Superstition Review Issue 16 Launch

I am thrilled to announce the launch of Issue 16 of Superstition Review. This marks eight years of incredible institutional support from Arizona State University; stellar work from over 250 undergraduate students who have completed all the tasks of running the magazine; and art, fiction, interviews, nonficiton, and poetry from nearly 900 international and national contributors. Issue 16

This semester I’m particularly proud of my students for several things.

Thank you to Student Editor-in-Chief David Klose, who helped manage the new #ArtLitPhx series, which is a catalog of  Arts and Literary Events in the Phoenix area, warehoused on our Blog and Facebook pages. Through #ArtLitPhx, the SR Team gathered together at many events, such as: Mark Doty reading his poetry at the Phoenix Art Museum, Matt Bell signing copies of Scrapper at the Poisoned Pen, ASU’s MFA GALA at the ASU Art Museum, volunteering at UMOM for a Read-to-Me Night.

Thanks also to Leah Newsom, one of our two wonderful Interview Editors, who conducted three of our Interviews for Issue 16 in person during the NonfictioNOW Conference in Flagstaff. You can read the transcripts of her interviews with Daisy Hernandez, Maggie Nelson, and Sarah Einstein in the issues, and the videos will be appearing on our blog starting today.

Thanks also to Cass Murphy who began a new series for our blog called “Authors Talk,” encouraging writers and artists to talk about their work for our audience.

I hope you enjoy the issue as much as I do.

Issue 14 Is Now Live

Issue 14 Cover


a note from the editor

We have now completed seven full years of publishing Superstition Review. In those seven years we have featured over 550 artists and authors, and I have mentored over 200 students through all the steps of creating a literary magazine.

We broke all of our submissions records for this issue, which means we examined more wonderful art and writing than ever before. It’s such a privilege to look at all of the work that comes to us. Here are a few highlights from our final selections.

Our Art Editor this semester did a wonderful job curating a collection from ASU Alumni. We’re featuring work by 13 artists, all of whom earned a BFA or MFA at ASU. I find this collection to be incredibly diverse and exciting. And I’m so thankful to Melanie Yazzie for allowing us to use her painting for the cover of Issue 14.

This semester our students attended many literary events across the Phoenix area, including readings by Matt Bell, Matthew Gavin Frank, Cynthia Hogue, Peggy Shumaker, Kate Gale, Margaret Atwood, and Nikki Giovanni. We also volunteered at two events with UMOM New Day Centers.

This is still by far our largest submissions area. For Issue 14 we chose stories from 10 authors with wide-ranging backgrounds, including a former U.S. Foreign Service officer, an MFA candidate in the fiction program at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, and a member of the Committee on Asia and the Middle East at Columbia University.

We interviewed 10 authors ranging from Aimee Nezhukumatathil to Molly Antopol. Our interview process is perhaps the most intense of all the sections. Our two Interview Editors carefully read and research each author, composing a list of mostly craft-based questions. Then we spend several weeks doing more research and revisions to the questions. I’m so grateful for all the work that these students do, and to the authors and poets who respond so thoughtfully.

Here we have selected essays from seven talented authors. Settings for these essays range from Arles, to Russia, to Topeka.

We read thousands of poems during a 10 week period. For this issue we published work by 20 poets, and as you’ll see there’s a wide variety of topic, theme, and form. During our editorial meetings, the poetry editors and I had several moments when we delighted over lines and read poems out loud to each other.

So here are the well-deserved thanks:

I can’t thank my Student Editors enough for their dedication. They spend many hours reading submissions, corresponding with authors, organizing content, and designing pages and advertisements. Oh, and Tweeting, Blogging, and Facebooking too!

Thanks also to my wonderful Faculty Advisors Betsy Schneider, Claire Lauer, Kristin Lacroix, Mark Haunschild, Rebecca Byrkit, and Valerie Bandura, who contribute lots of time and energy to mentoring students.

And as always, deep thanks go to my Department Head Ian Moulton and Dean Duane Roen for their support.

Thanks also to our 60 contributors for this issue.

Patricia Colleen Murphy
Founding Editor
Superstition Review

Help Us Support Homeless Families in Phoenix


Click here to register or to donate.

In our first meeting of fall 2013, I said to the Superstition Review interns that I wanted to make outreach part of our mission. Every semester we have a group of 40 energetic, creative, and talented people. It’s a perfect base for giving back to our community. I wanted something that would link specifically to our work in literature and the arts.

That’s when my fiction editor Kevin mentioned Read to Me at UMOM. Every Tuesday volunteers spend the evening reading to the children who live in the shelter. My Student Editor-in-Chief Erin communicated with UMOM and organized our first outing. And so a group of our interns arrived at UMOM on a Tuesday that semester ready to read. I want to share my experience from that night.

The first rule of Read to Me is that the child chooses you. I had to wait a little while before someone sat beside me. Finally, a girl wandered over to my table. She was seven years old and had tight spiral curls and big brown eyes. She smiled up at me and said, “I’m Nicole.”

I said, “I’m Trish. What should we read?”

Nicole picked a colorful I Spy book. I turned to the first page and asked Nicole to read the text under the pictures. “I spy a parrot, a picture frame, and a pig,” she said. We both giggled and then studied hard to find those objects on the page.

On page two, Nicole read, “I spy a camera, a sewing machine, and a nightgown.” We were getting pretty good at finding things! Every time I found an object Nicole said, “Good job!” When Nicole found an object I said “Nice work!”

On page three, Nicole read, “I spy a bottle of glue, a lion, and a fan.” Nicole frowned for a moment and then looked up at me.

She said, “Do you think that means a Chinese fan or an electric fan?”

“You know, Nicole?” I said. “That’s a really good question.”

We went on reading and searching for objects until Nicole decided to move on to another reader. I drove home that night thinking about little Nicole. Her warm smile. Her happy attitude. Her intellectual curiosity. And how smart she was for asking the right questions.

Nicole inspired me to ask a question too. What more can I do to help?

I continue to take groups of interns to Read to Me. We’ll be there on October 14th. But we’re also so excited that at 7:30 AM on Saturday September 27th we’re going to be part of the 6th Annual UMOM Walk for Homeless Families (1K Walk & 5K Run). I hope you will join our team or donate. Here are the specifics:

In 2009, UMOM Women’s Auxiliary founded The Walk for Homeless Families to help spread community awareness about family homelessness and raise funds for UMOM. The walk is a family-friendly, fun and inspiring way to help UMOM break the cycle of homelessness.

Early-bird registration for the 1 Mile Walk and 5K Run is only $25 for adults and $20 for students until September 15, 2014. Children under 3 are free and do not need to register. All registered people, in attendance, will receive FREE admission into the zoo that day!

Event Location: The Phoenix Zoo

Event Schedule:
Registration 9/27/2014 6:30 am – 7:15 am
Walk/Run Begins 9/27/2014 7:30 am

Adult Registration: $25.00
1 Adult Registration that includes admission to The Phoenix Zoo for the day of the walk.

Student Registration: $20.00
1 Student Registration that includes admission to The Phoenix Zoo for the day of the walk

Letter from the Editor

Issue 13

This morning at breakfast I did a little math. Those of you who know me understand that this is not good. Whenever I do math I get “math face.” Then I rifle through my purse for a calculator. Then I throw up my hands and quit.

But this morning I stuck with it, and here are some of the sums I managed: 13 Issues, 6.5 years, over 500 international artists and writers, 220 student editors, 822 blog posts, 5536 tweets. What an overwhelming privilege it has been to create this beautiful thing. And also to interact with talented people I admire; to meet with students and train them to read poems and html, to Tweet and to blog, to correspond with authors, to read other lit mags.

I’ve said before that my main goal with this magazine is to be a “literary ambassador.” I love that term, and I love that life, and I especially enjoy passing on that value to students. To that end, here is what we’ve done this semester:

1. We have published 60 artists/authors we admire in a beautiful format that is free.

2. We have shared literary news and ideas (and job ads!) across our social networks.

3. We have encouraged our community to subscribe to and read other literary magazines.

4. We have attended literary events in our town and at AWP in Seattle.

5. We have given back to our community in ways that enhance literacy and the arts. This year we did that three ways: a collaboration with the Creative Writing class at Combs High School, volunteering with Free Arts Arizona, and volunteering with UMOM’s Read to Me Program.

Putting together this issue was a true joy. I’ll comment on just a few things.

Our cover is by New York painter Melinda Hackett. I solicited art from her after seeing her work on the cover of Post Road. I really enjoy her use of color and whimsical shapes. This issue features 10 artists from across the country and in a variety of media: from glass sculpture to photography to acrylics. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I do.

Melissa Pritchard is our featured reader for this semester and I’m so pleased to have her. If anyone is a literary ambassador it is her! I admire her as a person as much as I admire her writing.

This is our largest submission area, so we did a lot (I mean a lot) of reading. Sometimes in a reading period we’ll get 5 stories in a row narrated in past tense by a 25 year old male. It can be strange there in Submittable, as if someone spread the word that we want a particular type of piece. We don’t. We don’t run themes and we don’t even like to repeat much. The 10 pieces we chose represent what we felt was the best variety of topic, theme, and form. We tried to find a mix of traditional and experimental stories.

We interviewed 10 authors ranging from Roxane Gay to Meg Wolitzer. Our interview process is perhaps the most intense of all the sections. Our two Interview Editors (always undergrads, usually English Lit Majors) carefully read and research each author, composing 20 mostly craft-based questions. Then we spend several weeks doing more research and revisions to the questions. I’m so grateful for all the work that these students do, and to the authors and poets who respond so thoughtfully.

At AWP this year I got a lot of questions about our nonfiction section. We get the fewest number of submissions here, and I would say the highest number of submissions that miss the mark of our editorial preferences. So what is our aesthetic? I would call it lyric, non-linear, and as I said a few times to authors at the conference, “strange.” We like an essay to surprise and delight as much as a poem does.

We get a ton of poetry submissions too, and since we take 4 poems per submission, we end up reading thousands of poems during a 10 week period. For this issue we published work by 20 poets, and as you’ll see there’s a wide variety of topic, theme, and form there.

So here are the well-deserved thanks (cue music): I can’t thank my Student Editors enough for their dedication. They spend many hours reading submissions, corresponding with authors, organizing content, and designing pages and advertisements. Oh, and Tweeting, Blogging, and Facebooking too!

Thanks also to my Faculty Advisors who contribute lots of time and energy to mentoring students.

And as always, deep thanks go to my Department Head Ian Moulton and Dean Duane Roen for their support.

Thanks also to our 60 contributors for this issue. I hope you enjoy the magazine.

Summer Interns, Fall Trainees

Superstition ReviewCall for Summer Interns and Fall Trainees, Superstition Review 

Are you interested in the field of publishing? Do you wish you could get marketable job skills while earning college credit? Do you like to have a little fun while you learn? Then an internship with Superstition Review is right for you. We are currently accepting applications for Interns in Summer Session A and Summer Session B, and Trainees for Fall Session C. All work is done completely online through Blackboard, Google Docs, Skype, and email. I welcome interns from all fields, but especially from creative writing, literature, web design, art, music, film, and business.

Superstition Review has published 10 issues featuring over 500 contributors from around the country. Each spring and fall we take submissions from established and emerging writers and produce an issue full of dynamic Art, Fiction, Interviews, Nonfiction, and Poetry.

Summer 2013 Internship

Students will register for a 3 credit ENG 484 course in Summer 2013 (there are two sessions: A=May & June and B=July & August). Students will gain experience with the processes and practices of a national literary publication. While we don’t produce an issue in the summer, we do maintain an active presence on our Blog, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, iTunes, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter accounts.

Application for Summer Interns.

Fall 2013 Trainees

I am seeking trainees for the online literary magazine Superstition Review. Trainees will register for a 3 credit hour ENG 394 course in Fall 2013. The course will offer a study of the field of literary magazines; it will introduce students to the processes and practices of a national literary publication, and it will include review and reading of contemporary art and literature. Students will be encouraged to create their own literary brand that will help make them more marketable for publishing jobs. Upon successful completion of ENG 394, trainees will enroll in ENG 484 in Spring 2014 and become active interns with the magazine.

Application for Fall Trainees.

What Former Interns Say:

  • Trish provided valuable experience in my field of interest that is not offered anywhere else. This class has been a huge eye-opener for me and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the publishing and editing industry before graduating. The skills I learned have given me a huge amount of confidence as I begin my search for a job, and I’m so glad this course was available. Trish is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and very trusting of her students. Although all the work for SR goes through her, she allows for students to take some control and engage in the work fully. Thanks for the wonderful experience!
  • I really enjoyed this course and found it to be one of my favorites taken so far at ASU. I feel like the instructor taught me a lot and really challenged me. The class was well structured and I always felt as though I knew what was expected of me, but what I like was that within the structured assignments there was a lot of room for me to work independently and complete assignments in my own way. I would recommend this course and others by this instructor to friends.
  • Trish is extremely personable and is great at making people feel welcomed and she listens very well to her students.
  • Trish is extremely accessible and welcoming. I felt very comfortable coming to her with questions, even if they seem stupid. I feel I got a great internship experience that will help me post graduation.
  • Very organized, and even though it was an online class, the instructor was always willing and available and kept in contact through email.
  • I was able to learn so much about publishing, editing, and running a magazine. There were always tasks that could be completed that were never regarded as busywork. Patricia is very knowledgeable, friendly, respectful, and encouraging. She truly values the work of her students and her students themselves just as much, if not more, as we value her teaching and her.
  • Very personable and involved with the students as to what is going on in their academic and personal lives.
  • Trish is very knowledgeable in what she does. She’s technologically savvy, and very educated in literature and the arts, as well as aware of current happenings in the modern literature and art world.

Applications are open January 31 and will be accepted until positions are filled.

Please follow us on all of our social networks:


Pushcart Prize Nominees

Superstition ReviewWhile we’re celebrating the launch of Issue 10, we thought we’d announce our 2012 Pushcart Nominees. Congratulations, and good luck.

Kamilah Aisha Moon, Nonfiction, “Riker’s Island Writers Workshop” Issue 10 Fall 2012

John Gist, Nonfiction, “Zen on the Rez” Issue 9 Spring 2012

Mary Sojourner, Fiction, “El’s Full of Beautiful People” Issue 10 Fall 2012

Allyson Stack, Fiction, “The Front” Issue 9 Spring 2012

Suzanne Marie Hopcroft, Poetry, “Errata” Issue 9 Spring 2012

Erin Elizabeth Smith, Poetry, “Fables” Issue 10 Spring 2012

Issue 10 Launch

Superstition Review

I am thrilled to announce the launch of Issue 10 of Superstition Review. This marks our 10th semester, our five year anniversary, and a host of new designs and new developments.

This was also the first semester of our new format for the magazine internship program. My job was to manage two groups of interns: a set of trainees enrolled in a 300 level course, and a set of interns enrolled in a 400 level course. Together, all 38 interns this semester contributed to the exciting work and redesign of the magazine. And Graphic Designer Crystal Slater and Web Developer Tyler Kilbourne were an absolutely amazing team to work with on the redesign.

We’re featuring 10 artists, 10 fiction writers, seven interviews, nine nonfiction writers, and 20 poets. The section editors, faculty advisors and I met every week on Skype to discuss the submissions. We were honored to look at so much wonderful work and we really hope you enjoy reading it.

Fall Submissions Period September and October

The editors and I met this week to discuss the reading process for fall and we’re all very excited to start viewing submissions. You can send Art, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry to our Submittable account at

I’d also like to tell you about the exciting changes this year at Superstition Review.

First of all, my job at ASU has changed so that my focus is on the magazine. All of those semesters of teaching two creative writing classes on top of being managing editor? Gone. I now work full time managing the editorial process of the magazine and mentoring 40 students a semester.

Another change is that we’ve made the internship a 1-year commitment. Students will be required to take a 300 level 3 credit hour training class that will make them eligible to take the 400 level 3 credit hour internship. I’m most excited about this change since it will give me the opportunity to show students all of the details of the editorial process. They will be better prepared and will gain valuable skills in literary publishing.

And the changes continue. We have a new iTunes U Channel where each Tuesday we will be posting podcasts of SR contributors reading their work. You can subscribe to it here, and enjoy our first three podcasts of the series: Many thanks to John Martinson, who initiated the Channel as his summer project.

We also have expanded our presence on social networks. We’ll be blogging every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and we will update content daily across our other networks. We have a cool new Tumblr page built by our nonfiction editor Harrison Gearns.


And finally, to celebrate our 5th Anniversary, we are doing a total redesign of the magazine for Issue 10. We’re giving the site a fresh, modern look and we’re migrating all of the content to Drupal. We’re happy to access all of the robust navigation tools that will make it easier for our readers to browse through our 500+ contributor pages.

So we hope you’ll: submit your Art, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry; subscribe to this blog where we’ll post editorial updates and literary news; and subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes U. We’re looking forward to an exciting fall and we sure hope you’ll join us.

Note from the Editor

Founding Editor Trish Murphy and Poetry Editor Emily Beckley  










As most of you know, I started Superstition Review because I wanted my writing students to gain practical experience with a literary magazine before going off into the working world or on to graduate school. I wanted to teach students to correspond with authors, meet deadlines, make editorial decisions, design websites, organize events, and advertise through email, Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

This week marks the launch of Issue 7 of Superstition Review, which gives me occasion to look back on those goals I had when I first started the magazine. In seven semesters I have mentored 95 students, many of whom have gone on to jobs in publishing, or spots in grad school, or teaching careers.

Recently I had the opportunity to do one of my favorite things: act as a reference for a former intern. “Oh I’m going to make your job easy,” I said to the hiring manager. “Throw away all the other applications because you need to hire my student.” I backed that recommendation up with a story about a task the student accomplished despite my complete inability to tell her how to do it. My interns work hard. They earn their 3 credit hours. And they earn their glowing recommendations from me as well.

I have now had seven semesters of managing students as we put together each issue in only 14 weeks, and it occurs to me that while I was training my students to run a magazine I was getting a crash course in mentoring. Trust me when I say for certain that putting together Issue 7 was 95% easier than putting together Issue 1. We’ve passed a learning curve. And I think you’ll agree that it shows in what we do.

I hope you enjoy the new work of 48 artists and authors in our Issue 7. And please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a job waiting for one of my student interns.