‘The Line Literary Review’ Founded by Writing Students
BY Nicole Saldarriaga, January 15, 2021
Writing students Samuel Granoff, Jacob Thomas Schultz, and Stephanie Wobby have founded The Line, a new nonprofit journal dedicated to publishing veteran writing, with support from Columbia Artist/Teachers. The journal is fully staffed by School of the Arts students as well, with Granoff as Editor-in-Chief, Schultz and Wobby as Managing Editors, and joined by Remy Smidt, Connie Chen, Cameron Menchel, Alice Yang, and Camille Jacobson as Associate Editors. Schultz, Wobby, and Chen are also veterans themselves.
The Line, which has a digital release date of January 27, 2021 at 7:00pm, will take the form of an online literary review with an annual print issue. According to the publication's mission statement, "The Line is committed to a new generation of creative veterans, spotlighting those driven to produce contemplative, compelling, and cathartic content. Our primary focus is to publish veteran literature, art, social commentary, and reviews; however we will consider any material created to bridge the gap between veterans and contemporary audiences."
Perhaps the most unique feature of The Line is its commitment to not only making space for veteran writing but for promoting the study of veteran writing in the classroom. Thanks to the publication's connection with Columbia Artist/Teachers (CA/T), each piece published in the review will be accompanied by a custom-made lesson plan, so that those interested can easily incorporate the work into the classroom.
According to Granoff, "The Line started from not just our interests in veteran writing, but from noticing the lack of platforms that showcase it. When teaching the CA/T Veterans Workshop last year, I would always field late-night emails or after-class questions like, 'Well, where do we get published?' That got me thinking. [Although] wonderful outlets do exist—from online publications like Wrath-Bearing Tree to The New York Times' "At War" channel (now-discontinued)—hardly any encourage veterans to separate war from work. So, when [Schultz began attending] Columbia, I pitched him the idea of a literary journal that would support service-members, veterans, and veteran family members through all forms of creative experience. Wobby, Smidt, and Chen really helped transform this idea into reality. All were willing to give it a shot. And from the looks of things, it seems like a lot of other people might be too."
Even before its official release date, The Line has generated a great deal of public support. Writers and organizations like fiction alumnus Matt Gallagher ’13, writing instructor for the Words After War program and author of the Iraq war memoir Kaboom (De Capo Press, 2011); Elliot Ackerman, National Book Award nominee and author of the memoir Places and Names (Penguin, 2019); the Wrath-Bearing Tree journal; and groups like Warrior Writers—as well as former editors and contributors from The New York Times' discontinued “At War” channel—have all been in contact with Granoff and his team to discuss possible collaborations and express their support for The Line.
Joseph Bathanti, Former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, said, "The Line's establishment is so timely as more and more powerful literary writing emerges from this new generation of soldier-writers. I've found it especially interesting that so much literature—from the wars we've been embroiled in for the past two decades—has been produced concurrently with those wars...I'm convinced, at least by my lights, that this 'phenomenon'—this prolific outpouring of writing and literature by this new breed of all-volunteer soldier-writers—constitutes an entirely new genre."
The Line is currently seeking original works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. Submission guidelines can be found on their website. The publication is also seeking interviewers and interviewees for its "Veterans Interviewing Veterans" section. Pitches for this section can be emailed to [email protected]
The launch of The Line will be celebrated with a virtual event on January 27, 2021 which will include "an introduction to The Line, as well as readings by writers from Words After War, Women Veterans Empowered and Thriving, Voices from War, Warrior Writers, United States Veterans' Artist Alliance (USVAA), and the Writer's Guild." To register for a free ticket, click here.
Samuel Granoff holds a BA from San Francisco and an MA from Duke, and he pitched for both schools’ baseball teams. He teaches undergraduate writing at Columbia, is a CA/T Veterans Co-coordinator, and fosters veteran service dogs with Guardian Angels. Presently, he’s at work on his second novel; a polyphonic western narrated by God.
Jacob Thomas is a teacher, writer, and artist from the midwest. He is an Army veteran and served two tours in Afghanistan as an airborne medic. He holds a BA in creative writing as well as a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in Creative Writing. He is currently a Warrior Writers Workshop facilitator, Warrior's Path Workshop facilitator, and Columbia University Veterans Writing Workshop co-coordinator.
Stephanie Cuepo Wobby grew up in Baguio City, Philippines, before immigrating to California. She enlisted in the Army in high school and served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a line medic. She holds a BA in English from the University of Vermont. She’s an alumna of the New York State Summer Writers Institute, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, and the Los Angeles Review of Books Publishing Workshop. She lives in Vermont with her husband and their two dogs.