Undergraduate literary magazine wins national award

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Managing editor Steven Simeone attended the annual AWP Conference in Boston with his staff members to receive the 2013 National Program Directors’ prize for Undergraduate Literary Magazines. | Monica Tso/The Daily Cougar

The undergraduate literary journal at UH won a prestigious award and national recognition for its content during an annual convention for writers and writing programs.

Awarded for its content, Glass Mountain was presented with the 2013 National Program Directors’ prize for Undergraduate Literary Magazines at the AWP, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, yearly conference, the largest literary conference in North America. Faculty advisor of Glass Mountain Lynn Voskuil has worked with the magazine since its founding in 2006.

“Because of the national recognition we’ve achieved, the award allows us to fulfill and exemplify the tier one title of our university,” Voskuil said. “It’s the largest prize for an undergraduate publication.”

Voskuil credited her staff members for their diligence and commitment.

Specializing in the logistics of the journal, co-editor Brett Forsberg felt proud to be validated by AWP.

“We’re a group of writers who want to write and who are committed,” Forsberg said. “There’s no money involved. We simply help people find out if writing is what they want to do. We get to look at writers break into their individual styles.”

He described Glass Mountain as a raw, passionate study of writing before professional graduate work.

Managing editor Steven Simeone has worked with Glass Mountain for four years and focused on the layout in the magazine.

“Since the award is for content, most of the recognition goes to Anthony and Melissa, but it’s a great achievement for us all,” Simeone said. “Like Bonnie Culver of Wilkes University said, our magazine does represent edgy, funny, smart and top shelf fiction and poetry.”

Poetry editor Anthony Sutton was responsible for reading submissions from writers and picking pieces for editorial suggestions.

“Glass Mountain represents ambitious work, and it showcases such diverse styles of poetry,” Sutton said. “We help writers get a voice before graduate work, and we find unexpected diversity in the undergraduate work.”

Sutton explained that after being rejected multiple times, he feels good to be acknowledged for the hard work put forth.

“We’re becoming the leading voice in undergraduate publications,” Sutton said. “We were featured in Plain China, the only national anthology of the best undergraduate writing, which is such a big deal. We will also be recognized in the Writer’s Chronicle in September.”

Assistant fiction editor Amanda Scott helped select prose submissions for the journal and sought to make Glass Mountain’s online presence more visible.

“Earning this accolade is an amazing feat, and I feel especially fortunate and proud to be part of our staff,” Scott said. “To be recognized by a national institution such as AWP means we have arrived as a staff, as a journal and as a force within the literary sphere.”

Scott characterized the journal as balanced and was humbled to know that the staff’s efforts to expose new voices are being noted.

“Though we deal with turnover like any staff, I think the revolving door of bodies and minds is beneficial to the journal’s diversity,” Scott said. “It keeps the content and aesthetic fresh and allows us to evolve while staying focused and dedicated to our main demographic – emerging writers and artists.”

The staff members of Glass Mountain thanked Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences John Roberts for his individual emails of appreciation.

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