The Northridge Review is CSUN’s homegrown literary magazine, which is published every semester. Pieces such as poetry, fiction, play, essay and artworks are reviewed by the English 412 class, which is run by Mona Houghton. Students, current and former, professors, and people from the greater Northridge community can contribute and submit their work.
“It is a showcase for the creative work taking place at CSUN,” James Bezerra, creative writing major, said. Bezerra is the senior editor for the Northridge Review.
The class spends most of the semester evaluating everything that was submitted in order to get it published for the next issue. There were about 60 pieces that were published last semester and there are about over a hundred submissions of fiction and almost 200 of poems this semester, according to Zach Fromson, creative writing major and the head of the business board for the Northridge Review.
“There’s a selection process where we pick the best of all the submissions,” Fromson said.
The pieces are critically reviewed and selected by the class and they try to evaluate the pieces on its own merits. They are not looking for any specific themes or any subject matter. Also, the pieces remain anonymous until it gets published.
“Every single thing that comes in gets read,” Bezerra said. “Whatever the school is creating, we’re happy to read it.”
A party is hosted every semester to launch the new issue of the Northridge Review. The Fall 2009 issue will be released on Friday at 7 p.m. in JR 319. Last semester’s work are published in this issue. The party is free of charge, but the magazine will be available for purchase for $5.
“It’s a party to celebrate the magazine, the people who made the magazine, and the people who contributed to make it and give us something to make,” Houghton, who has been teaching the class since 2003, said. “Without the contributions, we wouldn’t have a magazine.”
The release party is a chance for the writers to read their work out loud to the audience. The writers will be given a time limit, about five to six minutes, to read a portion of their work to the public. The party is also an opportunity for the public to see and meet the writers and the students who put the magazine together.
“It’s generally a fun night,” Bezerra said.
The Northridge Review also plans on getting in to the multimedia genre by including a video disk with the magazine. They are planning on working with the deaf studies program to have videos of either faculty or students signing some of the poems that they class select.
“We would like submissions from deaf poets or poets who do ASL. We are actively looking for people who can interpret and perform poetry in the deaf studies program,” Bezerra said.
The Northridge Review gives the students the experience of what it means to submit their work to a literary magazine, and what it takes to get something published, Houghton explained. The first thing she ever had published was on the Northridge Review, and she said it was the thrill of her life.
“Being in this class has really helped because, as writers as well as lovers of words, we were able to see the publishing and the editing aspect of it. We will know what to do when we want to submit our work to major magazines, newspapers and what-have-you,” Arthur Kayzakian, creative writing major, said.
The Northridge Review started in the 80’s and has been continually published every semester. In fall of 1998, it picked up an AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) award for Literary Magazine Design.
Submission deadline for literary pieces has passed, but the Northridge Review is still accepting art submissions. However, if a student has a piece of work that they are confident is stellar and worth the time and they put in the effort to get it to the Northridge Review, there will be a big chance that it is going to be read.