Over this Spring Semester I’ve had the pleasure (and torment) of working with a group of fellow students on an issue of the Trestle Creek Review. I’ll call it TCR going forward, probably. It’s a literary magazine published by North Idaho College and includes Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Visual and Non-Traditional Visual. Together we worked through a slush pile submitted by students, faculty, alumni and community members from North Idaho and Eastern Washington. I took up the role of Fiction Editor with the unusual task of killing all the work given to me until I reached out to a local author who gracefully submitted a piece (thank you, Sam) that we kept.
It’s been a hard few months—working to choose pieces to include in the magazine, how to find ways to describe and shape our issue, learning when to say “this just isn’t what we’re looking for” and when to scream incoherently over a photo of a rock. I wish that was a joke. In the end, we fought over literature, poetry, grocery lists and artwork and came to a decision. That decision was the largest issue of Trestle Creek Review published since its creation in 1982 (it’s about 34 years old, y’all) and had 72 pages.
As the Fiction Editor (there are a series of genre editors and then two overall editors) I didn’t feel it would be appropriate to submit my own fictional work—so I submitted non-fiction, since I would not be a part of the selection committee. I overheard part of the conversation when the group discussed my non-fiction work, and saw it was bathed in red. From correctional ink, not blood (but if they had continued, also blood). "There Are Roots" was chosen to be published in this year's issue and is a non-fiction piece about living with an obsessive compulsive disorder regarding hair. I was also a member of the Visual Arts team and we waded through a ton of photography.
We typically plan to get around 200 submissions and accept 10% to give some perspective of the scope of the issue. Unless you submit fiction, the rejection rate was a hot 100% (I am sorry, please submit something again next year, I won’t be fiction editor!). And after we narrowed down those 200, took a tour of our printing facility, we were finally ready for the launch…
We had the Trestle Creek Review launch for Issue 31 on Tuesday. It was pretty successful with a room full of students and faculty, free pizza, issues of the magazine and free buttons!
We heard from the cover artist Megan Atwood Cherry who described her unique blending of North Idaho living and art and briefly explained how she created the sculpture piece from the front cover. She was interviewed by Nathan Hansen who also had a non-fiction piece titled “The Ledge” published in this year’s issue. Megan’s artwork can be found here: www.meganatwoodcherry.com
Two of my friends read from their published pieces: Amber Hasz read her poems “Solid Ground” and “Sorry” and Elli Goldman Hilbert read her non-fiction piece “Alterations.” Having read a story at last year’s launch, I am familiar with the overwhelming sense of dread that accompanies it. I love and respect these two ladies for getting up in front of a crowd and reading such personal pieces of work aloud. Thank you Amber and Elli!
Erin Davis, an instructor and English Professor at North Idaho College read two (of four) poems published in this issue: “Seeds” and “Autofill.”
Danielle Combs, the curator of the “Found Lists” section of the magazine gave us some insight on her process and thoughts behind the items she submitted. The issue focuses on a series of grocery and itemized lists and makes us ponder at their incompleteness, their honesty, their misspellings and the sense of lingering, perhaps unresolved, lives.
The launch of the 31st issue took about an hour and afterwards many of the staff of Trestle Creek found themselves approached by fellow students asking for autographs (an act forced upon them, no doubt, by their English Professor).
The digital version of TCR Issue 31 isn’t yet available, but when it launches it will be located here: http://www.nic.edu/tcr and you can read all the previous issues there as well. (Hint: I have a Fiction piece in last year’s issue!)
If you want a physical copy (to get a signature from a certain author, for example…) let me know and I can direct you to a list of local vendors that may stock our magazine.
If you are a physical store that is local and would like to put our lovely literary magazine on your shelves, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org