Get juiced

U of W creative writing journal a perfect start for new writers

Local writer Chandra Mayor says the experience of being published in Juice, the University of Winnipeg’s creative writing journal, is invaluable.

Writers, grab your pens—Juice, the University of Winnipeg’s creative writing journal, is still looking for submissions for its ninth issue.

“We like to feature recurring writers, but we’re always trying to look for new writers,” Kelly Nickie, assistant editor of Juice, said. “This is where a lot of students get their start.”

First published in September 2001, Juice showcases a range of prose, poetry, drama and creative non-fiction all by current students and recent alumni. The journal is the product of the creative minds of Mark Leggott, then head librarian at the U of W, English professor Catherine Hunter, and two student editors, Ben Benton and Michael Goertzsen.

Juice is their legacy, an ever-evolving showcase of the University of Winnipeg’s students’ creative writing talents,” said editor Ahniko Hartford, who has helped to edit the past three issues.

The first time you see your own words in print is unimaginably exciting.

Chandra Mayor, writer

Hartford said that since its creation, Juice has gone on to become an internationally recognized publication, even receiving submissions from the United States, which have had to be turned down. Because of its commitment to U of W students, Juice remains a perfect option and starting point for students interested in pursuing a career in writing.

“Emerging writers find it difficult to build a portfolio of published work,” Hartford explained. “Juice, drawing from a limited competitive pool, offers emerging creative writers an opportunity to have their first publishing credit, which will build their [resume] for their future submissions to other publications.”

Chandra Mayor, a local writer who graduated from the U of W, agrees.

“The experience is invaluable to emerging writers,” Mayor said. “The editors work with you throughout the editing process to help you improve your writing.”

Mayor, who first appeared in Juice in 2003 on the limited edition Urban Slices spoken word CD, graduated from the university in 2004 with a double degree in English and women’s studies. Aside from working at Aqua Books, she has published three books – her first, a poetry book, was released in 2002, and her latest, a collection of short stories, was released last spring.

Mayor currently sits on the advisory board of Juice, and credits the journal for building a community of writers in a competitive industry.

“For the writers who get published, it’s fabulous,” she said, noting that many credible literary journals started as university publications.

“It lets you see what other people are doing and writing. You go through the process of getting published and feel like a part of a community of writers.”

Mayor acknowledges that some may find it hard to release their work into the hands of an editor, but encourages any writers interested to submit.

“For those who are shy and are apprehensive of others editing their work, seeing [Juice] is very inspiring,” Mayor said. “The first time you see your own words in print is unimaginably exciting.”

The deadline for submissions for the next edition of Juice is Saturday, Jan. 31.

Published in Volume 63, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 22, 2009)

Related Reads