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


About fishladder (Grand Valley State University Journal of Student Art and Writing)

fishladder is a student-run publication at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. We publish students' fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, photography, and art. Students from across all disciplines in the university are encouraged to submit work in all styles, genres, and forms. fishladder aims to select the best, most artistic work for publication. The journal accepts submissions throughout the GVSU Fall semester, with a deadline at the end of the December finals week. Submissions are carefully considered by our student staff, and final decisions are made by our editors. The yearly print edition is unveiled every April, with copies available in Lake Ontario Hall and across the Allendale campus. The online edition will be updated annually and archived continually. You can find the online version of our magazine at the following link:
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