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About Portal

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Prime words. Compelling art. Momentous beginnings. Portal is your gateway to accomplished short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, scripts, interviews, art, and photography by VIU students. Enter Portals literary universe and discover worlds and futures ready to unfold, language and images — provocative, passionate, or playful. What makes Portal so portentous? It is “of ourselves and our origins” — a contemporary portrait of literary talent in the making, a portable guide to VIu from here.

Portal is available for purchase at the VIU bookstore, and on newsstands across the country. It is also available locally at the north and south Nanaimo branches of the Vancouver Island Regional Library. Back issues are $7 respectively, while the 2018 issue is $10. Back issues from 1991 through to 2017 are also available here online as full free PDFs.

Portal is published by students in Vancouver Island University’s Creative Writing and Journalism department.

Meet the 2017 Portal Team

Megan Johnson Barr

Managing Editor

Megan Johnson Barr is one of the co-Managing Editors for the 2019 issue of Portal Magazine. Megan is a fourth year Media Studies major and Creative Writing minor  Megan is a videographer and has had her documentaries shown on Shaw T.V. and at several on-campus events.

This is her second year as part of the Portal team.

Caileigh Broatch

Managing Editor

Caileigh Broatch is a fourth-year CREW student at VIU. In 2018, she won the Pat Bevan Scholarship in Creative Writing – Fiction Award; and her short story “Shucked” received honourable mention in the Islands Short Fiction Contest. Other fictional publications include “Eden”, and “Horology”, in Portal’s 2018 issue. Her work has appeared in the Navigator and on the online magazine Incline. This is her second year at Portal.

Veronika Kas

Acquisitions Editor / Book Review Editor

Veronika is in her fourth year at VIU, pursuing a double major in Psychology and Creative Writing. It is her first time on the Portal team. She has spent her childhood split between the Czech theatre in Toronto, and many summers travelling with family in Slovakia.  In 2014 she had received an Award of Merit from the Sears Ontario Drama Festival (Peel South District) for her set design work on A Letter for Darius. Her current obsessions lie in retelling traditional folklore through a variety of mediums.

Braedan Zimmer

Fiction Editor / Copy Editor

Braedan Zimmer is a fourth year VIU student pursuing a major in Liberal Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. He received the President’s Award, a full-tuition scholarship, upon his acceptance to VIU. In 2017, he won the Meadowlark Award for Fiction and the June Jeffries Award for Liberal Studies. His Essay, “An Appeal to Moderate Patriotism,” was published in The Compass Rose in 2017and in 2018 he published a short story in Portal entitled “Giving Grief a Name.” He has been an editor for The Compass Rose for two years, and is now Fiction Editor for Portal.

Kiara Strijack

Fiction Editor / Art Director

Kiara Strijack is the Art Director and a Fiction Editor for this issue. She writes fiction and poetry, and enjoys editing and photography. She is in her third year at VIU, pursuing a major in creative writing and a minor in psychology. She has been published in The Nav, and her photography has been published in Portal. She received the Meadowlark Award for fiction in 2018. This is the first time her writing has been published in Portal.

Erinn Sturgeon

Poetry Editor / Gustafson Interviewer / Launch Coordinator

Erinn Sturgeon is a third-year English and Creative Writing double major. This is her first time on the Portal team, and she is very excited to be gaining this valuable experience in the publishing industry. She just came back from a semester abroad in England where her studies in literature solidified her passion for editing. After graduation she has her sights set on the MFA in Creative Writing program at UBC. Her accolades include winning an essay contest in Grade 5. She is this year’s feature writer for the Gustafson series, interviewing the esteemed poet Lorna Crozier.

Kain Stewart

Poetry Editor / Advertising Manager / Social Media Expert

Kain Stewart is a fourth year Vancouver Island University student studying both creative writing and English. Outside of his studies Kain is also a five time lacrosse provincial gold medal winner. He currently resides in Nanaimo B.C. but also lived abroad in Italy during the summer of 2018. His poem “Burial Rites” appears in The Navigator Newspaper in volume 50 issue 2. Kain is currently a poetry editor for Portal Magazine where he also serves as a member of both the social media and advertising teams. Kain’s writing draws experience from his past travels and various mythologies.

Darian Nickerson

Script Editor / Advertising Manager / Audio Visual Editor

Darian Nickerson is a third-year creative writing student at Vancouver Island University who hopes to achieve his BA before going on to film school in Vancouver. He has also attended creative writing classes at North Island College. None of this has done anything to help with his addiction to caffeine or his unhealthy obsession with science fiction and horror films. He is serving as script editor as well as an audio-visual editor and advertising manager for Portal Magazine.

Raymond Wade

Fiction Editor / Audio Visual Editor / Print Publicity

Raymond Wade is a creative writing student, musician and restroom critic. His blog The Latrine Scene takes an investigative approach to reviewing public bathrooms all over British Columbia. In combination with his digital media experience (MS Paint ‘95), Raymond enjoys contributing a variety of content to The Nav—often employing a comedic tone on the topics he covers.

Jade Vandergrift

Book Review Editor / Copy Editor / Launch Coordinator

Jade Vandergrift is a second-year BA student pursuing a double minor in Creative Writing and Languages & Culture. She is a book review editor, copy editor, and launch co-ordinator for Portal 2019. She previously studied Culinary Arts at TRU and has volunteered with NGOs across the globe before coming to VIU. In her spare time she is drowning in food magazines and recipe books.

Dirk Plante

Marketing and Subscription / Advertising Manager / Audio Visual Expert

Dirk works in the advertising, Audio & Visual and Marketing-Subscription department of Portal Magazine 2019. He is an upper-level student in the Bachelor’s of Art’s program, majoring in Media Studies with Creative Writing as his declared minor. Dirk’s loves working with photography, film, creative writing and visual arts and will eventually seek a career in journalism and visual media. He is originally from The Netherlands and therefor speaks both Dutch and English fluently.

Nicola Kapron

Social Media Expert / Web Editor

Nicola Kapron is a fourth-year student completing a BA in Digital Media Studies and a minor in Creative Writing at VIU.

Nicolas Ismirnioglou

Fiction Editor / Reading Series Coordinator

Nic Ismirnioglou is a Creative Writing major at Vancouver Island University. His poem “Party at the Plaza” was published in the 2018 issue of Portal. His short stories “U-Lock” and “Backstage” were published in the Navigator. An experienced Set Dresser and film and television craftsperson, Nic was the recipient of the 2018 IATSE local 891 scholarship, he was also the winner 2018 Annaliese Skoropad Award from CUPE local 1858, and the recipient of the 2017 Bill Juby Award. He is in the process of revising his first children’s book Baboo’s Marsh Adventure to submit for publication and is working on his first Youth Adult novel entitled Skinny Mike.