New Conceptions editor predicts bold moves for the prestigious magazine
On April 23, the University of New Mexico Student Publications Board selected Sierra Martinez as the new editor of the literary arts magazine Conceptions Southwest. Martinez brings editorial experience, refined taste and a bold vision for the future to this historic magazine.
Beginning in 1978, Southwest Conceptions is UNM’s premier annual fine arts and literature magazine that accepts submissions from all members of the UNM community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty , staff and alumni. Conceptions takes submissions in poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, visual arts, photography, and open media, an open category that ranges from short films to sculptures — anything otherwise difficult to publish.
Martinez, a fifth-year student majoring in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies began her time with Conceptions her sophomore year of college, just before the university closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. Since then, she has served as a staff member and editor of Scribendi, a national fine arts and literature magazine centered on the UNM Honors College, and as a staff member of the 2022 issue of Conceptions under the editorship of editor Zoe Perls.
Her previous experience with Scribendi was key in preparing her to edit the 46th edition of Conceptions, according to Martinez.
“I learned to be a leader, and I learned to be a resource for people who weren’t as knowledgeable about how certain things work in the publishing process,” Martinez said. “Good leadership is about giving the people you are responsible for the space to cultivate their own skills and their own path forward and to make the experience fun and interesting, even for people who decide it’s not is not for them.”
Martinez hopes to expand the reach of the magazine, which has primarily received more submissions from the undergraduate English department than from any other field.
“There is a lot of untapped potential across the University. Students, faculty, and staff, everyone has their hobbies and interests that might fit with what we do at Conceptions… (I want to) spread the word to STEM people because, even if they don’t pursue can -not having a degree in something relevant to publishing, a lot of them still have interests outside of school, whether it’s art or writing or whatever,” Martinez said.
Martinez also looks forward to encouraging new staff members, welcome from any department, alongside returning staff members on their journey of UNM publications.
“My main goal is to expand the reach of the magazine, not only in terms of contributions, but also people interested in participating as staff members and future editors. It’s a really great opportunity that people just don’t know about,” Martinez said.
Perls, who has known Martinez since kindergarten and worked above her as a writer on both Scribendi and Conceptions, praised her organization, warmth and ability to work with a diverse group of people.
“She has this concern for aesthetics and detail that is very sharp. She has this need to make things look beautiful, both in a harmonious and aesthetic sense, but also in a human sense,” Perls said. “She cares a lot about (editing) and she knows a lot about it…She will bring inclusiveness and warmth to teaching these skills to new staff.”
Outside of Conceptions, Martinez is involved with the Zimmerman Library and the Arita Porcelain Studio. In her little free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, especially her two dogs, Ruby and Blossom, and finding artistic inspiration in her publishing work.
After graduation, Martinez plans to combine her publishing experience with her degree in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to make the publishing sphere a more equitable space for women and non-political artists. gender-conform. Martinez hopes to showcase their work in her play selection as well as other outside advocacy efforts.
Students interested in getting involved with Conceptions Southwest can stay informed by following them on Instagram @designs_southwest and keep an eye out for information about this year’s first meeting, staff nominations and submission deadline. Copies of last year’s edition can be found in Marron Hall and at UNM Honors College.
Spenser Willden is the culture editor of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @spenserwillden