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PopFic Gets Its Due at Emerson with Page Turner Magazine

Homepage of Page Turner Magazine with lots of books on a shelf
Pop Fiction of all genres are welcome at Page Turner Magazine.

Readers wanting genre fiction that enlightens or entertains can now now click on Page Turner Magazine.

Recently launched by students in the Popular Fiction and Publishing MFA program, the new website showcases the writing of Emerson students and alumni.

Editor-in-Chief/Board Chair Katsumi Sterling, MFA ’23 was excited to get involved with PTM.

Page Turner Magazine cover. A drawing of a woman holding a magnifying glass by a large red frog with smoke coming out of its nostrils
First-ever Page Turner Magazine cover: Art by Lily Mac Hugh ’22 MA, layout by Alanna Smith ’21.

“I thought PTM would be a unique opportunity that would allow me to help build the type of publication and community I had always craved as a genre writer,” said Sterling.

The magazine includes a book review blog, author interviews, and an array of pop fiction writers. PTM recently announced Mackenzie Hicks as the winner of the mag’s second flash fiction contest, with Hicks’ “My Dearest Lydia“, and Erudessa Gentian placing second with “Spring Forever“.

The idea for Page Turner Magazine was initiated by Associate Professor and Pop Fiction Program Director Kim McLarin. She said MFA programs traditionally have literary magazines run by students, and she wanted the PopFic program to have one as well.

“Their goal, which I support wholeheartedly, is to showcase the best genre fiction from all the country and, indeed, all over the world. (Wouldn’t it be cool to someday have popular fiction in translation?),” said McLarin. “The magazine also serves as an opportunity for students in the MFA in Popular Fiction Publishing and Writing to hone their skills as readers, editors and publishers.”

Page Turner is currently looking to hire for numerous voluntary and remote roles (all positions are voluntary and remote), including copy editor, board administrator, design assistant, layout assistant, and more. Some positions are limited to current PopFic graduate students, and many are open to all Lions — undergrads, graduate students, and alum.

And for those who don’t know, popular fiction is genre fiction.

“Our magazine recognizes the five genres our program focuses on: young adult/new adult, horror/thriller, mystery, science fiction and fantasy, plus romance,” said Sterling. “We are open to submissions from any genre, from Afrofuturism to historical fiction. There are too many to list here but we hope we will get submissions from them all!”

Pager Turner Magazine staff. Upper Left to right: Katsumi Sterling, Camia Rhodes, Alanna Smith, Jill Zacchia. Middle row left to right: Ghanima Emmanuelle Sol, Hancine Mok, Tess Rossi, Emily Johnson; Bottom row left to right: Elizabeth Vantangoli, Megan Bjerke (not on screen), Maxine Shen, and Mike Speegle. Not pictured: Lukas Harnisch-Weidauer, Kately Rivero, Richard Wood, Jen Correia, Lizzy Madrigal, Deanna Lutzeier.

PTM also describes itself as “pure, unapologetic pop fic,” which Copy Chief/Website Design Manager Mike Speegle ‘20 expanded upon.

“I think pop fiction is impure and apologetic when it accepts the role into which it’s been relegated in academia at large, which is one of study but not of celebration,” said Speegle. “Most institutions of higher education teach pop fiction in the past perfect: “behold ye these great works of a bygone era.” At the same time, they dismiss the notion that pop fiction is a vibrant, current art form, the composition and study of which deserves its own space in the academic milieu.”

The next flash fiction content will run from August 23 to October 4. General submissions for the next issue will open in September. Page Turner Magazine is currently online digitally, and PTM staff is working with the Graduate Student Association to determine when the magazine will be printed and where it will be available.

“We want to connect with our community whoever they are. Within Page Turner Magazine we have a goal to ‘keep moving forward’,” said Sterling. “We hope the Emerson community and public will keep in touch as we grow. If you think we need to create a space for you or your popfic, please let us know. We’re here because of the voices that continue to speak up for popular fiction.”

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