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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Life + Arts

Distinguished journal preps undergrads

Tiffany Thor and current members of the University of Houston’s nationally recognized literary journal Glass Mountain spent the week before midterms not wallowing in Houston’s insane climate change, but in Chicago’s frosty air for the Association of Writer’s and Writing Programs conference.

“Basically, it’s a four day conference held annually and is the largest conference in the nation for writers and writing programs — approximately 9,000 attendees and (more than) 500 publishers,” Thor said.

“They have panels on literally everything having to do with the writing industry. Everything from trends in publishing, to specific writing genres, to craft techniques, to the how-to of publishing, to grad school programs, to forming communities — you name it.”

Thor was one of the first co-editors of Glass Mountain and is currently still involved in the magazine by being part of the Glass Mountain hotline in order to answer questions the new senior staff may have.

Creative writing students Brett Forsberg and Scott Chalupa are the new co-editors, Steven Simeone is the managing editor and Zack Bean is the current graduate advisor. All five students went to the conference to represent Glass Mountain.

“I worked the table in the book fair along with Scott Chalupa and the rest of the aforementioned staff members,” Forsberg said.

“We handed out bookmarks, copies of the journal, USB flash drive wristbands and calls for submissions that all advertise for UH’s literary magazine and the Boldface conference.”

Thor says that besides being a professional event, it also gives the staff time to meet people with the same interest and unwind before coming back home to continue their work on Glass Mountain.

“It’s just a ginormous conference that really everyone interested in the industry should check out at least once if they can because there is something there for everyone,” Thor said.

The conference is arguably one of the largest and most important conferences for writers in the United States.

The fact that Glass Mountain, an undergraduate journal, has been invited for the past two years shows the progress the journal has made in making an original name for itself.

“Since we’ve gone national, it’s been great exposure for both us and the University.” Thor said.

Glass Mountain is one of the only undergraduate literary magazines in the nation and offers amazing opportunities for undergraduates like the Boldface conference held from May 21 to May 26.

Boldface directly pairs undergraduate students with UH graduate candidates for a week of writing related activities.

“Where most prestigious writing programs exist at the graduate level and take candidates that may or may not have creative writing experience beforehand, Glass Mountain hopes to give undergraduates a preview of that specialized writing world,” Forsberg said.

“We can do this in many ways. We can publish undergraduates and hope to circulate and encourage their work.”

For more information on Glass Mountain or the Boldface conference, visit

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