Call for Submissions and On Hybrids

The Aonian is officially announcing its call for submissions for the 2014-15 school year! If you are a current Hendrix College student who wishes to share your writing and/or art with the rest of your campus (and the world), this is the perfect opportunity. We accept poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art. Visit our submission guidelines page for more specific information. The deadline for submission for the fall semester is December 5th. (If you don’t think you’ll be ready to submit by then, don’t worry, we will have another submission deadline in the spring semester.)

Those of you familiar with the Aonian might notice that we no longer have hybrids as one of our main genres anymore. Those of you not so familiar with the magazine might be wondering “What is a hybrid and what does it have to do with literature?” The term “literary hybrid” has always been a fairly enigmatic (if not vague) descriptor to me and I have stumbled a couple times explaining it to people who ask what it is. My basic understanding of it (especially in the context of the Aonian) usually comes down to this: a piece of writing that isn’t entirely poetry or entirely prose, but somehow eschews the boundary between the two. This definition, of course, is a rather narrow one. A literary hybrid might also include elements of drama, visual art, typography or more. But in my experience with the hybrids categorymost hybrid pieces in the magazine over the years usually are prose poems or pieces of flash fiction. While both are experimental forms that often break the conventions of poetry or fiction, I didn’t feel as though these works necessarily needed their own category. Since, at the end of the day, what is a prose poem if not a poem? And isn’t a piece of flash fiction still a work of fiction nonetheless?

Before this year, the Aonian‘s literary categories have been prose, poetry, and hybrids. Now with the retirement of the hybrid category, the prose category has been split into fiction and nonfiction. This makes sense to me seeing as though most (if not all) literary magazines across the country have submission categories for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Besides, with so many writing classes on the essay and creative nonfiction offered this year at Hendrix, there is a large pool of work being produced by students that could potentially find its way into the magazine.  Does this mean that hybrids are no longer accepted for submission? No, not at all! Hybrid pieces are still very much welcome and encouraged. We only ask you to submit them under either prose, fiction, or even nonfiction depending on its subject matter, form, and how you want to present it. You could also possibly submit a hybrid in the visual arts category if your piece works on a visual level beyond words on a page, such as photographs of a poem written on a leaf or a story written on someone’s back. The possibilities with hybrids are wide and exciting and we encourage you to explore.

If you have any thoughts about literary hybrids in general or the revision of the submission categories, feel free to comment below. You might also be interested in this article on hybrid novels by Eve Tandoi on the Cambridge Children’s Literature Students’ Blog.

–Carl Napolitano, 2014-15 Aonian Editor-in-chief