A Call For the Best Liars
Rachel D’Sa // Arts and Culture Editor
Nestled in a filing cabinet nook among the stacks of student papers and citation pamphlets in the writing centre, is one of CapU’s prized possessions — its very own literary magazine, The Liar Collective. Originally given the name The Lyre upon its birth in the 80s, by a group of radical artists hauled in a church basement, the publication has had the likes of Margaret Atwood, Bukowski and as of last year, R. Scott Bakker grace its pages.
Though the publication acknowledges works by established writers, the primary focus of the magazine is to provide students with a publishing opportunity for their creative writing passion projects. The publication also offers IDEA students the chance to design their covers, and advertises their philosophy of pushing boundaries and publishing unheard voices.
Though this presents a unique student experience and opportunity, The Liar finds itself receiving lesser support through funding. In the last year, the initially biannual magazine has seen a budget cut, as a part of the creative writing department, forcing it to become an annual publication.
Current Editor-In-Chief (EIC) Sarah Rose encourages students to take advantage of all that the publication has to offer, by submitting for consideration to published in this year’s edition. Since joining the group of student editors of the literary magazine in 2015, Rose has been trying to better advertise this ‘service’ to students.
“It’s like trying to find someone out of a phone book from 1997. Everything is scattered, out of date or just lost to the winds of time. I’m trying to change that,” she said. “The EIC is supposed to be the keyholder, so what I’ve been trying to do is gather all the keys and put them in a place where my successor can actually find them.”
In addition, those whose works are chosen will be presented with a hardcopy of the annual at a launch event, and from there on, can find additional copies for pick-up in the Humanities office in the Fir building.
Everyone has a story to tell, and Rose believes that The Liar is a great first step for those looking to share theirs. “Seeing [yourself] in print alongside talent like R. Scott Bakker based on the merit of [your] work alone is the kind of thing artists need to build themselves up before going on to do bigger, commercial publications,” noted Rose. Due to the high rejection rates pertaining to commercial publishing, the literary magazine offers itself as a foundation for artists who need a place to start. Rose adds that when sending in works to be considered for publication, students do not need to worry about cover letters, queries, agents and “everything else in the barren,” but rather just the works themselves.
The process of voting works into the publication involves an anonymous voting system put on by the current editorial staff — a rotating board of students. Anything under the sun, including microfiction, short fiction, non-fiction, poetry and “whatever else you can convince [Rose] to publish” is accepted. The current EIC (Rose) provides the final veto on submission thereon.
While calls for works are either in the Fall or Springtime, the publication accepts submissions year-round. This year the call for submissions deadline is Nov. 26 by 11:59 p.m., (though Rose notes that the publication is likely to take late submissions up to a week afterwards). This year, Rose chose not to propose a themed issue as she feels like there would be effects of silencing.
“The Liar is such a creator-driven publication that I felt superimposing something onto it isn’t the right way to showcase the voices inside. It’s a mosaic, not a paint by numbers,” she said, also noting that the unified voice emerging within the submissions can be considered the theme. “There’s this very beautiful and subtle sense of collective, righteous anger at being in the shadows, at being two-dimensional. That’s my job, to make them shine.”
To submit to The Liar for consideration of this year’s issue email up to three creative writing pieces to firstname.lastname@example.org.