The Belmont Story Review is opening a new chapter.
The rebrand is the next step in bigger and better things for the Story Review — the only national print publication currently coming out of the university. Tapped as a Notable Special Issue in “Best American Essays 2020,” the journal’s profile is on the rise.
But what makes it truly notable is the team behind it. Produced over the course of the semester as a three-credit-hour class, Belmont Story Review is run by Belmont students, who bring authors’ perspectives together to make each issue their own.
“The students kind of control what happens, which is really nice because we’re creating our own work of art,” said senior Tiffany Alexander, co-managing editor of the Story Review.
The selections come together to build the theme of each issue, a process unique to the Story Review.
“We just review the best work, and then figure out how there are relationships to one another,” said 2021 alumnus Laura Huie, co-managing editor alongside Alexander. Last summer’s Volume 6, “Destination,” featured selections exploring places, states of being and how one arrives there.
With submissions now closed, the student editorial team will start piecing together a yet-untitled seventh volume in preparation for its summertime release.
The authors featured in Belmont Story Review come from all over the country, and the publication even has international reach; “Destination” published works from Israel and Spain.
“I think it’s important to include diverse voices. I definitely look for that when I’m reviewing submissions. I want readers to be exposed to a perspective they may not have heard before,” said Huie.
With just under 900 submissions for the 2022 issue — a leap up from 2021’s total of about 500 — the voices in Volume 7 will come from more corners of the world than ever before.
Though Belmont undergraduates can’t submit to the Story Review, student work might find a home in the Belmont Literary Journal, an online campus publication that’s accepting fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama and visual art through Feb. 7 at 11:59 p.m.
Anyone who’s more interested in the editorial side can join the Story Review team after completing Belmont’s PUB 1010 prerequisite.
“The whole point is that when students take the class, they are getting hands-on experience in what it takes to run a literary journal,” said assistant professor Sara Wigal, director of Belmont’s publishing program and faculty editor of the Story Review.
And the students behind the scenes see not only the artistic value of the journal, but its professional value as well.
“Not a lot of students get that sort of experience in their undergraduate years,” said Huie.
“Story Review is such a special opportunity.”
Transformative for writers, readers and editors alike, the Belmont Story Review is a team effort that produces some of the most far-reaching work at the university.
And it will continue to share its stories.
PHOTO: The Belmont Story Review’s new brand over previous issues of the journal. Belmont Story Review
This article was written by Anna Jackson. Contributory reporting by Lauren Campbell.