The submission deadline for Jeopardy magazine, the yearly undergraduate publication from the English department, is coming up on Monday, November 28.
Odds are that if you’re reading this it’s already too late. Don’t panic! You still have time to submit your artwork, photographs, poems, stories, and sundry other items. The November 28 deadline is only one of two deadlines that Jeopardy uses to split up the work of putting the publication together. There’ll be another deadline sometime in late Winter quarter, too.
For those of you unfamiliar with Jeopardy, it’s about time you were properly introduced. Jeopardy is a literary journal published by undergraduates in the English department. Having been published, in one form or another, since 1963, Jeopardy has been a long tradition for the English department, Western, and the literary scene as a whole.
For forty years it accepted and published submissions from authors like Charles Bukowski, Annie Dillard, Rita Mae Brown, and Gary Snyder. Two years ago, the magazine decided to limit their submissions to people associated with Western. According to Stuart Brewster, this year’s editor, this means everyone from Western’s students, professors, and alumni to Western’s non-academic employees like the various departments’ secretaries or the school’s battalion of janitors.
This year, all submissions must, in some way, represent Jeopardy’s theme, the second in 42 years, of “unspeakable.” Brewster, and Adam Pygott, one of this year’s assistant editors, explained that the connection to the theme can be very loose, but a submission’s connection to the theme is also one of the criteria that Brewster, Pygott, the other assistant editors, and Jeopardy’s swarm of readers take into consideration when choosing which pieces to select for publication.
According to Brewster and Pygott, other attributes that may help your chances of getting published in the magazine are honesty and a sense of risk taking. This is a careful balance, however.
As Brewster explains, if a piece seems like it was conceived simply to take a risk, it often lacks a sense of honesty that he is looking for. Likewise, if a writer isn’t willing to put himself on the line in one way or another, the piece will often feel stagnant, despite the possibility of its honesty.
So, what kind of submissions is Jeopardy looking for? Anything in the field of creative writing; poems and prose, fiction and non-fiction, and the most experimental pieces are all welcome with open arms. Also, Jeopardy accepts visual art for publication. For more information on submission guidelines, or to hand in a submission, stop by Jeopardy’s office in Humanities 254, or call them at 650-3118.