By Via Reyes

The UPEI Writing Centre has recently released the official call for submissions for the UPEI Arts Review, an annual journal that showcases students’ best works. I got the chance to sit down with Chris Thompson, 4th Year Honours English Candidate and Editor-in-Chief of the UPEI Arts Review, to talk about the journal’s fifth volume and its upcoming release.

The Cadre: First of all, what is the Arts Review?

Thompson: The Arts Review is a student-led publication of student work on campus that tries to showcase the best writing that can be found on campus.

The Cadre: Who runs the Arts Review?

Thompson: The Arts Review is run through the Writing Centre now. We just took it over last year. This year is the second year it is being run out of the Writing Centre.

It was a completely student-run initiative before, which had its pros and cons, but with the Writing Centre being a base for the Arts Review is better for it long term because there is a continuous stream of editors for it and then there is staff and faculty affiliations that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time so it gives it that longevity.

The Cadre: Are you doing anything differently this year, as compared to previous years?

Thompson: One of the things that we’re doing differently this year is that we started it a lot earlier. We’ve already had meetings about it when normally we wouldn’t do that until next semester. We’d just kind of put out the call for submissions and meet come second or third week of January. We asked for the submissions to come in earlier this year so that we can read them over Christmas time. Because everything that gets picked for the Arts Review goes through a peer-reviewing process and that way we have more time to do a better job with it and be able to get the journal out by our ideal deadline.

Another difference is that we’re doing [the editing process] in a blind way. We’re taking students’ names off the submissions when we read them, to take away some of the bias. It’s not like it was a problem but we’re trying to increase the professionalism of the review.

In terms of the content of the journal, we’re looking for different things this year. We are trying to encourage a diversity of submissions from a diversity of voices. We want different forms of submissions. I would like to get the realistic view of the myriad of writing that goes on on campus. Whether it’s blog posts for courses, whether it’s for Rants and Raves at the Waves, or whether it’s something that you wrote to the editorial section of The Guardian, and you want to submit that for publication, it’s anything that shows good writing, good ideas, in the really wide breadth of quality writing that goes on on campus. In a similar light, the breadth of voices on campus, from indigenous students, from international students, from exchange students, we want to really showcase that diversity.

The Cadre: Do you have a goal in mind for a launch date?

Thompson: Around the 5th to 7th would be our ideal launch date. We had a target launch date then we worked backwards to see when we needed to get things done.

The Cadre: Right now, it’s the previous journal that is in stores?

Thompson: Yeah, last year’s is called Snowed In. It is in the UPEI Bookstore, Indigo across the street, in the Bookmark downtown, and in Beanz Coffee.

In a follow-up email correspondence, Thompson wanted to clarify that submissions are welcome from all students across all faculties.

“I think that there is a misconception that we only want Arts based papers and creative writing. That is absolutely not the case, and we have taken some steps to address that perception this year. 

We celebrate writing of all kinds at the Arts Review; we believe good writing is good writing is good writing. 
Historically we have had some fantastic submissions from many of the departments at UPEI, including the AVC, and we hope that we can represent an even greater diversity of voices and faculties in this year’s Arts Review.”

To submit your work, send your full submission and an abstract of no more than 500 words to artsreview@upei.ca before Saturday, December 19th.