About the Toyon Courses
Each year, several hundred submissions of literature, criticism, and visual artwork are reviewed by students enrolled in the courses associated with the journal's publication: ENGL460 and ENGL461. Any Humboldt State University student can enroll in one or both courses, in any sequence.
“The experience I gained in the Toyon just landed me a full time editing job. Make sure and put it in your resumes!” ~ Andrew Garai, 2016
English 460, offered by Humboldt State University's English department each fall, provides writers and artists training for professional work in editing and production. This course is well-suited for students who imagine a career in publishing. 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 annual issue.
English 461, offered by Humboldt State University's English department each spring, provides writers a better understanding of how texts circulate. Students in this course learn about literary citizenship, author platforms, book marketing techniques, and community outreach. In anticipation of the release of Toyon's annual issue in March, students in this course gain experience in marketing, event planning, and fundraising. These skills can be preparation for careers in arts administration and work in literary promotions.
Together the courses take students through the full publishing process, from acquisitions to distribution.
What Students Have to Say About These Courses
“As an aspiring Technical Writer, the Toyon Multilingual Journal of Literature and Art at Humboldt State University has provided me with the imperative tools necessary to succeed in the publishing world, which I will carry with me through the remainder of my academic career.” —Abby Moreno, Toyon Staff Member in Spring 2018
“Toyon means the world to me, it means another gateway to so many opportunities that I am now more prepared for than ever. Toyon means coming to class and feeling like a human, like a valued piece of a team, someone who makes a difference. Toyon means struggling to do your best, trying your hardest, and succeeding even when you fail. Toyon means the world to me, and I know that my time spent here will push me forward into any and all challenges that I might encounter along my path.” —Erin Scofield, Toyon Staff Member in 2017-18
For those trying to write and one day become published, it’s crucial to understand the publishing industry and the review process your work(s) will undergo. With this information you can only improve your writing and increase your chances for publication. As well, those who aren’t so much interested in being published but working as a publisher, the experience you receive on a university literary magazine is that foot in the door you need when applying for jobs. You will learn skills that will put you ahead of those who’ve never worked for a literary magazine, plus you will have familiarity with the publication process, what’s expected of your role, and the jargon used daily. The best part is reviewing and actually reading what makes it into a journal, what issues prevent a piece from being published, etc. It’s a continual process of “not this because….” and “yes, this one because…” which helps you understand quality writing versus writing that still needs improvement. It’s never too late to join, but I wish someone had told me as a freshman to join the Toyon staff. —Bri Lucero, Toyon Staff Member in 2015-16 and 2016-17