Ecotone Literary Magazine’s Latest Issue Publishes Eclectic Mix

Thursday, September 01, 2022

Ecotone, a semiannual literary magazine produced at UNCW, continues its longstanding mission to publish writing that reimagines place while serving as a training ground for student editors. Its current issue, the 32nd, was a turning point for its production team. 
“This issue is the culmination of the work of a group of students who joined the magazine as editors during the pandemic,” said Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Ecotone’s editor. “They weathered some hard times while working with us and did a really fantastic job.” 
The Editor’s Note for the issue features some of the students’ thoughts about how their editorial values and practice developed through their work at Ecotone. 
Most of the material that appears in the magazine comes from unsolicited submissions that editors collect during open reading periods. The window for the next issue closes Sept. 2 for general submissions but continues until Sept. 30 for subscribers. Submissions are read mainly by students in the Department of Creative Writing’s MFA program who enroll in the practicum on literary magazine editing taught by Bell. 
“When they find something they like, they bring it to the team for discussion,” Bell said. “I like for as much work as possible to come from that process of decision making and group deliberation.” 
It results in a varied collection that includes poetry, comics, short fiction and more. Issue 32 includes an essay from Ecotone’s editor in chief and creative writing department chair David Gessner about the feeling of safety, or its lack, during crisis. It also includes an essay on the experience of embarrassment after giving birth. Less obvious in the way it talks about place, “it engages with our mission from the perspective of being a person in a body,” Bell said. 
The issue continues a series called “Climate Annotations,” which debuted in the previous, climate-themed issue. Ecotone alternates between themed and unthemed issues. 
Founded in 2005, Ecotone is distributed and recognized nationally. This spring, it was awarded the AWP Small Press Publisher Award and it has been a finalist recently for the Whiting Literary Magazine Prize, the ASME Award for Fiction and CLMP’s Firecracker Awards.

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-- Stacie Greene Hidek