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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

By Natalia Petkovich, Fiction Editor, Ivory Tower

This is an exciting time of the year for the staff at Ivory Tower: We're moving into the final stage of magazine production and the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. We recently finished the intense process of choosing all of the literary pieces and works of art that will appear in our magazine. Now, we just need to finalize the layout and send it off to the printer. I'm thrilled to see our final product. More than just thrilled: ecstatic, delighted, giddy, really any kind of adjective that expresses excitement and joy. I know that the rest of the staff feels the same way. Are you thinking that we're getting too excited about a simple magazine? Well, keep in mind that this magazine is something that the staff has been diligently working on for the whole school year. On the first day of class, we went around the room and everyone said that they were interested in careers in publishing. We knew that Ivory Tower would be a first step into the publishing world, and a class that would give us the unique opportunity create something special. After all of these months, our hard work is soon going to become a reality. I imagine that it will be somewhat of an emotional experience holding a physical copy of our magazine and knowing that it's going to be in the hands and hearts of many other people. It will be a bittersweet moment as well, because by the time we receive copies of our magazine, the class will be coming to an end.

Anyway, I don't want to start getting too sappy, so I want to end this post with a pitch for our launch party. It'll be at The Whole Music Club on April 24 at 7 p.m. We'll have refreshments, author readings, free copies of our magazine, and overall good company--mark your calendars and invite your friends, because it will be a swell time!


Ivory Tower 2009 cover imageDearest Dearies,

What a truly wonderful year. I can't help but sniffle a bit when I think that it is over for the 2009 staff. For the new staff coming in, welcome--you will have the time of your life. For all of you writers who were published, this is beginning of your long climb toward [sic] egotisticality. For those of you who submitted, but were not included in our print issue, I want to thank you for your submissions also. I have to say that the work we received this year was a really tough batch to decipher. There were a number of great submissions, and a few of us took to pouting when our favorites were not selected. Verdict: keep writing, keep submitting, don't stop--your words are inspiring. We really look forward to seeing your names again next year.

As for you crazies out there, those of you who put some of that sweet greenback dollar bill lovin' into our Not-for-Profit account, I send a resounding THANK YOU! Because of people like you, who care about the future of our undergraduate literary community, more emerging writers will have a chance to get their foot in the door. What's more, students like me will get to experience and learn crucial skills that will really help them be active members of the professional community--this means even more than just the lit community, but a wider community that needs entry level employees who know how to fundraise, write letters, work in a team environment, and meet goals.
This whole Ivory Tower thing is for you, too.

I must also say that I have made many friends and enjoyed every minute of this process, even on those late nights scrambling to get designs in order, or pieces edited. We had a really good run, and I think that much is due to our fearless advisor, Terri Sutton. You will be missed. Thank you for being awesome.

Finally, I want to send a shout to significant others, family, friends, readers, supporters, and even those few who felt compelled to start competing literary magazines. We could not have done this without you. Thank you.

I am going to miss all of the warm and frustrating moments we had.

Until next time, Ivory Tower, stay free and super-interesting to read and don't forget to wear your jacket on those rainy days and brush your teeth and don't let anyone tell you they don't think you're pretty and stay in school.


Dixon Bordiano
Co-Editor in Chief

P.S. Good luck Shantha!

Ivory Tower on Radio K

Ivory Tower managing editor Derek Swart and nonfiction/special content editor Jenna Beyer were guests of Radio K's Minnesota Notebook on May 10. Beyer and Swart talk about the process of selecting work from the 800 submissions of 2008-09 and about the year-long class which produces Ivory Tower, ENGL3711/3713. (Their segment begins about 33:41 into the show.)

Launch Party

Hey guys! To celebrate the release of this year's Ivory Tower, we're throwing a party!

Saturday, May 9th
7:00 pm, program begins at 7:30
Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union

Come enjoy some food and Lucy Michelle will be playing! Hope to see you there!

On The Edge

It’s April now, and we’ve somehow finished most of what we set out to do as a literary magazine. We have edited the pants off of the rough copy of the Ivory Tower (multiple times) and given it a kiss and sent it off to the printer in Wisconsin. It looks great, and we now have to wait a few weeks to receive the copies we’ll distribute on campus. So we study literary magazines while we wait. It has been interesting to observe how literary magazines have changed (or in some cases, stayed the same) through the years, and how they can be barometers for the times during which they were published.

We’re also working on planning our launch party. We’ve found a location in Coffman and are looking into finding some delicious food and décor for our shindig. Lucy Michelle (from Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapels) will be playing, and we’re excited to have her. It’s going to be an awesome event, and we’re hoping lots of people will show up for it! Hope to see YOU there!

Kate Carpenter
Poetry Editor


Part of our launch party program (which is May 9th!) will be to present an award to the submitter of the top piece in each genre. Our magazine includes poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art and special content--music, comics, etc.

Our poetry judge is Todd Boss. Check him out at . He has recently written a book of poetry called Yellowrocket which I bought immediately after having heard him read from it. It is published by Norton, which is a pretty big deal and he lives in Minneapolis! He does readings with other poets once a month at Nina's Coffee Cafe too--go check it out.

Our fiction judge is Lin Enger. He recently wrote a book called Undiscovered Country and has also co-written a number of mystery novels. He is a U of M grad and now teaches creative writing at Moorhead. His website is .

Our non-fiction judge is Brad Listi. He has a best-selling book out called Attention. Deficit. Disorder. His website,, is a lot of fun to check out. He also founded the online literary community and publication which features writers from around the world.

Our special content judge is Laurie Lindeen. She was the front-woman of the band Zuzu's Petals and wrote a memoir called Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story. She read part of it for us at our last workshop (another one tomorrow!) which she did a wonderful job of leading. Her website is

We still haven't found an art judge but we're looking very hard for someone very awesome.

Look out for more information on our launch party and make sure you come!

Evy Bround
Marketing and Public Relations Director

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