Frequently Asked Questions

How many fiction/nonfiction pieces am I allowed to submit?
Those categories are based on word counts-2000 maximum-so a writer can either submit one longer piece in either or both categories, or up to three shorter pieces, as long as the total word count for either genre does not exceed 2000 words per category.

Can I send a picture that I think goes with a poem or a story?
Phoenix editors choose all art / text pairings. Please submit original art and text separately.

Is a poem allowed to be in a font and/or design of my choosing? I have one about flying and the poem is written in the shape of a bird.
Due to layout restrictions, "shape" poems or fancy fonts are usually not done, but that is up to the discretion of the editors and/or designers.

What kind of art are you looking for?
The Phoenix is diverse; we publish photographs as art, plus photos of other artwork such as sculptures, paintings, collages, sketches, and drawings of varied topics and in varied mediums. Please submit up to seven pieces, each separately. Please let us know which medium was used for each entry. (See the Frequently Asked Questions page for additional details.)

I wonder if my languages choices or subject matter might be offensive-who can I ask?

Send submissions questions to the advisor here

I have submitted my work. When will I hear if it is selected?
All selections are made by January/February following the submissions period, and a group e-mail is sent to all students whose work has been selected. Students are responsible for monitoring their e-mail accounts and responding to any additional requests, or their work may not be used.

I don't have email. Can I submit from the Valencia College library computer?
All Valencia College students have Atlas email; please use that as your default. Any email sent from a general location will not be able to receive the return "receipt" for the submission(s).

My work was selected for publication. Am I automatically entered in contests?
All pieces are automatically entered in the “Editors’ Choice” contest in four genres, with annual prize money from Student Development funding. Additionally, the Phoenix advisers may use, at their discretion, any published piece in additional contests, and/or materials to advertise the Phoenix.

Can I submit my poetry, prose and/or art if I am an editor?
Editors MAY submit to the magazine following standard criteria, since all pieces are selected anonymously, but editors are NOT eligible to win cash prizes. (The Editor-in-Chief may not submit work for consideration due to the nature of the position.)

How are editors and other staff selected?

Editors are all volunteers, and they are responsible for choosing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that will appear in the magazine. 

Volunteer spots may be limited; sign up here (link to form).

YES! The adviser will sign a volunteer’s hour sheet if asked.

Questions?  Contact Prof. Zuromski

The Editor-in Chief is selected by the faculty advisor for the Phoenix, usually from outstanding previous magazine editors.

Copy editors are people who profess a love and skill for the job-these students may volunteer in class.

Graphic Designers who create the layout and design of the magazine are students enrolled in the spring course, GRA 1956C — Phoenix Design Project.

The Phoenix Design Project is offered in the spring semester only and only on West Campus and successful completion of both GRA 1203C—Layout and Design, AND GRA 1206C—Typography are pre-requisites 
On some occaisions an advanced-level graphics student will be awarded the title and responsibilities of Creative Director of the project and team, by the faculty advisor. 

Questions? Contact Prof. Meg Curtiss

For additional details regarding prerequisites and other requirements or if you have further questions, please visit the Phoenix Positions page.

How can I find out who won the cash prizes in the annual contest sponsored by West Campus Student Development?
All cash winners will be posted under Awards each January. All winners must check the website to see if they have won (we will no longer send individual letters or emails), and then each winner must contact Student Development, West, 3-147 to arrange their payments. Any winner who neglects to contact Student Development and collect his or her cash prize by the end of spring semester forfeits the cash prize, and the money returns to student development funds.

Is the prize for each category always $100?
We have been lucky that Student Development continues to sponsor all four genres of cash prizes, for a TOTAL of $400 (by the way, this money is not guaranteed to be available every year!). This amount means $100 per genre, but we have had ties, where two students have split the $100 and won $50 each.

Who chooses the winners for the cash prizes?
The winners are chosen by the student editors working on the Phoenix each fall.

If my work wins a cash prize, what will Valencia do with my piece-can they use it for other things?
All winners will be published in the next Phoenix. Additionally, all winning pieces will be available on the awards page once the magazine has been printed. The Phoenix advisers may use, at their discretion, any published piece in additional contests, and/or materials to advertise the Phoenix.

My work is copyrighted. Will you put the copyright symbol on my piece(s)?
Valencia's policy is that ALL student writers and artists retain their individual copyrights, and a statement indicating such appears in the published magazine. Therefore, no individual copyright symbols will be used.

Can I use a penname?
NO: All student contributors are representatives of the College, so actual names are published for writers and artists. Students may choose to use any derivative of a first name with the official last name.

E.G. Chris Anderson, Topher Anderson, or Christopher Anderson are acceptable. C-Dog Anderson is not.

My work wasn't selected. What should I do now?
Plan on submitting again next year! Just because a piece may not work for a given issue does NOT mean it has no merit. Perhaps revise and try again, or submit new work. Occasionally, other departments or campus publications ask the Phoenix for unused pieces with merit, and we have "shared" contributors' work for display and/or publication elsewhere on campus. If this happens, the contributor is contacted.

How will the Phoenix know whether my submission is my own work?
All texts and images will be scanned with anti-plagiarism software, but students are responsible for knowing the rules, and all students will be required to agree to the following statement before a submission:

"I certify that the work I am submitting is my own original work and to the extent I have used material from another source, that source has been appropriately acknowledged. I understand and acknowledge that submitting another's work may constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may result in disciplinary action from the College."

How can I help work on the magazine?

Where can I find a current or back issue?
Contact Us