Although it looks very much like a trade paperback book, Spec-Lit bills itself as a magazine. It was created expressly as an outlet for stories written for Columbia College Chicago's Science Fiction writing class, taught by Ms Eisenstein. As such only people associated with the college need submit work.
Ms. Eisenstein was concerned when she realized most of stories written by her students were forgotten when the students finished her course. Few, if any, of the students chose to pursue writing careers. That is a lamentable state since the stories presented in Spec-Lit are every bit as well written and enjoyable as the work being cranked out by many professionals.
Hopefully this exposure will encourage these authors to write more. I suspect many colleges and universities have a similar treasure trove of unknown stories and authors. Is this project by Columbia College Chicago the only one of its type? Maybe I will send a copy of Spec-Lit to my alma mater, Duquesne University.
As an added bonus, Spec-Lit includes juvenalia by Science Fiction luminaries Algis Budrys and Gene Wolfe. Mr. Budrys at one time taught a Science Fiction class at Columbia College Chicago. Mr Wolfe teaches writing in the college's Continuing Education division.
I am looking forward to reading issue 2 of Spec-Lit. Hopefully the quality of its stories will remain high.
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