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To visit Bellingham Review

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To read some of Eleanor Wilner’s poetry first published in Bellingham Review
Call for Contest Entries! <i>Bellingham Review</i> Cover


fffff What began as a desire to start a small press and magazine thirty-three years ago has matured into a national literary journal with loyal subscribers, competitive contests and submissions from aspiring as well as established authors from around the country.
fffff Knute Skinner, founding editor of the Bellingham Review, remembers its early days.
fffff “In 1977, when the first issue surfaced, submissions were plentiful and subscriptions few. If a $2 check came for a sample copy, we celebrated,” Skinner said. “The magazine was financed from our own pockets, without grants or institutional support, and we cut expenses by doing our own collating, stapling and trimming.”
In the decades that followed, subscription sales and contest submissions helped the small press gain status as a nonprofit corporation. The press, Signpost, and its journal are now based at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
fffff What hasn’t changed through the years is the Bellingham Review’s commitment to publish “literature of palpable quality.” Past contributors include the Albert Goldbarth, Frank X. Gaspar, Erci Pankey and Eleanor Wilner.
fffff “We look for writing that is palpable, work that invites us to come closer and look deeper,” says Brenda Miller, who took over as the journal’s editor-in-chief this year. Robin Hemley had been at the helm for the past six years, transforming the small, regional journal into its current perfect-bound, glossy covered format. Hemley is the author of several works of fiction and creative nonfiction, including The Big Ear, All You Can Eat, The Last Studebaker, Nola, and Turning Life into Fiction. Hemley was instrumental in attracting submissions from writers of the highest caliber, as well as establishing protocols for the distribution of the journal nation-wide.
fffff Miller brings to her new role her experience as the nonfiction editor of Quarterly West, a literary journal produced at the University of Utah. “My particular area of interest is creative nonfiction,” says Miller, whose collection of essays, Season of the Body, is forthcoming from Sarabande Books. Miller has won numerous awards for her creative nonfiction. Current poetry and nonfiction advisors for the Bellingham Review include Suzanne Paola, Bruce Beasley and Kathleen Halme.
fffff “This is a very exciting time for the journal,” Miller says. “We’ve nominated several of our contributors for Pushcart Prizes, and one of our contributors, Donna Steiner, had her essay reprinted in the Utne Reader. It’s good to know our journal is being read and noticed.”
fffff The Bellingham Review’s 2001 literary competition runs from Jan. 5 through March 5. David Lee, Poet Laureate of Utah, will judge the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry. Award-winning author of Hunger, Lan Samantha Chang will judge the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction. Bernard Cooper, author of Truth Serum and Maps to Anywhere, will judge the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction.
fffff Winning entries will be published in the Bellingham Review. All finalists may be considered for publication. First-prize winners in each category receive $1,000. The second place award is $300 and third place is $200 in each category. Contest winners will be announced in August 2001.
fffff In addition to contest entries, the Bellingham Review, published in spring and fall, is currently accepting submissions of short stories, creative nonfiction and poetry until Feb 1.
fffff Send an SASE for complete contest and submission guidelines to: Bellingham Review, Mail Stop 9053, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225; or visit our Web site: www.wwu.edu/~bhreview.