A New Production Season for Toyon

As of August 22nd, we have entered the production season for the 64th volume of Toyon Multilingual Literary Magazine. This year, I am taking on the role of Typesetter. I am excited to be a member of the Production Team and get some more hands-on experience with the journal.

At the moment, our main focus is pulling in submissions.  We have also been using this time to get acquainted with each other and with the production process. Already, I can see that we are more organized than last year. The work seems to be more evenly distributed across the team and the added two hours to each week’s meeting times has already improved our general progress. Where we are now, is where we were four weeks into the season last year.

Marketing for Submissions

So far, we have enough submissions to fill the magazine, but not enough to be selective. Our submissions seem to be rather evenly spread across genres, including Literary Criticism. This is an improvement from last year, where we dramatically lacked in the Literary Criticism department had received an overwhelming number of poems. The only category we currently need to build on right now is Visual Art. Our Production Team Lead, Christopher Bailey, has been working with one of our Visual Arts Editors, Jesse Nelson, to get the word out to current HSU art students.

It is currently a whole team effort to advertise our submission deadline of September 30th. In order to advertise the publishing opportunity to campus and the surrounding community we have staff facilitating presentations about the journal in classes across various departments, including English, Environmental Studies, and World Languages and Cultures. Additionally, we are organizing marketing events on and office campus both to draw attention to the journal and to engage local writers and artists.

Humboldt County is home to a plethora of locally owned bookstores, new and used, that are popular among our thriving, artistic community. Our Circulation Manager, Audrey DiGenova, has been taking advantage of such locations by distributing information and handouts calling for submissions. She reported back that quite a few of the bookstores were excited for the upcoming volume of Toyon and were happy to help.

Our new Social Media Manager, Aly Smith, has been doing a great job staying on top of our accounts, taking initiative, and asking for post suggestions from the staff as a whole. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; or visit our website. I see this as a great way to market the magazine to a broader audience.

Production

Our mission for production for volume 64 is to stay ahead of the game. Last year, a large majority of the production process fell to one person. However, our new Production Team seems to be a great fit. Our team includes Christopher Bailey as our Team Lead and Proofreader, Jesse Nelson and Cheyanne Seely as Visual Arts Editors, and myself as Typesetter. I believe that we work quite well together. In our first meeting, on August 22nd, we already began dissecting previous volumes of Toyon and other successful literary journals in order to brainstorm design ideas. We were quickly able to establish what worked and what did not.

It seems as though a lot of design decisions for volume 63, that did not work, were made in order to accommodate a full color journal. As we have not yet decided if we would like to go full color again, we are attempting to be conscious of the possibility without sacrificing the integrity of design. The length of the journal will be one of the main factors to consider throughout this process.

Since, we have been learning the ins and outs of InDesign, both independently and together. We are fortunate to have a team subscription to Lynda.com, where we have access to 40 hours of InDesign tutorials. We have been using these tutorials to help us gut and redesign the template used for volume 63. So far, we have made small changes and decisions.

We have compiled our second title page, our masthead, and our acknowledgements page into one. We have also decided to make our font larger than volume 63. We have, for the time, migrated from Droid Serif 8pt font to Garamond 11pt or 12pt font. However, as a team, we agree that the font should reflect the collective style of the pieces the journal contains, and are waiting to make final font decisions until we have determined the tone of volume 64.

SUBMIT TO TOYON!

Toyon Multilingual Literary Magazine accepts submissions in all languages in genres including Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Playwright, Environmental Justice, Literary Criticism, Spoken Word, and Visual art. We welcome unsolicited submissions from all creators, regardless of national or institutional affiliation, or lack thereof. We accept submissions all year. However, submissions for each volume close on September 30th at 11:59PM PST. Any pieces submitted after, will be considered for the following volume. All contributors will receive a notification decision in December. The release of Toyon occurs in March, along with our Launch Party and Award Ceremony.

If you would like to submit to Toyon, you can do so here.

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