The Student Literary and Arts Journal “riverrun” has successfully fostered a creative community on campus for the past 50 years by providing a platform for UCCS students to publish their writing and art pieces.
Every spring semester, “riverrun” is developed by students enrolled in the journal’s editorial course, ENGL 3170. Currently, “riverrun” is accepting submissions online until Feb. 10. Submissions can include visual art, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, video performances, arts-related interviews and reviews of campus arts events.
The journal, which has published pieces from Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa and acclaimed mixed-media artist Sally Mankus, was founded by UCCS professor Kenneth Pellow in the 1970s.
In the past, “riverrun” has abided by a smaller selection of genres, and has accepted a smaller amount of submissions. However, this year’s editorial class is starting to reconsider what kinds of pieces the journal will include, and who will be granted access to the creative space it offers going forward.
“One definite thing we have expanded in ‘riverrun’ this year is we’re accepting reviews of campus arts events, because we want [the journal] to be a collaboration of what the year looked like for students,” said Orion Capela, a communication student at UCCS. “We want to have a really big edition this year, so we’re trying to accept as many people as we can.”
As a student-operated publishing entity, “riverrun” has the benefit of lending experience to students interested in entering the publishing industry or having their creative pieces published following graduation.
“I think that ‘riverrun’ is a really fantastic opportunity to have as an undergraduate. It just gets your foot in the door in ways that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to if you weren’t at UCCS,” Capela said.
The publishing rights of pieces submitted to “riverrun” are reverted back to creators after a five-day period following the journal’s initial release. This means that students concerned about having ownership of their pieces can still submit to “riverrun” without losing the ability to publish their pieces elsewhere.
This year, “riverrun” is opening its doors to submissions from alumni. Capela said that editors will reach out to alumni who were published in “riverrun,” and offer them the opportunity to have their pieces republished in celebration of the journal’s 50th anniversary.
“We want this year’s ‘riverrun’ to be an encapsulation of UCCS [over] the past 50 years, so alumni should probably be a part of that process,” Capela said. They also reiterated that alumni who were not published in “riverrun” during their time at UCCS are welcome to submit to the journal this year as well.
Students who have never submitted to “riverrun” can learn more about the process on the journal’s website. According to Capela, the online submission process avoids selection bias by making sure each piece is read anonymously.
For those worried about grammar and writing mistakes, Capela also said that selected pieces will enter an editing phase, and the edits made will be approved by the author via email before the piece is published.