A note on the submission review process:
Submissions to Rock & Sling are read by undergraduate students at Whitworth University. Materials screened with a yes are passed to genre meetings, which are led by trained student assistant editors and faculty genre editors. Pieces that move through those meetings reach monthly packet meetings where they are considered by the faculty editors and trained assistant editors.
Student editors enroll in a rigorous course in content and developmental editing and beginning in fall 2020, a training in diversity, equity, and inclusion. All faculty editors have similar training, to ensure from beginning to end our screening process is fair and equitable, and all editors and readers are aware of how their biases factor into the decision-making process.
Beginning with our summer 2020 reading period, we will also collect voluntary demographic information from all submitters, though that information will be collected and stored separate from the submission and be invisible to readers and editors during the decision-making process. The anonymous, aggregate data will be used internally to track our progress in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will be reported publicly, so that we may be accountable to our audience.
- Editor-in-chief: Thom Caraway
Thom is an associate professor in the English department at Whitworth University and teaches a variety of creative writing, literature, and publishing and editing courses. His poems have appeared in Ascent, Redivider, Smartish Pace, Sugar House Review, and elsewhere. His books include A Visitor’s Guide to North Dakota, No Secrets to Sell, and most recently, What the Sky Lacks.
The work I prefer rarely takes a single form. It is often work that blurs traditional lines, either culturally or structurally. I want the magazine to embrace complexity, to be afraid of nothing, to push our understanding of ourselves and the ways we think about literature. I like art that takes risks, but still remembers to be good art.
- Guest Poetry Editor: John Allen Taylor
- Assistant Poetry Editor: Taylor Meredith
- Nonfiction Editor: Julie Riddle
Julie is senior development writer at Whitworth University and editor of Whitworth Today magazine. She also serves as the craft-essay editor for Brevity. She is the author of a memoir, The Solace of Stones: Finding a Way through Wilderness (University of Nebraska Press). Her essay, “Shadow Animals,” appeared in The Georgia Review (the essay received a Special Mention in The Pushcart Prize XXXIX: Best of the Small Presses and was nominated for a National Magazine Award). She holds an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.
I love being part of the Rock & Sling crew as the journal’s creative-nonfiction editor. A great day is when I read a submitted essay that surprises me with fresh language and an assured voice, and that seeks to deepen a question rather than simply answer the question, and does so with honesty and authenticity.
- Fiction Editor: Jake Andrews
Jake is an assistant professor in the English Department at Whitworth University where he teaches a range of creative writing and literature courses. He was a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and before that he taught theology at universities in the U.K. His story, “Tu quoque,” won the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, and his novel, Fiat Vita, was an honorable mention in competition for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship.
I look for stories that are precisely that: stories first, whose significance, or “meaning,” only appears in retrospect, ones that make me feel something before they make me think something. For me, great stories are grounded in place, with full-blooded characters who experience the world as it is, not as it should be. Perhaps the characters are quiet, introspective; perhaps they act rather than speak or think. What I want is to forget I’m reading and be caught up in a world so real, so well imagined, that–-after finishing-–I need a moment to reorient myself to life off the page.
- Assistant Fiction Editor: Alanna Carlson
Alanna is a senior at Whitworth University, majoring in English Literature and Writing, with minors in Editing and Publishing and Medieval and Early Modern Literature. She has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book and has fond memories of her parents reading to her all through her childhood. She’ll read just about any genre, but historical fantasy and memoir hold a special place in her heart. Her idea of a perfect afternoon is curling up with a cup of tea, a good book, and her Pomeranian, Ruth(ie) Bader Ginsbark. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she’s normally practicing yoga or chasing her son around the house.
- Web Editor: Jerusha Emerson
- Managing Editor: Ann Penfield
- Assistant Managing Editor: Madisen Hampton
Madisen is a Junior at Whitworth university and is majoring in English Literature with a minor in Editing and Publishing. As a child, she always had a book in hand and was reading on the bleachers during her sister’s basketball games. Her favorite book is currently the Tradition by Jericho Brown and she enjoys finding new places in her bedroom to cram her expanding collection of books into. Madisen loves people, planning social gatherings (and getting paid to do so), and wearing bandannas for headbands. When she’s not in class or at work, she loves reading, playing games with friends, or googling answers to obscure questions.
For questions, email Madisen at mhampton22 [at] my [dot] whitworth [dot] edu.
About Whitworth University
Since 1890, Whitworth has held fast to its founding mission of providing “an education of mind and heart” through rigorous intellectual inquiry guided by dedicated Christian scholars. Recognized as one of the top regional colleges and universities in the West, Whitworth University has an enrollment of 2,700 students and offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In recent years, Whitworth has enjoyed record levels of student enrollment and retention, the strongest financial position in the university’s history, and increased external visibility.
Whitworth University’s 200-acre campus of red-brick buildings and tall pines offers a beautiful, inviting and secure learning environment. More than $83 million in campus improvements have been made over the past decade, including a new center for the visual arts, a landmark general academic building, three new residence halls and several outdoor athletics facilities.
In all of these endeavors, the university seeks to advance its founder’s mission of equipping students to “honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.”