“The magazine is open for submission to the public,” said McCauley, professor of English and humanities. The process is competitive. “We always have more good pieces than we have room for.”
Several hundred works were submitted for the 2015 issue, which was released in April. Of those, 34 were published, McCauley said.
Students with strong backgrounds in creative writing or journalism comprise the student staff for the literary journal, along with faculty advisers.
“We look for students who are reliable and conscientious,” McCauley said. “It is not a position for someone who doesn’t like to read.”
The staff convene, score submissions, and decide together which works will be published.
“Submitting works of art is the easy part,” said Joshua Sewell, Business Administration major. The hardest part is creating the compositions.
Sewell’s narrative essay about living with Bell’s palsy was published in the 2014 edition of the journal. This year, he will join the staff as a student editor.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Tiffane Shorter, theater major and third year editor for the Absolute.”The hardest part is narrowing down submissions.”
The journal seeks a good use of storytelling elements and parallelism in the fiction and nonfiction pieces. It’s more difficult with the poems.
“It’s more about how you tell the message,” Shorter said. “It is really important that the poems have a good flow.”
Students can submit pieces of fiction, non-fiction, art, and photography into the OCCC sponsored magazine. McCauley said.
Entries are not just limited to short stories and poems, Shorter said. Drama pieces, monologues, dialogues, essays, and even song lyrics may be submitted.
Those who submit works will receive a confirmation email thanking them for their interest, McCauley said. They must wait until March to learn if their work will be published in the magazine.
Because the magazine doesn’t limit the number of submissions, McCauley recommends those who are interested in entering their writings should submit multiple stories and poems of various lengths.
Letters are mailed in March to inform selected artists and writers of their successful publication in The Absolute.
An annual reception at the end of April celebrates the release of the new edition. Some of the published authors publically read their works, and Critics Choice Awards are announced.
Last year, the magazine welcomed the OCCC Jazz Band to perform at the event, McCauley said. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Those published will be honored at the celebration and receive a free copy of the journal.
Previous issues of The Absolute are on sale in the OCCC bookstore for $5 and are available for viewing the the Keith Leftwich Memorial Library.
Those interested in submitting works into the journal can do so by clicking on “The Absolute Literary Journal” under the “Academics” tab at www.occc.edu.