Subnivean Awards event on April 13 will feature star judges and writing finalists

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Daniel “Lemony Snicket” Handler and American Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera will appear as judges in a live Subnivean virtual party celebrating the student-run publishing writing award finalists at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, via Zoom.

the Subnivean The awards ceremony, held virtually via Zoom, has no admission and application fees online registration via this link.

Handler is the author of the popular “A Series of Unfortunate Events” book series that has received both a film and television adaptation.

Herrera was named American Poet Laureate in 2015 and currently serves on the Board of Chancellors of American Poets.

This will be the first time these writers have interacted, which offers the potential for engaging and in-depth discussion, organizers said. A reading of this year’s finalists will follow this meeting of literary giants.

This year’s finalists Subnivean Rewards are Avtar Singh, Alicia Rebecca Myers, Zach Swiss, Artemisio Romero Y Carver, Melissa Brown, Moni Brar and Lauren Holguin.

Based in classes taught by Soma Mei Sheng Frazier from the Faculty of English and Creative Writing, Subnivean became internationally known, receiving submissions from over 50 countries, including recent entries from Brazil, Myanmar and Ukraine. They received submissions from every state in the United States except North Dakota.

Subnivean also won its share of praise in its relatively short lifespan. Last year, the magazine was one of four finalists for the 2021 Community of Magazines and Book Press Firecracker Awards in the Magazines: Best Debut category.

As for the upcoming virtual event, student co-editors Mads Pearson and Julia Browne expressed excitement about the quality of attendees, hoping that Subnivean would also be able to draw on an increasingly diverse pool of judges at future ceremonies.

What are they looking for in submissions? “I mainly look for whether I’m attracted to or affected by the work,” Pearson said, adding that if a piece seems to lack emotional hook, then they and Subnivean readers might lose interest in what’s being expressed.

Online Benefits

They also talked about the benefits of being a publication that largely operates online, as it allows the team to see and browse more submissions than if they were just sticking to in-person discussions and meetings.

This online approach offers the opportunity to capture more diverse voices. “Someone outside of our familiar realm might see a different kind of beauty in a room that might have been overlooked due to our lack of understanding,” Browne pointed out.

Browne reinforced this sentiment by referring to the current conflict in Ukraine and how Subnivean had received a submission from a Ukrainian citizen.

“There is something powerful about showcasing the work of a Ukrainian author who can give the world insight into their struggles and experiences and can allow their voice to be heard,” Browne said. She added that spreading the ideas of these communities and countries in crisis is a necessity as it helps those outside to at least try to understand their situation.

Recently some of Subniveanis present and past collaborators – alumni Shannon Sutorius and Pamela Toussaint, current Edward Sourby and Frazier students – presented at the Writers Association Conference and Writing Programs in Philadelphia. Their session,Total Strangers: Undergrads, Authors, Editors on Amplifying International Voices,” also featured award-winning author Arisa White, a Subnivean contributor. Although the event was described as overwhelming, due to the typical attendance of around 12,000 people, presenters still found it a positive experience.

For more information on Subniveanto learn more about the awards or to see some of his many literary pieces, visit subnivean.org.

— Written by Bryce Levac of the Class of 2023

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