Tuesday, November 7, 2017

JCUF VOL 4 NO 1 (2017) - "Next Steps for the Journal of Canadian Urban Fiction" by Stacey Marie Robinson

This is the fourth volume of the Journal of Canadian Urban Fiction, which leads me to contemplate the next steps and the long-term vision for this publication as we move into the fifth year for 2018. Next year also marks the fifth year of the Toronto Urban Book Expo. With five years of celebrating urban Canadian literature, and five years of studying it...the next steps have become an urgent and necessary brainstorm.

I've been institutionalized, admittedly. Years of university and post-graduate thinking have me conditioned to believe that if it doesn't exist in a "research journal" then it isn't legitimized as a topic worth researching, advancing, and documenting. If it can't be verified, corroborated, or if there isn't any statistical information or data to back up the claims...then what is the point of reporting it?

As a student at Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan), I remember attempting to study Black Canadian Literature, and being faced with the rude awakening that outside of Canada...the resources in this topic were extremely limited. In fact, the resources even IN Canada were extremely limited. It was 2003, and I had hoped to see enough documented processes that would validate my personal aspirations. There were anthologies. There were published novels, and great lecturers and authors in the Black Canadian academic landscape who had committed their lives to the topic as well. Blogs, yes. Personal websites, yes. Passion, plenty. But published research...scarce.

Now, a university education nearly 15 years ago hardly classifies me as an expert in research or statistics, but as a writer-slash-editor who has dedicated her life to building the genre thus far, I recognize that the research element is an important one that must now be improved upon, and tightened.

Therefore, the informal brainstorm has led me to the following list of next steps as JCUF embarks upon its fifth year, and for the next five years of its development:

01) Continue to publish JCUF as an annual online periodical.
02) Seek funding towards the eventual development into a print publication.
03) Provide opportunities for additional guest writers, and peer reviews.
04) Increased marketing/outreach outside of Ontario, and within similar spaces internationally.
05) Regular review of Canadian authors, and new books.
06) Increased effort to improve the national discourse surrounding urban fiction.
07) Additional study of the independent publishing market, and sales impact internationally.
08) Dialogue with other Canadian niche journals of literature and culture.
09) Support of Canadian student research and current academic discussion.
10) Re-define and strengthen JCUF objectives, and measurable impact.

I appreciate those of you who have been reading this Journal for the past few years, and those who have taken the time to contribute to its development. I thank you for supporting my publication vision, and I strive to make this Journal less about "my" personal objectives, and more about the overall benefits that it can have for urban Canadian writers, editors, publishers, readers, and of course, academics.

~Stacey Marie Robinson, Editor

No comments:

Post a Comment