Since the first publication of Touchstones in the fall of 1997, students whose works of poetry, prose, art and photography were selected earned bragging rights, token prizes and padded resumes and grad school applications. But now, as if those weren’t enough, for a select few, regional and possibly national acclaim may be added to that list.

Touchstones is the UVU English department’s literary journal that publishes student generated poetry, prose, art and photography once a semester.

According to Heather Hadley, Touchstones‘ spring ’09 editor-in-chief, the best selections from the forthcoming issue will be submitted to other “upper tier” literary journals that compile and republish material from local journals such as Touchstones.

“Of course this is breaking new ground,” Hadley said. “But what I hope to do with my tenure as editor-in-chief is establish this thought process.”

Hadley said that the new move came from her experiencing hopes of somehow reaching a wider audience the first time her work was published in Touchstones.

“I wanted my stuff to go farther than Touchstones,” Hadley said.

According to the Hadley, the selection process for these other journals, such as Western Humanities Review and Quarterly West, both published by the University of Utah, can be painstaking. Numbers of entries per year are limited and competition runs high. But Hadley said that she considers UVU’s creative writing program to be “really strong” and now that UVU has transitioned to university status, writers the school produces should be taken more seriously.

“Maybe nothing will come of it,” Hadley said. “The whole submitting and selection process is a crap shoot, but if it doesn’t go through the process, it doesn’t get seen.”
Touchstones‘ editorial board members have marked Friday, Feb. 20 as the submission deadline for the spring 2009 issue. Application forms are available in LA 144 or online at

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