Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Gettysburg Review to close

By Steve Weddle

Over the years, I've read many good things in literary journals, particularly those coming out of colleges and universities.

Among the best, for decades, has been The Gettysburg Review

The quarterly magazine was founded in 1988, coming out of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. 

From their site:

Since its debut in 1988, work by such luminaries as E. L. Doctorow, Rita Dove, James Tate, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wilbur, and Donald Hall has appeared alongside that of emerging artists such as JM Holmes, Lydia Conklin, Jessica Hollander, Emily Nemens, Charles Yu, and Ashley Wurzbacher, who was recently named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree.

More than one-hundred short stories, poems, and essays first published in the Gettysburg Review have been reprinted in the various prize anthologies—The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, The Best American Poetry, Essays, Mystery Stories, Travel Writing, and Short Stories, New Stories from the South, as well as Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards—or have reappeared in such esteemed publications as Harper’s. In addition, the Gettysburg Review’s editing, design, and graphics have earned numerous prizes, including a Best New Journal award and four Best Journal Design awards from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, and a PEN/Nora Magid Award for Excellence in Editing.

The school's president and the provost issued this letter:

In response, Mark Drew, the current editor, posted this one the journal's website:

Dear Contributors, Subscribers, and Supporters of Literature,

After thirty-five years of editorial and publishing excellence, the president of Gettysburg College has decided to end the Gettysburg Review. Lauren and I are understandably devastated. We have been offered a rationale for this decision, but it’s frankly one that neither Lauren nor I understand or accept. It was made clear to us that they know little about who we are, what we do, and what our value is, and could be, to the Gettysburg College campus. We encourage you to reach out to the college’s president, Bob Iuliano, and provost, Jamila Bookwalla. Tell them what you think of this decision and the merits of publishing great literature.

(717) 337 - 6010                      (717) 337 - 6820

We will be publishing one more issue, then doors will officially be closed. Subscribers will receive pro-rated refunds for whatever remains of their subscriptions. For those authors who still have unread material in our Submittable queue, we will request that the college refund the $3.00 submission fee, but honoring that will be up to them, since we will no longer be employed here. Unfortunately, I do not at this time have a clear sense on when those refunds will be issued, but certainly not until after the new year. As for us, heartbroken as we are, we would love to hear about what the Gettysburg Review has meant to you. Please send condolences, anecdotes, and other stray and helpful thoughts to Lauren and me, and if we can, we will share them on our site and social media channels.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Drew, Editor

This was posted on the magazine's social media on October 4:

While there is much going on at Gettysburg College that we're not privy to, one thing is very clear:

A world without The Gettysburg Review is a world diminished. 


pattinase (abbott) said...

For anyone outside of Pennsylvania, the only way they would have ever heard of Gettysburg College is through the Gettysburg Review. Could it really be that costly. Although a good reminder to us to support the literary journals we want to survive.

Steve Weddle said...

Excellent point, Patti

Anonymous said...

Instead of trying to find a solution with the editors, they decide to ax the whole thing? There seems to be no real appreciation for the magazine or its editors here. I feel for them. You think you're working for a college all these years only to find out that it's just another soulless corporation.