Irreantum contest results, new Mormon Artist and The Mormon Review

I wasn’t going to do another round up post so soon, but three big pieces of news broke over the weekend (and in to yesterday — which was still my weekend because me and the family went to the Minnesota State Fair) that deserve a mention:

1. The have been announced. Irreantum co-editor Angela Hallstrom wrote in to the AML-list and said that while winning the contest is no guarantee of publication in Irreantum, most likely most of the winners will see their work featured in the magazine. Of note, for the first time the organizers revealed the number of entries — 71 for the fiction contest and 42 for the personal essay contest.

2. There’s a new edition of Mormon Artist. It includes a fascinating feature article by Iconia blogger (and artist and critic) Menachem Wecker titled “Are scholars and museums ignoring Mormon artists?” Mormon Artist editor Ben Crowder also announced that their fiction contest results and special issue should be available soon and that Mormon Artists is moving from a bi-monthly to quarterly schedule. As we’ve come to expect, this edition of Mormon Artist features great photography and illustration. In general, the Mormon publications have stepped up their game the past few years with their visual appeal — although some could still use better design and graphics.

3. The Mormon Review, a blog/online journal devoted to cultural criticism from a Mormon perspective, launched yesterday with a look at the two versions of Battlestar Galactica by James Bennett. I like that you can download PDF versions of the file. I think it’s weak that discussion on the articles is slotted over to time Times & Seasons. I’m not sure how The Mormon Review is going to carve out its own identity when most of the publicly viewed energy is directed towards T&S.  But it’s off to a rollicking start, and it’ll be interesting to see what future articles bring us.

9 thoughts on “Irreantum contest results, new Mormon Artist and The Mormon Review”

  1. I forgot to mention that last week Lance Larsen’s poem “Santiago, Pluperfect” (hat tip to Chris Bigelow) was featured at Slate. What’s interesting is the resultant discussion of the poem in The Fray which shows a relatively respectful or at least not-hostile use of Larsen Mormonism in attempts to provide a reading of the poem.

  2. Are you forgetting how challenging it can be to monitor comments at a public Mormon site? Consider the stream of trash that populates the comment sections of online media sites that post articles about any Mormon event or issue. At its own site, The Mormon Review can focus on content and build its identity at its own site. The T&S arrangement allows for discussion while not forcing The Mormon Review into the comment management business.

  3. Thanks for the shout-out on Mormon Review

    I think that you may be right about the difficulty of carving out an identity. Dave is right, however, about the trade offs involved. The editors at MR simply don’t have the ability to police comments and create a whole new set of site norms about comments. T&S has built in policing, well-established norms, etc. MR will try to preserve its identity by keeping the actual review content housed on its own site as well as alternative distribution and content formats (i.e. the PDF delivered to the email box). It’s a set of trade offs, but hopefully one that works.

    What we really need right now, however, is additional content. If you are any of the other AMV bloggers or commenters have something you would like to review, please send it along. The goal is to create an online journal rather than another blog, so it is a chance to hash some ideas out at rather greater length than is the norm with blogs, without having to produce something as long and elaborate as say an academic journal article.

  4. Thanks for the clarifications and comments, Dave and Nate.

    And yes, I’m well aware of the challenges of monitoring comments. I had written up a long reply, but I’m not convinced that that’s going to further the conversation much so never mind. I also accept that things are going to be awkward with Mormon Studies and online scholarship/conversation over the next few years.

  5. It’s not that hard, Dave and Nate, especially for a nascent blog. Old hands like yourselves ought to be able to handle it. Simply funneling all conversations from TMR to T&S makes it seem like the new site is just a T&S offshoot, as if the cultural stuff wasn’t important enough for the T&S main page.

  6. P.S. maybe you should have waited to launch until after you had a critical mass of initial content?

  7. Well, it’s also hard to develop a critical mass of content without letting people know what you are looking for by revealing editorial decisions you have made.

    Look, I’m not interested in hashing out all things right or wrong with The Mormon Review. I think that it’s an interesting development that merits attention — thus the link to it above.

  8. Steve: Two quick points. First, The Mormon Review is not an outgrowth of Times & Seasons. It was created by Richard Bushman not T&S. Second, FWIW, the Mormon Review isn’t meant to be a blog, and those who are the moving force behind it don’t really want to run a blog. Originally, the idea was that there wouldn’t be any sort of place for comments. We actually have a bunch of content that will be going up in the next little while.

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