English 460, offered by Humboldt State University's English department each fall, provides writers and artists training for professional work in editing. Students move through the production cycle for an issue of Toyon: soliciting and evaluating submissions, curating the accepted work, copyediting and fact-checking, typesetting and designing the issue, and proofreading.
English 461, offered by Humboldt State University's English department each spring, provides writers a broad survey of the publishing industry, readerships, and the circulation of literary texts. Students in this course learn about literary citizenship, author platforms, book marketing techniques, and community outreach. Gain experience in marketing, event planning, and fundraising, which can be preparation for careers in arts administration and work in literary promotions.
In each course, students serve in leadership roles, working in objective-based teams. Each course is designed to function like an internship, while also preserving time for class discussion and group instruction. This hybridized internship-in-a-course model allows for hands-on learning that is supported by explicit training. Completing their leadership role, students gain a level of expertise they can take with them into the job market. Certain leadership roles are available in both courses, while others are available in only one course. For more information, visit the Toyon FAQ.
Collaborating and Contributing to a Legacy
Toyon has stood with Humboldt State University for over 60 years. Since 1954, students have come together under an advisor to collaborate and put together the school’s literary journal. The staff of Toyon work together throughout the editorial and production process, learning valuable skills related to project management and collaborative problem-solving.
Learning By Doing
The twenty students enrolled in this course sequence work closely together to curate, edit, design, and promote each annual issue of Toyon. The sequence covers a range of topics each semester and offers students an intensive learning experience in literary publishing. Students’ hands-on work is complemented by discussions of the theory and history of the literary journal as a mode of cultural production.
Toyon student staff members meet regularly in their editorial office in Founders Hall to evaluate submissions, complete the layout and design of each issue, and copyedit final proofs. The editorial offices are equipped with the Adobe Design Suite and provide access to web development platforms that the students use to expand Toyon’s online presence, in digital commons and elsewhere.
"Working with the Toyon staff and learning what it takes to push through with the goal of publication is definitely worth it to anyone who might want to someday publish or self-publish. The work needed by Toyon isn’t taken on by any one person but by the group as a whole, and it lets future authors develop skills working with others and communicating to finish their own works. The skills learned in the class are invaluable. To anyone wanting to learn what it takes to publish, Toyon is the place to do that."