Byzantium, A Literary Annual
Byzantium is the English department's award-winning annual literary magazine produced entirely by undergraduate students. The magazine's poems and stories are chosen in Cal Poly's longstanding annual Al Landwehr Creative Writing Contest, for which undergraduate and graduate students from all majors submit their work. Two separate faculty judging committees, one for poetry and one for fiction, read the entries blind, along with student editors. The winning poems and stories, along with the judges’ choice entries, are published in Byzantium. Along with the prestige of publication in the journal, first, second and third place winners are given cash prizes.
Begun in 1990, Byzantium has published literary works of remarkable quality, and many of the student winners in the writing contest have gone on to prestigious graduate schools in creative writing, including Columbia, Emerson, UC Davis, Houston, UC Irvine, Oregon, San Francisco State, among others. Byzantium complements the English Department's creative writing emphasis by providing both an in-house publication goal and a capstone work that demonstrates our student and department commitment to creative writing.
Typically, two English majors are chosen as co-editors. These two students work in tandem with a student art director chosen from the Art & Design Department. Numerous English majors compete for the privilege of editing the magazine, and those who are selected usually have editing experience, business acumen, desktop publishing skills, a fundraising vision, and the ability to work collaboratively under deadline. The magazine has been cited for its literary excellence and has twice won awards for design.
The editors of Byzantium earn senior project credit for their work. Though the senior project is officially registered during spring quarter, the editors work on the magazine beginning in fall quarter. Working with the art director, the editors are responsible for all aspects of the publication, including raising funds, choosing a printer, laying out the text, editing the text, selling the magazine, and coordinating a reading for t he writers. In addition, the editors produce a year-end report chronicling their project; this report, along with the finished magazine itself, is the "official" senior project and actually serves as a manual for the following year’s editors.
Editing Byzantium is a challenging, exhilarating way for English majors to gain experience that can help them in the "real world." Just as many of the published student writers go on to graduate study in creative writing or jobs in publishing, most editors have used their experience to help them secure jobs after graduation.
Byzantium was previously sold at El Corral Bookstore, but has been distributed absolutely free over the last few years. Contact the English Department if you are interested in procuring a copy of one of our previous editions.
Byzantium is distributed throughout Cal Poly campus and San Luis Obispo each spring. Pick up your free copy in the English department office.
For current details about Byzantium, visit the website CP Byzantium, created by the this years editors. Byzantium submission rules.
Cal Poly’s annual publication of the Al Landwehr creative writing contest winners, will be available at events and around campus and in the English department office for no charge.
Valentina Sainato and Becky Zieber
1st Place: Maria Woodson
2nd Place: Despy Boutris
3rd Place: Marissa Ahmadkhani
Jacob Lopez, Laura Parker, and Kiki Cazares
1st Place: Emma Sturm
2nd Place: Charlotte Kunde
3rd Place: Conor Walsh
Alison O’Neill, Cecilia Grimaldi, and Olivia Peluso
25th Anniversary Byzantium
Monique Nicholas and Adrienne King
1st Place Sand Castles by Kory Barri
2nd Place Rochester, NY by Dominique Pierce
3rd Place Treebones by Hannah Wertzberger
On the Lake, Shasta by Connor Edwards
Letter to a Sister by Evan Falkenthal
Underdone Darling, by Kelsy Koenig
1st Place Richard by Rhiannon Kelly
2nd Place Of Mice, Men, Beauty, and Beasts by Keith Enterante
3rd Place Looking for Joy by Bailey Satterfield
Happily Ever by MacKenzie Leigh Soldan
Byzantium, Volume 24
- MAY 2014
Byzantium, Volume 23
- MAY, 2013
Byzantium, Volume 22
- MAY, 2012
Byzantium, Volume 21
- MAY, 2011