Meet Joypuke, Mt. A’s newest undergraduate literary journal.
Last month, Mount Allison’s student-run publishing company, Underbridge Press, announced its latest project, Joypuke, an annual literary journal for fiction and creative non-fiction. With submissions open until May 20, Underbridge Press intends to have the first issue of Joypuke ready for sale by next fall. The publishing house hopes the journal’s name will aid in its launch. “The title is very much [intended] to grab people’s attention,” admitted Elijah Teitelbaum, President of Underbridge Press.
While submissions have been open for only a few weeks, Underbridge Press’s announcement of Joypuke has already garnered a response from students and a variety of works have already been received, including “stories, poetry, and a small graphic story!” said Joypuke’s editor, Alexandra Francioni. Teitelbaum said Joypuke (much like Underbridge Press itself) is designed to publish a variety of works, with few stylistic limitations.
“Our mission statement, as it stands, is to facilitate student publishing at Mt. A. We put a lot of emphasis on accessibility, because we believe there is a lot of quality work that is being produced at the university level that is being passed over, or that is not able to get out there, and so we have set ourselves up as the means of getting things published that deserve it,” Teitelbaum said, noting that securing an agent or a publisher is much easier once an author has published work.
The press release from Underbridge declared the importance of publishing shorter works to budding authors; Teitelbaum said Joypuke will be able to publish student literary works that fall outside the criteria of Mt. A’s existing literary journal, 7 Mondays. His intention is for Joypuke to complement 7 Mondays by accepting different works and writing styles, and by publishing at a different point in the year. Underbridge Press hopes Joypuke will allow for a plurality of voices in student literary publications on campus. “I think that 7 Mondays is a valuable publication on campus … [but] one of the reasons we started Joypuke was because we do not want a monopoly of a [single] journal on campus,” Teitelbaum said.
The idea of Joypuke germinated earlier in 2013, after Underbridge Press published Mt. A student Taylor Losier’s Ragged. The publishing house sought a longer-term publishing commitment when its involvement with Ragged dropped to marketing and sales after the comparatively intensive period of preparing Losier’s book for publication.
Underbridge’s members perform multiple roles in the publication process, from editing content, to layout, to creating a working business model for the publisher. “It gets so complicated, because we promote fluidity,” Teitelbaum said, “since we see ourselves also as an educational organization for people looking to get involved in publishing.” By his estimate, five or six members of the publishing house will be involved in editing and publishing Joypuke, which complies with their mission to provide a realistic opportunity for involvement in publishing.