True Stories: Creative Writing Professor and Students Start Online Literary Journal


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Apr. 29, 2013

True Stories: Creative Writing Professor and Students Start Online Literary Journal


Titled 1966, the journal features creative non-fiction writing by professional and prize winning authors


 1966 Journal Cover

By Russell Guerrero '83

SAN ANTONIO - 1966 is a gorgeous online literary journal devoted to creative non-fiction.  With an elegant layout featuring engaging art and photography, it is a pleasure to read, especially on an Ipad.  But the journal is more than just pleasing style - 1966 includes thoughtful, provocative essays written by published writers - some award-winning (one author was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.)

The journal's name comes from a watershed year in the history of creative non-fiction writing:  Truman Capote's In Cold Blood was published as a book, John McPhee's essay, "Oranges", appeared in the New Yorker, and the celebrated story "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" by Gay Talese was published in Esquire.  

And it is all the labor of love for one English professor and a group of dedicated students at Trinity.

Birth of 1966

The idea for 1966 came from a desire of Kelly Carlisle, assistant professor of English, to establish a literary journal. Carlisle, who teaches creative non-fiction writing, worked as a full-time managing editor on The Prairie Schooner, a national literary journal published quarterly, while in graduate school.

When she brought up the subject to several of her students of founding a new journal, they quickly joined in.

Senior Spenser Stevens, an English and Latin major with minors in creative writing and comparative literature, from Fort Worth, served as the managing editor. "Publishing has always been something that I have wanted to know more about. I knew this would be an opportunity for me to see the entire process - taking the idea of a publication and making it a reality," she said about her involvement.

Senior Mallory Conder, a communication and international studies major, with minors in creative writing and Spanish, from Heath, Texas, guided the layout of the journal.  "I had previous experience working with the Trinity Review, the University's literary journal of student written work, and was eager to work with a new journal from the ground up," she said.

In all, five students established the journal, doing everything from soliciting work from writers, copyediting, to fact-checking submissions.  The students also created a website for 1966 and started a social media campaign to publicize the new venture. 

"We didn't want people to think that we were just another literary magazine run by students as something that we could put on our resumes. Our goal was to present ourselves as professionals working for a journal that published high-quality essays," said Stevens. "At this, I believe we were very successful."

Although not an official publication of Trinity, the journal receives support from the English department and some funding from Duane Coltharp and Mark Brodl, two associate vice presidents of Faculty and Student Affairs.

Publication and Reception

title page to story in 1966The first issue  was published in March and features the work of eight writers, including Richard Terrill, who won the Minnesota Book Award for a collection of poetry, and Lee Martin, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2006. 

Carlisle said the website received a lot of traffic once the first issue was launched online. The journal continues to draw in new readers and is receiving a steady stream of submissions.

1966 also garnered favorable attention from the literary community. "We have received highly positive feedback from authors and other journals congratulating us on our inaugural issue," said Stevens.

"The greatest reward has been sticking with this project without knowing what outcome our first publication would bring," said Conder. "The team has certainly been enthusiastic about the journal and that passion has been translated into a successful launch. I personally discovered a passion for design, which until this point, I never knew I had."

Work has already begun on the next issue slated for later this year. 1966 is accepting submissions of original essays at 1966journal@gmail.com.

 -Russell Guerrero '83 is the public information officer at Trinity. He can be reached at rguerrer@trinity.edu.