English and writing department remember 25 years of BC Review

Photo by Casey French

Christopher Braunschweig
Managing Editor

In a few months, the English and writing department at Briar Cliff University will celebrate the 25th issue of the Briar Cliff Review, a national literary magazine that began its debut in 1989.

Tricia Currans-Sheehan, editor of the BC Review, remembers the transformation of the magazine. The first issue was printed in black and white and mostly received local submissions. The newest edition is color printed and accepts hundreds of nationwide submissions, one of which is awarded a $1,000 prize. 

“[It] started small and just kept growing and growing,” says Currans-Sheehan. Now the BC Review receives hundreds of submissions every year and is a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, an independent publisher.

Jeanne Emmons, poetry editor, says with all the success the magazine has received through the years “it was not as beautiful a magazine as it is now.

“We did not have color,” says Emmons, “We did not get a lot of submissions [and] we had to work hard at getting the magazine well known enough among writers.”

During the magazine's early days, Currans-Sheehan and Emmons had to submit their own stories and poems because they lacked the amount of stories the magazine has today.  Currans-Sheehan was only given $3,500, which she says was “not a lot” of money to make a magazine.

But Currans-Sheehan says she knew what she wanted too see in the BC Review, having submitted her own stories to other literary magazines. And after 10 years the BC Review changed itself from a college magazine to a nationally known magazine and has stayed that way ever since.

Emmons says the Review's success is all thanks to one person.

“Tricia Currans-Sheehan is the mover and shaker of the magazine,” Emmons says.  “It is as if each year she is pushing to do something more and beyond.”

One aspect Currans-Sheehan has pushed for is the art featured in the magazine to be displayed in the Sioux City Art Center for a few months.  

After all the effort being thrown into the magazine for 25 years, Currans-Sheehan says she knows what she is doing but it does not get any easier. However, she always looks forward to the next submissions.

“The excitement of when you start in the fall… We get to make something and I think that is what is so fun.”


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Submitted by kulzerm on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 18:32

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