The independent, alternative press Fiction Collective Two now has a home at the University of Houston-Victoria, and students can get a taste of the publishing world this spring with several classes being offered in advance of a new UHV master's degree in publishing.
"The master's degree will be a one-of-a-kind program in the state of Texas," said Thomas Williams, chair of the humanities division in the School of Arts & Sciences. "Publishers are willing to take on employees they will have to teach, but they'd rather take on employees who have some real-world experience."
Fiction Collective Two (FC2) moved part of its operations from Florida State University in Tallahassee to UHV earlier this month. Carmen Edington, formerly an English professor at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., was hired as the assistant editor. The FC2 office at UHV will receive manuscripts from authors, and Edington and UHV students will work with them on editing manuscripts before publication.
"Our primary focus is on writers who challenge traditional norms of writing," she said.
Six high-quality books that are considered experimental and innovative in style, subject matter or form are published by FC2 each year, Edington said. The books are selected by the FC2's Board of Directors, which is chaired by Lance Olsen, an English professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Starting next summer, UHV also will lay out and prepare FC2 books for printing by the University of Alabama Press in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"UHV already houses the award-winning literary journals American Book Review and symplokē, so adding FC2 was just the next step in being able to provide even more opportunities for our students who are interested in the publishing and literary worlds," said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and ABR editor/publisher. "If you consider that UHV also is home to the Society for Critical Exchange and has amassed a large and growing endowment in support of its publications, it becomes apparent that we have become a national leader in this area of the academic world."
With the addition of FC2, UHV will offer its first publishing classes beginning in January. Students will be able to take an introduction to a graduate publishing or screenwriting course this spring. Editing and publishing internships at FC2, ABR and symplokē also will be available.
The UH System Board of Regents has approved a two-year Master of Science in publishing program, and the program is awaiting approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. It is expected to begin in fall 2009.
"We want to combine the academic classes with the experience in publishing," Williams said.
Once the master's program begins, UHV students will be able to learn about all aspects of publishing from editing to production. A six-hour internship at FC2, ABR or symplokē will be available to students in the master's program in publishing. Students who intern at FC2 will participate in a book tour in the Houston area with FC2 authors on whose manuscripts they have worked.
"I am so honored to be a part of FC2 at UHV," Edington said. "This is a wonderful addition to UHV and the community and will truly help our students as they enter the publishing world."
For more information about publishing classes offered in the spring or the publishing program, call the School of Arts & Sciences at 361-570-4201 or e-mail Di Leo at firstname.lastname@example.org or Williams at email@example.com.