With the upcoming fourth volume of Sábanas Literary Magazine, we thought it would be nice to go and talk to the team and see how they make this magazine come alive.
It was all started by a student with a vision to make a platform where all the writers in and out of Colegio could express themselves. Carlos Carrero went up to English Literature Professor José Irizarry in class with an idea to start a magazine, which Irizarry shut down at first because he did not want to get involved with something like that. But Carlos did not let it go, and he went to Irizarry’s office and asked again, convincing him with a clear idea of what he wanted out of the magazine which continued with a conversation of what and how they would do a it. After having a clear image of what the magazine will be and what it’ll represent, Sábanas was born, starting with their first publication in May of 2016 and going on to publish two more volumes with a fourth on their way. It’s popularity made it increase in size, with interns being recruited to help the magazine flourish along the way starting with their soon-to-be published Spring 2018 volume.
(Carlos Carrero in the first ever Open Mic from Sábanas)
Of the current group, the ones who has been there the longest, aside from Professor Irizarry, have been Carolina Cintrón and Paola Rivera. Lilian Delgado soon joined, helping the team with printing and distributing the submission deadlines and the flyers for the Open Mic that the magazine does in its launch. She also had ideas for the event and how to promote the magazine that led her to become part of the team. Currently, she handles the logistics of the Open Mic with help from Christian, adding live musicians and artisans inside the event to have a better vibe and flavor in the event. Making Sábanas not only a magazine but also an event where artists of different crafts can get together and share their passions.
(Labajura playing live music in the Anniversary Edition of Sábanas Open Mic)
As of now, the team consists of 10 people, but they started out with four. Those are: Prof. Irizarry, Lilian Delgado, Neftalí Cruz, Lourdes, Carlos Carrero, Gabriela González, Fabiola del Valle, Gretchen Rodríguez, Carolina Cintrón, and Christian Fernández. They also have a graphic designer/illustrator who has been working with them since the last volume named Neftalí Cruz. He was invited by Carolina to work with them and he just went with it, as the idea intrigued him. He is an independent professional artist working with the artwork inside the magazine, being helped by Lourdes and Gretchen. Gretchen, Fabiola, Lourdes, and Gabriela are the new interns for the magazine who’ve been invited by Prof. Irizarry. Fabiola and Carlos are in charge of the social media accounts while Lourdes, alongside them, handles the promotions for the activities and the magazine.
(Bohemia Roots delighting the crowd with their music in the Open Mic for the Sábanas Magazine Volume 2)
Sábanas is not only for UPRM alumni; they have transcended the college barriers. They call themselves “Colegio encariñao” since the idea started from a UPRM student and was done with a professor alongside other students from Colegio. Now, they get submissions from people who are not from campus, as some are in the United States and from other universities and campuses. Sábanas has become “the voice of young aspiring writers.” This new volume had a big influx of submissions from the United States from ex-alumni. Every year, the submissions grow as the magazine becomes more and more known to other writers.
The submission process for Volume 4 started in January and ended the late submission in March 4. They let the writers know if their works had been accepted via email no later than the middle of April and let them know what they had to do once accepted. The submissions are blindly reviewed by members of the team so that there are no biased opinions when the time comes to select the poems and short stories for the magazine. The editors have a rubric based on the magazine’s philosophy and goals. There is one person who is randomly selected that know the names and emails of the submitted poems, and that person is in charge of taking the names out and then putting them back on once the poem or short story has been reviewed. The concept for the page cover and back side of the book has been integral in the development of the magazine since the beginning. The Professor Irizarry is the one who takes the photos that are used for the different volumes and for the flyers and any other photo related to the magazine, with the help of some members of the team. The artistic design is their own and ties together with their concept to form a beautiful magazine holding beautiful and amazing writings.
The magazine will be available May 17, the same day as the Open Mic. It will be in La Tertulia Mi Tierra in Mayagüez at 8pm. More details on the Open Mic will be posted on their social media, so go and check it out!