For cutting edge pieces of fine and literary arts, look no further than Western’s very own Jeopardy magazine. The magazine publishes work from anyone affiliated with Western, including students, faculty, staff and alumni. They publish a range of works, including poetry, prose, fiction, creative nonfiction, photography, paintings and more. It is published once a year in spring quarter, and the final submission deadline is approaching in February.
“It’s a student showcase,” said Associate Editor and Volunteer Coordinator Alec Chunn. “It’s just a way to acknowledge the work that we’re doing here in our departments or on our own as artists.”
Editor-in-Chief Alison Cooper has been involved with the magazine since her sophomore year at Western and said she developed an instant appreciation for what it brings to the Western community.
“It fosters a community on campus that is dedicated to the written and visual arts,” Cooper said. “I love reading the works of my peers, and this publications is so dear to me because we’re able to hold on to this tangible object that has so many different voices, so many strong voices.”
The magazine has two rounds of submissions each school year. This year there was a submission deadline in November, and the final submission deadline will be Feb. 8 at 12 a.m. According to Cooper, the November deadline brought in record numbers of submissions, and she expects the February deadline to bring in many more.
For those who want to submit but aren’t sure what exactly the magazine is looking for, the answer is simple: everything.
“We take anything. We don’t have a certain voice or a certain style or a certain theme that we look for. We just look for the most evocative, compelling and strong works on campus,” Cooper said.
While the magazine already publishes a dazzling array of various forms of written and visual work, this year the editorial staff is seeking to diversify the magazine even further.
“It seems like this team of editors is interested in everything,” Chunn said. “We want to try to include as much variance in the work as we can.”
Chunn specifically is pushing for more work from a group he believes is underrepresented in the magazine: theater students.
“We have a lot of playwrights in the theater department that don’t really get a lot of recognition. That’s the one thing I’m really interested in -- bringing more of the screenwriting and playwriting from the theater department into the magazine,” Chunn said.
While this year’s staff has decided to focus on diversity in the type of work that is published, it also wants to bring an aspect of continuity to the magazine. Jeopardy’s Print Designer, Lacy Kuhn, said this year the staff has decided to create an emphasis on design continuity so the individual issues could someday be grouped as a cohesive collection.
“Last year the design was ramped up quite a bit, so we really like the size that it was and it had some really nice aspects,” said Kuhn. “We want to keep some of those but include a new style and a new twist on what was done previously.”
To submit their work, students should go online to jeopardy.wwu.edu. Submissions must include a cover letter stating their name, affiliation to Western, contact information and a brief summary of either the work or previous publication experience. After a piece of work is submitted, it will be evaluated in a blind submission process where volunteer readers read the works but do not get information about who wrote what piece. The readers then vote ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Maybe’, and the editorial team will examine the vote totals when making final decisions about what to publish.
“Don’t let your fear of being rejected prevent you from submitting,” Chunn said. “Pushing that button that says ‘submit’ is kind of scary because you’re putting your work out there, but I think it’s worth it. It’s good practice too if someone wants to be published in magazines outside of Western. You would have to get into the habit of submitting work and dealing with rejection if you get rejected or celebrating if you get accepted.”
Jeopardy is a unique platform for publication. With a focus on beautiful graphic design and the goal to publish absolutely anything that is captivating, the magazine is an eclectic and professional representation of the Western community. Kuhn said she believes Jeopardy offers an important chance for students to expand their portfolios.
“I think it’s really great to give an opportunity for people to get their work shown and have it in a medium that’s really impressive to show people,” Kuhn said.
The publication was recently honored with an award from the University and College Designers Association.
Jeopardy also has an online component called “Suffix,” which accepts submissions on a rolling basis and focuses more on experimental works or anything that couldn’t be published in print, such as audio pieces, videos and hypertext.
Jeopardy will host a release party as well as an upcoming faculty showcase that will feature faculty and student work side-by-side. The faculty showcase will be on Feb. 27 at 4 p.m., and Cooper said it will be a unique opportunity for students and professors to come together to read alongside each other. For more information about upcoming events or the submission process, go to jeopardy.wwu.edu.