Friday, April 21, 2006

TLE Is Now on Its Own

Well, now that we've officially announced it, I guess I can let you all know that Leading Edge, the magazine I work for, will no longer be associated with BYU's English department beginning this October (once October's issue is back from the printers). 

The English department has decided that their resources are better used for other things. It's been a fight with them for awhile, mostly because they believe science fiction and fantasy are not literary genres and therefore are not worthy of study or funding. This has especially been the case since our major advocates have retired or passed on. We are hoping to keep the magazine going, but will now have to fund ourselves. This is somewhat of a task because just to print the magazine costs us about $3000 a year and we probably only get about $500 in revenue (i.e. subscriptions and selling the magazine). There are other costs involved besides printing, especially now that we're on our own. There is advertising, space to work in, computers and more.

I think what the English department fails to realize is what benefit this magazine has brought to students. It is considered the most professional magazine on campus by many faculty members in both English and editing, and has been around for over 25 years. It has given student real world experience in running the magazine (which has been solely run by students and recent graduates since its inception). It's given students the ability to make decisions on how to run the magazine, how to improve circulation, how to choose stories to publish, and how to edit. Even though we will be disconnected from BYU, we will still be relying on students volunteering to run the magazine, so they will still get this experience, but only as long as we have money to keep the magazine going. And because we accept submissions from all over the world (and I mean that literally--from The Netherlands to Japan), our level of writing is much higher than many college sci-fi and fantasy magazines. If you'd like to see the reaction of current and previous staff members of TLE, check out the thread on Timewaster's Guide Forum.

If anyone would like to support our magazine, the easiest way to do so is to go to and get information on how to buy a subscription or old issues. Or you can send us a check stating that it's a donation. At the moment we only accept checks, but we are hoping to start accepting credit cards soon. Once we do, we will be adding a link for straight donations. Any donation would be wonderful. Please help keep us alive.

Edit (5/15/06): Well, I guess this was premature. Just a couple of weeks ago the Linguistics and English Language department has decided to take over Leading Edge. Why not before? Because the English department has tried to push student journals off onto the Ling/ELang department before and when Ling/ELang said no, English said, "Fine, we'll keep it." When asked if Ling/Elang would take Leading Edge, they thought it was a bluff just like in the past. It wasn't until they found out that English was going through with giving up Leading Edge that the chair for Ling/ELang said that they would take up Leading Edge. We now have an advisor from that department and are very happy to be staying at BYU. Phew! What a relief.

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