When new projects begin, decisions have to be made. For The Tunnels, these decisions aren’t permanent, but instead are decided every semester at NAU, as a new group of undergraduates find themselves at the head of the magazine.
For the inaugural student-run issue of The Tunnels (Issue 2), one of the first decisions discussed in class was whether or not submissions were going to be read anonymously. In the world of literary publishing, anonymous submissions are simply not the norm. Occasionally, a standout magazine will come across a good gimmick to justify anonymous submissions, like The James Franco Review, where all submissions are read under the assumption that the titular actor himself had submitted it. The reality is that many magazines put a lot of consideration into who they are publishing, alongside the what.
At The Tunnels however, the size and makeup of our submission pool and our editors put us in a unique position. Most of our submitters are our peers, classmates, or friends. They might submit stories we fell in love with during a workshop in our Intro to Fiction classes, or we might receive an incredible essay from that annoying guy who talks too much in Chaucer. With relatively little debate, the class agreed that anonymous reading allows us to offer every work we come across the fairest shot at making it into the magazine. We wanted to make sure that we were accepting you for what you wrote, not who you are. In case you feel like the editors at The Tunnels ought to know something of the who about you when reading your submissions, we decided an optional bio attached to the cover letter would be allowed, no names included of course.
It almost goes without saying that once we accept your submissions for publication, we’ll make sure you get the credit and recognition of being a published author, dropping anonymity unless otherwise directed. Whoever you are (or aren’t), we are looking forward to your submissions.
Tunnel Vision is a column where we explore the behind-the-scenes magazine making and breaking process for the benefit of the submitting public.