Literary journal creates space for emerging, established writers

University’s ‘Blood Orange Review’ serves as internship for students, opportunity for writers



The journal publishes both new and established writers. It is edited entirely by WSU students and professors.

KASSANDRA VOGEL, Evergreen reporter

WSU’s literary journal, “Blood Orange Review,” was founded in 2006 by H.K. Hummel and Stephanie Lenox. The literary journal has a clear purpose, which is to “create a home for emerging and established writers,” according to its website.

Those who work in the journal know its mission well.

“From its inception, it wanted to be an inclusive space that published both emerging and established writers, so I think keeping true to that is super important to the ‘Blood Orange Review’ ethos,” associate editor Cameron McGill said. “Emerging writers getting published next to their own poetic heroes is kind of a really fun experience.”

The values of the journal are an important factor when deciding which works will be included in one of the two annual editions.

Nonfiction editor Lauren Westerfield said the journal looks not only for new voices but also stories that carry an emotional investment from the writer.

Soon after the journal’s inception, editor Bryan Fry created an internship at WSU as a learning tool for creative writing students. While not originally hosted at WSU, the journal found a home in the Palouse in 2015.

The internship for WSU students is designed to provide an opportunity to take part in the work of the literary journal publishing both national and international writers. Students are able to work under genre editors and specialize in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and more.

Recently, these internships have also expanded into marketing, web design and art curator positions.

“It’s very important to me and Bryan Fry to make room for students who are passionate about reading and learning more about small press and literary journals,” Westerfield said.

Interns at “Blood Orange Review” are integral to the function of the journal. Students read submissions, collaborate at meetings and work with editors to choose pieces for publication.

The journal receives submissions from all kinds of writers: students, professionals, as well as those from across the country and even overseas. Students interested in joining the journal can contact Lauren Westerfield or Bryan Fry for more information.

The literary journal also hosts an annual contest that opens in the spring — this upcoming competition will be the third they have held. First, genre editors and interns read the submissions and choose the top pieces, which they then give to the guest judge.

The judge then selects the winner and runner-up who once awarded are then both published in the journal. The winners are also awarded prizes for the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

“[The contest] is a great opportunity to connect with other writers and to broaden our own community and expose the interns to those writers,” Westerfield said. “It brings someone else’s voice and perspective into our own fairly small operation.”

Like many aspects of life, operations of the journal have also been affected by the pandemic, but operations are still running smoothly as the journal receives and publishes submissions online.

“The biggest change is the dynamic of the meeting and the internship now that it is online,” Westerfield said.

However, the journal has also been a space for those who work on it to come together during these times. Though things have changed due to the pandemic and events of this year, the journal is evolving and continuing to refine what they look for in writing.

“A sense of urgency in the last year has been increasingly a focus that I have heard the interns talking about a lot,” Westerfield said. “The subject and the author’s engagement with that subject both on a craft level and a socially contextually aware way should feel kind of urgent.”

The online journal is available online at