UMass English Society to publish annual ‘Jabberwocky’

By Vickie Palmatier

The English Society will publish its annual literary journal, Jabberwocky, the official undergraduate literary journal at the University of Massachusetts, later this week.

Jabberwocky, titled after a Lewis Carroll poem by the same name, is entirely student-run. Editors work on publicity, deciding which submissions get published, calling meetings, establishing criteria for judging submissions and the printing and release of the work.

“We do the layouts, we do the selections,” said Amanda Robinson, junior English major and Editor-in-Chief at Jabberwocky.

What sets Jabberwocky apart from typical literary publications is that its form completely changes every year it is published.

“Over the past five years, you’ll see noticeable differences in selectivity and publication. It’s been forty pages and appears to publish everything they received, and it’s also been extremely selective and only included eight poems,” said Patrick Prendergast, junior English major and Nonfiction Editor at Jabberwocky.

This year, Robinson said the length will be somewhere in the middle. Editors allowed a lot of flexibility for writers with seven pages of submission space.

“This year, as far as criteria for submitting, we gave people a lot of space,” said Robinson. “We’ve given them seven pages to do whatever they wanted. They can submit any combination of poetry, essays, short stories, fiction, what they see fit. That’s quite a lot for a literary magazine.”

Jabberwocky has been picking up a lot of speed and growing rapidly. Next year, the editors aspire to publish a journal that could compete for awards across the United States.

“Over the past five years we’ve seen the journal progress and get better and better,” said Pendergrast. We’re looking to take it to the national level competitively next year.”

Students have been extremely receptive of the journal in the past and the editors are thrilled about its release this week, according to Pendergrast.

“Jabberwocky is a really, really exciting publication on campus because it is a way for students to express themselves in the literary world. It’s a wacky publication, it’s gone through many permutations, and yet it’s very resound because throughout all of the artistic transformations it’s gone through it’s always been created by and for the students,” said Prendergast.

While the deadline for submission is closed, copies of Jabberwocky are free of charge and will be distributed to Franklin Dining Common and various dorms. Copies can also be found in the undergraduate English office on the second floor of Bartlett Hall. All writers of any skill level are strongly encouraged to submit work next year.

Vickie Palmatier can be reached at [email protected].