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Portal Blog

Blind Statistics

The submissions are in, the team at Portal has made its decisions, and the editorial group is hard at work polishing the excellent work we received for this year’s edition. Portal takes this judging process very seriously; the creative writing community at VIU is quite small and we do not want bias interfering. What is important to Portal is showcasing the broad range of talent we have on campus..

As Acquisitions Editor, I am the only member of the editorial staff at Portal who has access to the writers of each piece as they are being considered for publication. Prior to the class’ reading, I removed the names from each piece and sorted them randomly to ensure that the team is not inclined toward one piece over another based on a personal relationship. Of course, many of the Portal editors are themselves writers and submitted, but this process meant everyone read blind.

The number of submissions from the student body at large vastly outnumbered the Portal team’s submissions: there were 66 individual submitters from outside Portal and 9 from within (14%). The 66 submitters sent 86 poems, 46 short stories, 17 pieces of short creative non-fiction, two scripts, and 43 pieces of art. The staff of the magazine submitted 14 poems, 10 short stories, a non-fiction story, two scripts, and nine pieces of art. Of the 230 submissions, 53 were selected (21%) and of these 53, 11 were from staff (21%). The two features and 6 book reviews in the issue reflect assignments for CREW 431, the fourth-year Creative Writing Portal class.

We received an impressive amount of strong work so it is disappointing we cannot facilitate the inclusion of all the submissions we’ve received as the mix of settings, themes, techniques, and genres across forms is exciting and indicative of a breadth of interests and styles.

For the 2019 edition of Portal, we strongly encourage visual artists, journalists, and screen or playwrights to submit their art, non-fiction, and scripts as Portal would like to feature these formats to a greater extent than we have been able to historically.

We hope these statistics and comments go some way to assuring our readers Portal strives to be as inclusive, fair, and as free of self-interest as possible.


Quinn Stacey, Aquisition Editor

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