Mona’a Malik answers questions on the forthcoming edition of the Paragon Press’ literary journal. The project, initiated by English Lit students at Memorial University seven years ago, is a breeding ground for aspiring writers and artists.

First, tell me a bit about what’s been happening with Paragon.

The Paragon has been going strong. Over the last seven years, five editions of the Paragon and two other editions by the Paragon Press (a collection of non-fiction essays and a collection of poetry) have been published.

Who is curating this issue?

[Editors] Matty Pike, Aley Waterman and myself.

How has Paragon evolved since the first issue? And what, if anything, is different about how you guys are putting it together now?

I think the creation of a literary press is definitely an ongoing process. The editors of each edition built on the knowledge base of their predecessors. Dana Evely, the previous editor, has given us plenty of advice and support. We want to make this issue unique, and while we’re learning a lot from what was given to us, we’re hoping to push the boundaries of what was done before. We’re hoping to do this with the layout and cover, as well as by getting artwork submissions for this issue. Obviously, the submissions we receive will play the largest role in how the newest Paragon turns out.

What role has Paragon played in the local literary scene?

The Paragon has been a great way for new and emerging writers to get their work out there. For many new writers, their Paragon submission becomes their first publication credit, which can lead to more publications in other magazines. It’s definitely a great idea for new writers to submit their work. We hear so many people saying that they have an idea for a story or a poem but have never taken the time to write it down and complete it. Let the April 15 submission date be your motivation for getting it done! We hope that we have a lot of first time submitters. Part of the point of Paragon is to allow new and emerging writers a place to express themselves. You don’t have to be a student at MUN or a Newfoundland and Labrador resident to submit (anyone who lives in Canada can submit), which helps promote variety.

Is there a particular theme, or anything else distinct about this issue that might be worth noting?

We have no particular themes at the moment and we would like to receive a wide variety of submissions on as many topics as possible. We want the Paragon to be exciting and eclectic.

Is there anything else you would like to say about Paragon VI?

Besides submissions people can also volunteer in areas such as editing, typesetting, cover design, media relations, planning and setting up for the Paragon launch, and distribution. Anyone who would like to volunteer can contact us at [email protected] We’re hoping to have an August launch.

Paragon Press, Memorial University’s student-run literary press, is currently accepting submissions for the sixth edition of Paragon Journal, due for release in Summer 2014. Deadline (extended to): April 22, 2014. Poetry: max. 3 pieces. Fiction/Creative Non-fiction: max. 2500 words. Artwork/Photography: max. 3 pieces. Submissions should be previously unpublished. In your Word document, include a separate cover page with the author’s name, title of submission, address, e-mail address and telephone number. Pages containing actual submission text should not include author information. Submissions will be accepted from Canadian residents only. Those selected for publication will receive a free copy of the issue in which their work appears. E-mail submissions to: [email protected]

Justin Brake (he/him) is an independent journalist from Newfoundland who currently lives on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa.