A student-run journal is currently accepting both scholarly and creative submissions surrounding the topic of feminist and queer studies. “Sprinkle: an undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies” is in the early stages of its 14th volume, and is accepting submissions until Apr. 5.
Haven’t studied feminist and queer studies before? Not a problem.
Editors said that they encourage students from any academic background to submit works reflecting on contemporary matters from the past year. Some examples listed include body politics, issues faced by communities of color, Black Lives Matters and activism, sociopolitical effects of COVID-19 and environmental justice.
“Sprinkle” began in 2007 at McGill University and has since expanded to have publications not only at Cal Poly but internationally as well. While Cal Poly’s edition of “Sprinkle” began in 2013, the publication is currently on it’s 14th volume overall.
Philosophy sophomore Esme Lipton is a co-managing editor for “Sprinkle,” and she describes the journal as a way for students to explore their interests in feminist and queer theory in almost any format they choose. Last year’s volume included poems and spoken word pieces in addition to scholarly reflections in feminist and queer theory.
“We are really committed to representing an intersectional framework of feminist and queer theory through creative and scholarly submissions from students of all different backgrounds,” Lipton said.
Although the journal normally encourages submissions to reflect current events, they will be the main focus of this upcoming volume. Lipton said that she hopes to see insightful reflections of the current sociopolitical climate, the rise of activism over the past year and the lasting effects of the pandemic a year after it began.
“We want to give an applied feminist lens on every matter we’re looking at this past year,” Lipton said. “This will be by emphasizing the incorporation of feminist theory and thought on current events and matters going on in our country right now.”
The journal’s submissions page gives general guidelines on what kind of work they will accept. Written submissions must be 3,000 words or less, audio and video files less than ten minutes in length, and image files with 300 dpi minimum; the rest is up to the student’s interpretation.
“We want to see their creative side to feminist and queer theory,” Lipton said. “I think it’s something that’s really important to us to not dismiss any certain kind of submission because it doesn’t fit into this academic ideal.”
English senior Zoe Drewery is the other co-managing editor for “Sprinkle” alongside Lipton, and she said that she doesn’t want anyone to feel limited in how they express their interest in feminist and queer theory with “Sprinkle.”
“Especially since [in] academia, even feminist and queer theory, can be very whitewashed and classist, we’re trying really hard to get away from that and make sure all voices are heard, no matter where they come from or how they write,” Drewery said. “As long as we understand their ideas, we don’t care about sticking to these rigid norms that a lot of academia hold on to.”
In terms of the submissions process, Lipton and Drewery said that it’s a holistic process where the editing team discusses each submission one at a time. They use rubrics to score the work, however Drewery said they do take into account if someone shares personal stories or experiences with the topics they discuss. Drewery said they give all students feedback on their submissions, whether they’re accepted into the journal or not, and go through the process with a focus on empathy.
“We are learning with the people submitting,” Drewery said. “It’s one of those situations where everyone can have an input and that’s what’s most important. It’s just giving people a chance to share their stories basically.”
English senior Gabriella Fredericks works with “Sprinkle” on their social media presence, in addition to being a reviewer and copy editor for the publication. She said that they’ve been working to reach more people through social media to gain a wider range of voices for this volume.
Traditionally, Fredericks said that they receive submissions from people already studying subjects in liberal arts. Because of this, she said she hopes to see people with different areas of interest submit works to “Sprinkle.” She also encourages anyone thinking about submitting work to the journal to do so.
“We really want to get submissions from different people who have diverse voices in there,” Fredericks said about her hopes for the upcoming volume. “Submit something that you’re passionate about, because I feel like passion in a person’s writing goes so far.”
Submissions to “Sprinkle” can be made through the submissions tab on their Digital Commons website. More details about submission types and recommendations can also be found there, as well as general goals of the publication.
According to the co-managing editors, the 14th volume of “Sprinkle” is expected to be published around the end of spring quarter, depending on the types of submissions they receive. It will be accessible in a digital format for free through the “Sprinkle” website through Cal Poly Digital Commons.