Check out the Spring 2014 “High Pulp Edition” Online!

Did you miss out on getting your copy of the Spring 2014 Edition of fishladder?  We’ve updated our Online Edition (listed in the tabs above) with PDFs of all our wonderful student art and writing.

If you would still like a physical copy, they are available (and free) in the Writing Department office on the third floor of Grand Valley’s Lake Ontario Hall.

fishladder front cover


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Writing Across Campus: This Friday!

Join fishladder, this Friday, for Writing Across Campus, a campus life night for the writerly types.  At this event, we’ll have booths from 11 different student-run writing organizations.  You’ll have an opportunity to talk to representatives from any of these organizations, peruse through back issues of their publications, and listen to readings performed by student writers.

Friday, September 27th
Kirkhof 2215/2216

The following organizations will be attending:

  • fishladder
  • The Student Reading Series
  • Writer’s Club
  • The Lanthorn
  • The Organization of Professional Writers
  • The Writing Center
  • The Black Sheep (Campus-related Satire and Humor)
  • Cinesthesia (the Grand Valley Journal of Cinema)
  • The Grand Valley Journal of History


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Submittable and the New Theme!

Hi everyone,

Two new exciting changes for fishladder this year:

1. Our new submission platform, Submittable, is up and ready for your submissions!
2. We’ve decided on a theme for this year’s journal: “Two Roads Converge: Where Genre and Literary Fiction Intersect.”

Alright, so now I’ll explain.  First, the new submission platform.  It’s called Submittable, and you can find our portal at the following URL: 

Pretty straightforward, huh?  At this website, you will be able to upload your fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, art, photography, and staff submissions.  Each genre has its own category for submission, complete with submission guidelines.  The benefits of this new format are a) it’s simpler, for both you and us, b) you will automatically receive a notification once we have received your piece, and c) your anonymity is better preserved for readers this way, making the submission process more fair.  There are many other benefits, which I’m sure we’ll find along the way.

Submissions will be due December 15th, 2013, the Sunday following the end of the Fall semester.

Second off, the new theme!  Many literary journals change their theme every edition, encouraging writers to try a new topic or style.  Though fishladder has never had a theme before, our advisors and editors thought this concept might be something fun to try on for size.

The theme this year is “Two Roads Converge: Where Genre and Literary Fiction Intersect.”

The theme of the Spring 2014 edition is "Two Roads Converge: Where Genre and Literary Fiction Intersect"

The theme of the Spring 2014 edition is “Two Roads Converge: Where Genre and Literary Fiction Intersect”

Here’s a description of what this means:

“‘Genre fiction’ is often looked down upon for being plot-driven and escapist, with flat characters and poorly written prose.  But as children of the Harry Potter Generation, many of us students are avid to create worlds with elements of fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, etc.  This year, fishladder encourages you to break down the walls of the literary-genre fiction dichotomy and prove that stories can use elements of genre fiction while maintaining the important fundamentals of literary fiction, such as well-rounded characters which drive conflict.  We encourage you to manifest this theme of breaking genre in innovative ways in your fiction, poetry, non-fiction, drama, art, and photography.  Never written genre fiction before?  A rhyming poem?  What about a graphic novel?  Give it a shot!  Break expectations and demand our attention.  We’re begging you.”

Here are some examples of both genre fiction and other expectation-breaking work we’d like to see:

  • Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Crime
  • Horror
  • Romance
  • Western
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Graphic Novels
  • Others?  You tell us!

While this is the Spring 2014 journal’s theme, we are also more than open to any and all submissions, as usual.  This means you don’t have to follow the theme in order to submit.  The number of high-quality theme-related submissions we receive will determine how many end up in the final product.  Feel free to message our Facebook page if you have any other questions.

Looking forward to reading your work!
Nikki Fisher

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Changes to the Submission Process

Hello everyone,

Thanks to our new advisor, professor Amorak Huey, we’ll be changing the process for submitting to fishladder this year. By using the program Submittable, we will steam-line the submission process, ensuring that our wonderful submitters receive email notifications once their work is received. This program will also make the job of compiling submissions together much easier for our genre editors, who previously had to manually download and re-load your documents to BlackBoard. We’re excited to do more to prevent miscommunication and preserve the anonymity of your pieces during the voting process.

This means: No more submissions to the fishladder gmail-boxes anymore (e.g. The submission deadline this year will be, as always, at the end of Fall Semester. The exact time and date will be announced shortly, but we should have Submittable up and ready for your use by September 15th!

We also encourage new and returning students of GVSU to apply to join our staff, as a reader or assistant-editor for all of our offered genres. Staff applications are available in the Writing Department office and must be filled out by hand and returned there by October 1st.

If anyone has any questions feel free to email me at, or Professor Huey at

Thank you all for your continued support and dedication to fishladder. We truly couldn’t do it without you.

Nikki Fisher

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The Spring 2013 Issue is on its way!

Thanks to everyone who submitted work to this spring’s edition of Fishladder.  Our wonderful genre readers and editors are meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss your pieces.  After the voting process has finished, you will receive emails letting you know whether or not your work will be published in the Spring 2013 edition of the magazine. 

A few upcoming events you should know about:

March: On the 1st, the magazine is off to the printer! Sometime in March, we will also be hosting 10th Anniversary Gala.  At this event, we will be showcasing all 10 editions of Fishladder, as well as giving attendees a sneak preview of the 2013 edition with readings of selected pieces.  Snacks and beverages will be provided.  Time and location TBA. 

April 12th:  The unveiling of the Spring 2013 edition will be held on April 12th!  Come on by to meet the staff, hear readings of published pieces, and receive a free copy of the magazine hot off the press.  Snacks and beverages will be provided.  Time and location TBA. 

Also: the website links have been fixed so the 2012 edition of the magazine is now available along the side tabs. 

Thanks, submitters, readers, and editors, for your patience and dedication. Happy winter semester, everyone!


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Now Accepting Submissions!

The fishladder staff is up and running, and we’re excited to see your submissions! Click on Submit for full instructions. 

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Accepting applications for ’12-’13!

Get involved with Fishladder, GVSU’s annual journal of writing and art!
Would you like to help make editorial selections in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, art, or photography? Do you have previous Fishladder experience and you’d like to become an assistant head editor or genre editor? We’d love to hear from you.
Download the blank application form here, or get a copy from the WRT department main office, in LOH 326. Turn in completed applications to LOH 326. Or after hours, to the envelope on the door of LOH 307. Applications are due Friday, September 21st, 2012!

For a detailed look at what we do, check out our main website at or stop into the WRT department for a paper copy.

If you were a staff reader for the magazine last year, and want to continue in the same position, you do not need to fill out a new application.


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