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Literary magazine helps undergrads gain experience


July 19, 2010

Although Superstition Review is a young publication, it has accomplished much since its launch in 2008. The nationally recognized online literary magazine, named after the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, was created by Patricia (Trish) Murphy in 2007, with the help of an undergraduate student.

Today, Murphy, a lecturer in the School of Letters and Sciences, has provided a hands-on experience for more than 75 undergraduate students at Arizona State University through the magazine. 

“I wanted to create an online magazine with a multidisciplinary approach that would allow students to gain experience in literary publishing and design,” said Murphy. “Through the hard work of our students, we have published five issues – one each semester – since the launch.”

More than 325 artists and writers have been published in the online magazine, including talent such as TC Boyle, Barbara Kingsolver, Nick Flynn, Billy Collins, Mary Sojourner, Sherman Alexie and Tayari Jones.

Art, fiction, essays and poems come in through open submissions and through solicitations managed by the students. The students do a lot more, too.  

“Students are writing, editing, researching and working with multimedia, as well as learning that they have to pay close attention to deadlines. They learn how to work in a team and how to design an online publication as they go,” Murphy said. “In addition, students organize a reading series each semester that has allowed us to feature 41 authors, including Stella Pope Duarte, Cynthia Hogue, Peter Turchi and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Franz Wright. It provides a well-rounded experience.”

Indeed, many of the students who have worked on the publication move on to pursue graduate degrees or work in the publishing industry. And for many, the experience is helping them fulfill their dreams.

“Since working with Superstition Review, I have interned with DRAFT magazine, Girlfriendit.com, Sortis and soon, Acacia Publishing,” said Mariah Beckman, who is now a graduate student in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  “I owe landing my editorial internship at DRAFT to my position as solicitations coordinator with Superstition Review.”

The online magazine’s appeal is widespread. Superstition Review has received press from local and national magazines, and attention through social networking outlets such as its newsletters from Vertical Response, its Twitter and Facebook accounts, and its blog at superstitionreview.wordpress.com.

“For me, it’s wonderful to work with the students," Murphy said. "I enjoy hearing from former interns about their many successes in the fields of writing and publishing. When a student tells me how much their experience with Superstition Review influenced their job or grad school application, it makes all my hard work worthwhile.”

In the fall, 18 students will start work on Issue 6. Applications for internships for Spring 2011 will be accepted during September. Superstition Review plans to continue its reading series throughout the 2010-2011 academic year and will announce events through its blog, newsletter, Twitter, Facebook and on its website.

To view archived issues, visit www.superstitionreview.com. For information about featuring your work or future opportunities at Superstition Review, contact Murphy at trishm@asu.edu.