that have made publishing the journal harder. One issue has been marketing. In past years, the journal editors tabled inside the CUB or out on Terrell Mall, as well as distributing the journal around campus. With COVID-19, it is impossible to properly distribute these journals.
Being robbed of this form of marketing and distribution has forced them to rely on social media and fewer submissions this year, particularly in the fiction and nonfiction categories, Pang said.
Niemeier said that despite receiving fewer submissions than previous years, they are still expecting a great journal.
“The quality of submissions is always amazing,” Niemeier said. “Our WSU students are so talented and artistic, so we’re really happy with the quality, regardless of the quantity we get.”
Niemeier said they had considered having an issue addressing the challenges of living through the pandemic, but they believed it was important to keep submissions open to any topic, not just COVID-19. This way, students would not be discouraged from sending in material but options remain open, he said.
If the journal receives a lot of submissions on COVID-19 or any other current events topic, they may dedicate a chapter to that specific issue as a sort of record of the times, Niemeier said.
Niemeier said she was particularly drawn to the poetry section of the journal and loved the previous issue’s poems.
Pang meanwhile recommended a piece of fiction from the journal’s previous issue called “The Lilac Years” by Aradia Burkhalter.
Despite the many challenges, the editorial team at LandEscapes remains committed to the mission of the journal.
“I know a lot of writers and artistic people that are very quiet and have some trouble reaching out and getting their voice heard. I know because I am one of those people,” Pang said. “Having this platform like LandEscapes is just so important to the community and WSU, so people have that creative expression and can maybe show a new side of themselves.”
Submissions for LandEscapes are open for WSU students until Dec. 31, and the submission portal can be found on their website.