Our Brand

How can we further  distinguish ourselves and establish  our niche within the vast market of literary magazines – an effort that can lead to increased readership and submissions?    In the article “The Submitter’s Dilemma” for The Review Review, Becky Tush addresses writers about how to choose the “right magazine,” amongst 3,000+, to submit to.  We want to be the “right magazine,” so here are some ideas about how we can achieve this status and build our brand:


- Coherently highlight magazine's THEME.


-Use SOCIAL MEDIA to follow journals on Twitter, friend them on Facebook, etc. 


*Need to upload powerpoint

Response to Poets Out Loud Ann Waldman Reading

On April 15th I attended the last session of Poets Out Loud for the spring semester at Fordham. This very special reading included poets from the program Girls Write Now, which were mentees in the Poets out Loud outreach program. Along with these young and talented writers, poet Ann Waldman joined to read to the audience a few of her poems.

It was a great pleasure to witness a session that brought together young, new poets with a seasoned and legendary poet such as Ann Waldman. Waldman was described at the event as a legendary poet, member of the “Outrider” experimental poetry movement. Since I am not very familiar with poetry, it was an exciting chance to see Waldman not only recite but also perform.

Poetry as performance was seen very explicitly at the event. The two talented young girls that opened the event not only recited the words on the page, but also poured their emotions into it by the way they gestured, enunciated and projected their words. I thought that Poets Out Loud made a great gesture to these young girls by allowing them to perform before a legendary poet, and to hear Waldman’s praise of their talent was wonderful. I loved the poem ‘Ms. Soul’ by one of the students, her words as well as her performance were refined and calculated.

Experiencing Waldman’s poetry through performance is truly different than reading her poetry myself. Professor Dubrow explained prior to Ann Waldman’s reading to listen carefully to her rhythms and the way she uses chants -- influenced by her practice of Buddhism. She used chanting, and raised and lowered her voice many times, making the direction of her poetry seem unpredictable. Waldman’s performance of her poems were striking, and the way she spoke with such intensity made her words frightening at times.

Rana Ayhan 


Reid Family Writers of Color Reading Reflection

First of all, let me start off by saying that I apologize if this is a rant about the workshop with Lynn Nottage that came before--but how amazing is it that she did this with us? There is just something entirely different about having the writer right there with you and being able to work on your writing together. I have mostly taken poetry writing workshops, so this was such a different experience. It was really stimulating to be involved in this very unusual workshop environment.

I could really feel Lynn’s theater background in the way she taught and also in the expansiveness of her creative gestures. She really helped me to reflect on my own writing, especially since I’ve been wanting to introduce a bit more narrative and dialogue type elements into my poetry (even though I know that doesn’t always seem like the most natural place for it), and I felt like the exercises that she had us do really helped me begin to conceptualize how that might work out.

Then there was her reading. She is such a confident, passionate, inspiring presenter of her own art. Not every writer is able to bring that special something to the story of their own writing. In fact, many writers would really do better to have a stand-in who would read for them in public situations (and I count myself in here), but Lynn really brought such a personal tone to her performance. I felt that I was sharing a very special, personal, maybe even private somehow, moment with her when she read, and I think that is a really rare experience.

Most of all, I’m also so happy to see Fordham supporting “writers of color" through the Reid series. This really ties in with the discussions we’ve been having about the importance of really integrating our social justice focus into what we do, really putting art into action. This reading and the Reid Family Writers of Color reading last year with Terrance Hayes were some of my favorite here at Fordham, and I’m so glad to see people with different backgrounds being included in the mix. This series brings such a richness to the cultural and creative climate of Fordham.


Response to Kindred Poetry and the Moving Image Master Class

The master class with poet Cathy Lin Che was both thought provoking and entertaining. The class was open to students and staff of all levels of study, so I did not feel like an outsider due to my lack of familiarity with the art of poetry. I thought that becoming a part of this class would be a great way for me to see a particular marriage of my major, Communications with a concentration in film, and my minor, creative writing. Cathy was very kind, approachable, and knowledgeable, which made the workshop less intimidating. 

We explored how poetic devices can be applied to the moving image, and how cinematic qualities can be used in poetry. Emotional resonance was an idea that was discussed – how images are not static, and not just visual, but experiential as well. We also discussed the image as a metaphor as well, and how we could take an image into another realm. We supplemented these ideas with poetry writing exercises, which was something I had not explored since high school. I found that these exercises helped me realize the connection between moving image and poetry because we are able to explore ideas through images – the two are more closely related than I had initially thought.


We ended the class with a few clips of poetry that were deliberately superimposed on moving images. One poem we looked at juxtaposed a clip of the event where an Algerian soccer player head-butted another player. The artist read an original poem over a slowed down clip of the incident, stating possible reasons why the event occurred through her own words. After watching a few examples of poetry over images, the students were tasked with making their own on our cell phones. I recited a poem I wrote during class over the image of my feet clicking each other, which was interpreted in various ways by those who experienced the piece. It is rather remarkable that one could come up with something experiential and thought-provoking in such a small amount of time by using moving image together with poetry.

Rana Ayhan

Response to Undergraduate Reading

The undergraduate reading was equal parts frustrating and fun. I was sitting there, impressed by many pieces and I heard and thought, “Why don’t these students submit to the magazine?” Perhaps the biggest problem is that they don’t know about us. How can we remedy that? I’m not sure Twitter and Facebook are reaching students because they use these tools primarily for entertainment, not “work.” By “work” I mean anything that might be academic or about their futures. I don’t think students think about being “published” the same way that professional poets and authors do. Maybe that is because not all students see writing as a livelihood; they just see it as a class or something they do for fun.

I know we have talked about this before, but perhaps it is worth bringing up again: Can we ask professors to offer extra credit for students who submit to Cura? Maybe the requisite of having to get published is too high, because the actual chances of them getting published is slim. But maybe that is why students aren’t submitting. Are we too competitive for them? Do we scare them away?

Even if students don’t submit to us, it is vital for our survival that they know who we are. This is a problem I keep coming back to, but it’s coming up again as we are looking for new staff members. Out of the time and energy we have, how much do we want to invest in getting the word out in the Fordham community (which might not hold many contributors, but we depend on for staffing) or the artistic community in New York/ around the country/ worldwide (which contains more opportunities for contributors and donors)? I think this problem of the allocation of our resources is going to keep coming up in the future and came up again for me at the undergraduate reading.

-Kim Naples

Undergraduate Reading Reflection

Undergrad Reading Reflection


I really enjoyed the undergraduate reading. It was nice to see so many young people with so much talent. I was particularly impressed with Elisabeth Frost’s flash fiction/prose poetry group. I liked how they lined up in a row as part of their reading and then all presented a line of their work. Each contribution was so polished, quirky, and lovable somehow that I was completely drawn into the world of this performance. There was something really atmospheric about it.

Afterward, I tried to think what exactly it was that had been so compelling so that we could find a way of applying it to the models we are experimenting with for CURA. For one thing, I thought that the visual configuration was attention-grabbing, and it gave me the sense that they were all contributing a little piece to a larger performance, rather than having any one of them trying to steal the show. It made me think more about the isolated versus communal conversation in terms of making and taking in art that we have been broaching in class over the last couple of weeks.

It made me start thinking about ways that we could draw our public more and more into the conversation, so to speak. I really do think that our multimedia platform invites this kind of interaction. This also resonates with Raven’s presentation today in terms of how nice it is for writers of fan fiction to receive that almost immediate feedback. The ideas that Caitlin discussed in class today about having links to other sites and opening up our comments section in certain areas of the website are also good ones to think about in terms of this topic of togetherness. I also think that the live magazine launch party will allow us to explore some of this question of how to increase the communal nature of a primarily literary art.

I liked the direction we were going in, along the lines of integrating action pieces into the stations that force people to actually do things—especially since I can imagine people being forced to participate with each other because of the silliness of seeing someone hold their breath while they write about love, for example. The completing of each other’s stories will also be a good way to ensure that people feel the presence of others as they create their own personal works. Then I like the idea of the postcard in terms of forcing those who attend our event to reach out to the outside world in some way. In short, I feel that our event is addressing some of the questions about how to make people come together that we have raised in class and that I thought Dr. Frost’s class embodied so very well.


Some things, we don’t talk about

I know that, in this class at least, we are quite the sophisticates. I mean, Professor Gambito has a thing for Denzel, but I am pretty sure that is not the guiltiest of possible guilty pleasures. And then there is me. See, I have been hiding in the closet for a long, long time, and it is time to come out.

I first discovered the website in 9th grade. I was young, then, and becoming dissatisfied with my 20th read-through of the Harry Potter books. I heard a quiet whispering in the hallway, something about “OTP.” So I did what any curious, unsatisfied girl of 15 would do. I googled it. Immediately, www.fanfiction.net appeared on my screen.

I have never recovered.

You see, fanfiction is something my generation keeps quiet. We sneak reading on our laptops in between Facebook and Twitter sprees, somehow ashamed to be a part of such a radical underground movement. Because fanfiction, whatever else it may be, is a movement unto itself.

Fanfiction, for those who do not know, is exactly what it sounds like. It is the result of fans of a book, movie, television show, band, celebrity, etc. wishing that they could end the story differently – so they rewrite it, or pick up where the story line left off. In theory, this is simple enough.

Some are horrible, and those are the ones people talk about, joking about horrid grammar and sex scenes that are not anatomically feasible. But some are truly amazing, written by talented writers.

I like to believe that I am among them – I have written three novel-length “fics” since my stumble onto the site back then.

The incredible thing about fanfiction is that it is not for profit. I will probably never see any money from the hundreds of thousands of words I have written. The artists who send me drawings or “trailer” videos for my works will never see them in a museum or on a silver screen. This is a network of millions and millions of people – fanfiction.net alone has around 2.2 million users – who write, read, review, and follow I don’t even know how many stories. A much smaller site, Archive of Our Own, has 647,611 stories at my last count, with only 33,500 users.

Think about this for a second. The majority of these users are young. These are young people who are supposed to hate reading and writing more every year. Instead, they are hiding laptops and e-readers under their bed sheets, coming up with a language all their own (with OTPs, ships, pairings, fluff, and one-shots). Some writers, including bestselling authors Cassandra Clare and EL James, are getting their starts as writers on these sites. And above all, publishing has become a purer art than ever. Taking out the politics of agents, editors, and publishers, we are self-marketing through character asks, Twitter accounts, Tumblr accounts, and word of… well, typing fingers. We are editing each others’ works, free of charge (in a process called beta-ing). And we are publishing for the joy of seeing our work affect others.

I know we are supposed to include a literary magazine in our discussion, but in a way, my point was to discuss how the line between literary magazines and fanfiction are blurring. After all, if you google “Literary Magazine” (can you tell how much I rely on google?), you receive the following definition:

A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. Literary magazines usually publish short stories, poetry and essays along with literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews and letters. 

How, then, is periodically receiving emails about new chapters for my favorite stories or new stories for my favorite authors any different? Fanfiction.net publishes short stories, poetry, and, yes, essays, along with criticism and reviews. The authors have biographical information on their pages. The characters themselves are interviewed by the readers. Letters between the author and his or her fans can also be published and read by others.

As far as CURA’s social action standpoint goes, interestingly enough, fanfiction websites often run auctions for charities. Readers bid on outtakes and the authors deliver them – all profits go to benefit others.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that fanfiction websites are the most interactive of literary magazines. In a world where interactivity is needed to keep our short attention spans entertained, how can we use these sites as examples for our own?


Collage of Ideas

As I mentioned, my "Trending Now" presentation was meant to provide (mostly visual) inspiration for some of the main aspects of CURA we are working on at the moment (i.e. putting the event together, promoting it, and promoting CURA).
I thought I would do this by researching other instances in which art and action have been combined into events, advertising, or publications.

The most obvious instances of this that I thought of were Allan Kaprow's happenings in the 1950's. I thought I would speak briefly about this because it is the most famous instance of participatory art that engaged the audience. I then tried to look at modern instances of this and how they might benefit us and our event. What I found out is that some big trends actually belong to the "happenings" category: flashmobs, subway parties, performance art, international pillow-fight day, etc... Basically, it seems that there is a trend of people coming together to be engaged in the process of creation itself. I thought this was important to think about in putting together a "Live Magazine" event.

For me, this brought to mind the process of creating a magazine, as well as the questions "what goes into this process?" and "how could an audience actively participate?"

*Designing a cover/ layout: there should probably be a stand where guests can be involved in someway or another in designing the cover

* Finding content that responds to the magazines mission/ prompt: there could be a stand where guests actually write short pieces of flash fiction that respond to a travel prompt, such as "Where are you from?". Selected pieces would then go on the magazine or CURA page, social media (...)

We also need to find actions that correspond with our mission of social justice, but are also fun. So I tried to look at other websites/ publications that had a mission of art and social action (I guess most of them were much more action oriented, but still interesting), in order to see what kinds of actions they proposed to readers who want to get involved.
The first website I found was http://www.adbusters.org/spoofads. Adbusters, has the mission of turning advertisements and capitalist ambitions against themselves. I though a fun action could be making people come up with slogans of social action (similar to the famous graffiti of May 68). This might be interesting because it brings people together for the general cause of keeping activism and awareness alive in an age where apathy is setting in.

Going along with this, a really interesting website I found (which is actually a book, but offers many selected pages to look through) proposed one action per day of the year to help "change the world" http://www.365act.com/actions/27.html. Some of these actions were very appealing, such as exchanging material goods that you no longer need with friends in order to stop over consumption. The actions span from AIDS awareness to environmental justice.

Another website I found, that is probably much more radical than we are willing to go (or that Fordham's image will allow us), but could provide inspiration for action all the same was http://www.sniggle.net/index.php. Or very interesting just to look through/be aware of.

On a different note, I found the website: http://agit-pop.com/about/ whose mission is also social action and awareness. Here, I found a very interesting promotional/ publicity idea for the future which was to create a simple, informative game about CURA's mission or the charity they are working with (i.e. the Doe Fund).

Finally, in terms of finding ideas for the party, I went to Pinterest for Travel Themed Parties, just to look at the pictures and get inspired http://pinterest.com/ashleynicolephotographer/travel-themed-party-ideas/. This gave me the idea of some very simple, inexpensive prizes or for-sale merchandise at our event: customized CURA traveler's log notebooks and luggage tags. This would also serve as easy publicity and promotional material.

In researching the party's "Choose Your Own Adventure" theme, I of course didn't come across anything remotely similar (probably a good thing!), but I did find this humorous Tumblr with the failed endings of "Choose Your Own Adventure". I thought that these could be cute to use as postcards or posters for the party. http://youchosewrong.tumblr.com



Camille Haimet

Making an Unforgettable Art Experience


For this Trending Now presentation, I wanted to focus on the two questions that are most on my mind about CURA right now: 1) how to continue innovating the model and 2) how to create a truly inventive live magazine experience that will make CURA stick in people’s minds--a task I’ve been working with the very imaginative Tim and Emily on. When I set out to find information on other magazines doing live creation events, I was disappointed to find so little, but I was also encouraged; this is an area of production that could really help us stand out and reach people in a way they are seldom reached.

What I did end up discovering was a cutting-edge, visually striking online magazine called Paper Darts. It has sections for fiction, poetry, nonfiction, culture, and art. It also has a blogging element. In addition, Paper Darts runs a creative agency wherein they hire out their writers, designers, marketing experts, and project managers, on a one-time or ongoing basis, to help others who want to make a groundbreaking creative product. They also have a press, which, in their words, “is ushering in a new approach to creative publishing, based on the intimate collaboration between an author/artist/publisher. Through unconventional printing practices, beautiful design, and a uniting underdog attitude, we're leading the new Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-Together publishing revolution."

Initially, I was struck by the beautiful layout of the publication, but later I noticed they had done a launch party that echoed some of the ideas that Tim, Emily, and I, along with the rest of the class, have been exchanging. This event took the form of a dinner-show, or a variety show with a meal element, that featured musicians, artists, dancers, singers, writers, and actors. They offered their audience a chance to, again in their own marketing language, "enjoy rapid fire poetry, live art creation, story interpretation, and some haunting tunes from Brute Heart, all while basking in the heat of a magazine fresh off the press." They had a stylish invite on their website and a pre-event purchase discount, both of which I think we should try to have. They also have a print version of their magazine and included a copy with each cover charge (not that we have to do this but just to get us thinking).

This shock of originality is exactly what all our readings and discussions have shown to be the crucial component of magazine success in this technological, modern moment. At the risk of sounding corny, the best art really does change lives. The question I want us all to be thinking about, for CURA in general and for this event in particular, is how we can combine our talent and insight to make something truly unforgettable. 

--Caroline Hagood

Response to The 21st Century Creative Writer - Rana Ayhan

On March 5th the Creative Writing department held a colloquium event called The 21st Century Creative Writer. This panel brought together the talents and skills of three people who were both creative writers and skilled in an assortment of “twenty-first century” technological skills. I was able to hear both Monica Ong and Adam Parrish present their work. (Unfortunately, I was not able to stay for the third panelist.) Both speakers were also able to share very helpful advice concerning learning and applying tools across multimedia platforms.

Monica Ong is a graphic designer and a poet, as well as a highly skilled and talented user of other technological skills. She presented her own personal poems and discussed the ways that she implemented different media as an integrated part of her poetry. For example, she used a catscan of a relative’s brain with the words of her poem printed on as a part of her work. The other part of her presentation focused on how a creative writer would one their online skills. Monica introduced programs such as NobleDesktop, Adobe InDesign Publishing, Blurb.com, and General assembly, highlighting the benefits of using each of these tools to help accelerate the online presence of a creative writer. One interesting piece of advice that she gave was that one should focus on using one tool very well – not trying to learn every aspect of every platform, as well as crowdsourcing materials. This helps strengthen your image because honing a skill and knowing how to use it well may be more helpful than trying to learn all of them. She also mentioned that managing, marketing, and collaborating, along with having durable ideas are key things to keep in mind.

The second presenter, Adam Parrish, is a professor, programmer, and poet. He creates interactive telecommunications programs, and teaches classes on how to write computer programs that output poetry. He believes that creative writing and programming are in love, and that we have only figured out a few ways to display text since we have started to use it. Computer programs that process text bring about a question of authorship, which makes the idea of authorship much more complex. Both presenters demonstrated ways to help accelerate the careers of the creative writer in an ever-changing environment.

- Rana Ayhan

Fundraising Options

I hope that everyone found my fundraising presentation as a good jumping off point to see who we’d like to reach out to for fundraising. The fundraising group is Raven, and myself, and I hope that this presentation put it into some clear and defined terms so we can see what steps we need to take to get the funds that we need.

So as we all know, we want to start an Indiegogo which is like Kickstarter but we get to keep the money for our cause even if we don’t reach our goal, which is great. But we want to reach our goal! Also, Fundraising doesn’t mean that we only need to get monetary donations that would go to the Doe Fund – we can also get people and organizations to donate items or even their time or services to us, which will help us when it comes to raffling off prizes or giving people incentive to donate to our Indiegogo. Hopefully we can go live with our Indiegogo as soon as Penelope Lawson puts the final touches on the fundraising video.

There are three areas that we need to raise funds for, monetarily through indiegogo or otherwise:
Number 1) The Doe Fund
Number 2) Our big event that Emily, Caroline and Tim are working on.
Number 3) CURA itself


Although we will not be able to obtain the tax exempt form from The Doe Fund or Fordham (not likely), we need to simply go about our outreach to potential donors with complete honesty. Our credibility as a publication through Fordham University should be very helpful.

For Doe, the Event, and CURA itself, we need to work three different angles on how we approach companies or people; each one needs to be a little different.

The Doe Fund: We want to raise money for the Doe Fund, which is what our mission with raising any funds was in the first place. A lot of home and building places would be great to reach out to if we talk about how we’re trying to benefit the Doe Fund, and how Doe gives right back to the community. We’re trying to find out the locations of some organizations where the Doe Fund workers clean up around, and we think that if we reach out and tell them, for example. what a great job they do in the area where  one of Target’s retail stores is located, we can give them incentive to give back to Doe. Raven also suggested that we find places that would be willing to give a voucher for a free lesson or service that we can give to Doe, such as a free photography course.

Fundraising for the event: I’m sure the event group has brainstormed a lot for ideas and we’re hoping to work together, come up with a template for a letter and reach out to many people to help fund our event. We thought a lot about getting sponsorship through smaller, NY based companies, especially food and beverage, or even larger companies that can send us merchandise to raffle off and go towards our larger indiegogo goal. Fundraising can also come in the form of a band or singer playing a free show and bringing more people in, having a music festival give us tickets to raffle off, or even getting a DJ to play for free to promote themselves, but that’s up to the event group. Very importantly, through the event, we can even possibly find a sponsor to match whatever we raise overall, which would be the amazing boost in fundraising. For example, we can get someone like Lowes or Sears to match whatever we raise during our Wix Lounge event – if we can make it to an amazing $5,000 that’s instantly $10,000 for the Doe Fund.

CURA: Lastly, we need to think of fundraising for CURA, even if it’s not going directly to Doe, it will help sell our magazine. We can reach out to publisher to send us books to raffle off. Even cooler would be if we can get a publisher to agree to make X amount of beautiful special edition magazines we can give them out as a donation incentive. We also think it would be worth it to reach out to other groups that would be down with CURA’s mission of bringing together art and action. A lot of these brands are what we thought that people that would support our magazine’s mission and might be willing to send raffle
stuff or money our way.

Raven and I are working on emails, and also come up with creative ways to reach out besides just doing a huge email blast. Please let me know if you think a tabling on the plaza might be a good idea. Any suggestions at all would be great. Thank you!

- Rana Ayhan




Hi Everyone! My TrendingNow Post is about the benefits of advertising. The link to my presentation is above. 

Twitter: More important, and less scary than you think.

I'm going to start off this blog post with a quick video message from Grandma Vivi:

You bet she has her own website as well as a Twitter handle. If a retired school teacher from Florida has a handle, you officially have no more excuses for not having one. Grandma Vivi's problems are parallel to our problems: she wants to connect to her grandkids, and we want to connect to our readers. In both cases, traditional methods (calling & passively having a website) have failed us. It's time to move into the brave new world of social media--especially Twitter. And why "especially" Twitter? I have an infographic!

So Twitter is basically a crowded room full of people that would be willing to connect with brands. Combine that with Cura's focus on social justice (which, as evidenced by the #INeedFeminismBecause and #INeedMasculinismBecause hashtags, is a great way to get Twitter users actively engaged and shows just how large the social justice community is on Twitter), and we have a core audience that is essentially waiting for us to engage them. 

The questions is, how? Obviously we're doing well mining content from our own website to use for Tweets, but it's not enough to dig deep--we also have to spread out. Electric Literature, one of the most successful literary magazine Twitter accounts, pulls in lots of links and content from OTHER similarly-minded websites. They're getting the audiences of those sites to come over to them. We could do the same thing by retweeting from places like the ACLU or Housing Works Bookstores.

Beyond that, we need you, dear Cura staff member, to make a Twitter, follow Cura, and tweet at us and retweet us so new people can discover the magazine. We already know how great the work we're doing is--it's time to share the wealth!

Literary Magazines and Social Media

I found this video of Tim O'Reilly's presentation at the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference in 2010. His comments from 15:00 to 17:41 I found to be the most interesting.

Keeping in mind that CURA is a literary magazine and not a publisher, I thought that this does apply to us as well. We want our readers to connect with our authors. We, too, want to be a part of an online literary community. I looked to the social media accounts of top literary magazines and found that they are doing a lot of what O'Reilly calls "broadcasting". Top Twitter accounts of literary magazines are The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta Magazine, Electrice Literature, and Guernica Magazine. They are Tweeting mostly links to their site. Rarely, do they participate in the community online. Perhpas they fuel the community, and that is how they participate in it.

Their Facebook accounts are similar, but a lot less popular. Granta supports their authors events for example. Interestingly The New Yorker is a lot more popular on Twitter. The Paris Review puts up quotes with images. Electric Literature puts up interviews that are on their site and events. Guernica mainly puts up content from their site.

So perhaps what these magazines have that make them so popular is their brand. They establed themselves before social media became a popular marketing tool. People already know they are captains of the literary community. I think there is a place for us to carve out for ourselves on social media. Perhaps we can work it in with our "Action" page that we want to be more inclusive than the magazine itself. I propose that we stop focusing on pushing the magazine and our content and instead work to promote our authors and our readers. Admitidly, not all of our featured writers and artists are on Twitter and Facebook, but maybe we can change that.

For a comparable magazine I looked at Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction. They were established in 2004 and have over 2,000 followers on Twitter and more than 900 on Facebook. That number is tiny compared to the magazines listed above, but I would still say sucessful. They are better than the larger mags at participating in the literary communuty. They offer a good goal for us. I think we can surpass their number because we have a more beautiful sight and more to offer in general. 

For more of Tim O'Reilly's ideas on Social Media marketing read Why I Love Twitter.

-Kim Naples

Marketing CURA to the Social Justice Community

I chose to focus my Trending Now blog post on how CURA can promote its social justice edge on the Fordham campus and beyond. It is crucial to separately market this aspect of the magazine because CURA has two different components: the literature itself and its social justice mission. These two components form the basis of two different marketing bases, namely the literary world and the world of social justice.  As of now, CURA has targeted most of its marketing at the literary world, but has done no specific marketing towards the social justice world. We now must begin to market to this world since it may be one of our most powerful tools to promote CURA and gain readership/support. One of the reasons for this is that there is a huge community of people both at Fordham and in NYC dedicated to/interested in social justice and therefore potentially interested in what CURA is doing. Access to this community will greatly help expand our readership and audience. Secondly, by marketing to the social justice world/getting ourselves established as part of it, we are also able to capitalize on what sets CURA apart in the literary world (namely that we have a social action component, unlike any other publication). Thirdly, many of the high-rollers (i.e. philanthropists) that float around the social justice world are interested in good causes and high culture (and we are the perfect combination!) and are willing to throw money at them. This could present great fundraising opportunities for us.

The first step in marketing CURA to the social justice world is to see how we can get involved in ongoing social justice events/groups/clubs at Fordham University (LC and RH) by using the name of the Doe Fund to clue people in to our relevance to their world. The point here is to get our name and our mission out and to establish ourselves as a solid part of social justice activities on campus. In order to do so, we should hook up with clubs (have them sponsor us or us sponsor them) that are interested in social issues surrounding homelessness (ISIS, LGBTQ, Midnight Runs) and organize events with members from the Doe Foundation as speakers (posters advertising these events can also have CURA's name all over them). We can also get these groups to sell CURA editions to their members/help us hold additional fundraising events for the Doe Fund. CURA should also get the Social Work Department (etc.) to sponsor events and help us sell copies of CURA.

Outside of Fordham, we should look into other organizations associated with homelessness (Semiperm, Picture the Homeless, Covenant House) and see if they would be interested in CURA. We can also organize Fordham-sponsored panel discussions about homelessness with the Doe Fund and members of these other organizations. We should also start networking at social justice-type events (fundraiser galas etc.) in NYC as this is where the philanthropists hang out and where we can spread the word about what CURA is in order to get them interested. Smaller events in the city that pertain to homelessness should also be attended (perhaps we should come up with a social justice/homelessness/Doe Fund representative from our staff who could get involved with this).

Literary Magazine

The Antigonish Review is a Canadian literary magazine supported by St. Francis Xavier University. It is unique in that it has established an interesting Poet Grow-Op partnership with another university’s creative writing program. The purpose of the grow-op is to discover and mentor young literary talent from its partner university. I thought this might be an interesting option for CURA to pursue because it could help us establish relationships with other universities/graduate school programs across the country. It would also help promote CURA and garner more submissions to the magazine.



Cate Nicholas




A Look at Gulf Coast Literary Magazine

The University of Houston’s Literary Magazine- Gulf Coast

I grew up in Houston, Texas. Now normally, I say that with an apologetic shrug, mainly because I feel so strongly political in the –ehem- “other” direction, that I feel the need to explain that just because I hail from the South, doesn’t mean I embrace some of their more ludicrous sentiments, such as textbook “revision,” cable guy humor, or a certain past president with a decidedly affected Texas accent. But there are a few things to be proud of: saying please, thank you, and excuse me and meaning it, tex-mex food, and the sun never going down at 4:00pm. And although I’m giving Houston a hard time, there are many wonderful (and liberated, mind-expanding) aspects to the city. There are some world-renowned art museums and theaters, a huge international scene, and one of the country’s most prestigious creative writing programs at The University of Houston.

Since most every school with a creative writing program has a literary journal of some kind, I thought I’d take another look at U of H’s simply because I’m familiar with it, it’s been around for a while, and it’s a highly respected program. There are also some similarities between their journal and CURA. They are also student run but feature writers from all over the world, and they have a visual arts component as we do. Also, since it debuted in the mid-1980’s, it has had some time existing in the print world before shifting online and ultimately having to figure out how to straddle the expanse between both formats. Since we’ve been discussing justification for a print version of CURA and ways in which we can make them more sellable or possibly start a subscription process, I was especially interested in how the U of H magazine has managed to do that.  

I had grown up seeing the print edition on the coffee tables of my parents and their friends, and although I have no idea how commonly this is still actually the case, it struck me as precisely a reason for a print edition. As was mentioned in class, people still like owning a physical object, having a memento, holding something in their hands that is permanent, having something out that a guest can pick up and flip through, etc. So the question is, of course, how do you get people to pay for something physical when they can have a free digital version online? One answer may be to play off of that tactile/visual difference. The other answer may simply to be to offer them something in the print version they can’t get otherwise, because as we can all agree, humans like “free” and “bonus” and to feel as if they’ve gotten something a little extra.



So here’s what I noticed that they do online to entice people to buy a subscription and some other ideas for CURA. I know a lot of these tactics are commonly used, but I wanted to find just one solid example instead of jumping from site to site:

1. The online issue offers enough to read for free to entice the reader to want more, but limits what is available by what seems like half. Most of the non-fiction and fiction prose supplies about 400-600 words of the story, and then it says, “To read the rest of this (story/essay), please purchase the issue here.” For the poetry, it looks as though only about a third of the poems are available to read online, and the rest are only available in print. There is often more than one poem by a single author, so the site offers one of the poems by that poet to be read online. The visual art seems to work the same way- it looks like half of the art can be viewed in the online version.

(Note: I’m not sure if this is actually a model we’d totally like to emulate, because their issues are much larger than ours, and I actually like that we have far fewer pieces of work within each of our issues. I do think there’s something to be said about smaller numbers exuding exclusivity and excellence, and people like that. But given the large number of submissions we receive, it may be possible to showcase most of those chosen on our website and have a few more in each category that are only available by print.)

2. Visual Arts- I think we have leverage with our visual arts component as something we offer that many don’t. As we also talked about in class, I think it could be a good idea to offer far more visual arts pieces in the print version, and also give separate art prints to those who order a subscription. The reader could even decide which piece of art he/she could order as their bonus so that they could hang it up, etc. (This would of course have to be with permission from the artists.)

3. Also, because an integral part of our mission is the social justice piece and the Doe Fund this year, it would be wonderful to try to showcase the art from the fundraisers we have on the website and in the print version as well. Whatever is created for those could also somehow be incorporated into subscriptions.

4. Someone in class also mentioned subscriptions as an option instead of only buying one copy, and I think that’s an excellent idea. It could give buyers to save per issue by getting a subscription and it locks them in for a determined period of time, which may be more effective than relying on them to come back repeatedly each time a new issue comes out.

 5. One small detail I liked on their site that we don’t currently do is that the table of contents is clearly divided among the genres. Therefore the reader can go directly to each section (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual art).

 6. Their website also mentions that they do public readings of their content in a bookstore in a Houston. I think if we could have readings from our issues at Fordham, but also at independent bookstores in New York City, it would be a terrific way to spread the word, sell print editions, and raise money for our organization of that given year.

 7. Donate Link- On home page


- Laura Smith Terry