Barstow & Grand release party for issue No. 6

Barstow & Grand to celebrate the release of its sixth issue with the Chippewa Valley’s literary community

Maggie OBrien

More stories from Maggie O'Brien

Across the Pond
February 28, 2024

Photo by Barstow & Grand

The cover of the upcoming issue of Barstow & Grand

Barstow & Grand is a grassroots annual print journal established in 2017 that publishes work from those connected to western Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley and the upper midwest. The literary journal is celebrating the release of its sixth issue with a release party. 

The issue six release party will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Lazy Monk Brewing LLC. 12 authors that contributed to the issue will be featured and the event is open to the public. 

Eric Rasmussen, founder and editor of Barstow & Grand, said when Barstow & Grand started with issue one, he wanted to serve local writers, which he defined as anyone with any connection to Eau Claire. 

“After a while, we expanded our area to cover the entire Upper Midwest, so for the past handful of issues, we’ve taken submissions from anyone in that area,” Rasmussen said. “But definitely, the majority of what we print is still from authors with some Chippewa Valley connection.”

Rasmussen said Barstow & Grand publishes creative writing, which can involve fiction, nonfiction, poetry or any hybrid thereof.

“We select generally about 25 poems, four to five fiction pieces and four to five nonfiction pieces,” Rasmussen said. “And then we build that into a print journal that we publish and release, and we try to get that into the hands of literature lovers all over.”

Rasmussen said Barstow and Grand receives submissions from brand new writers who are trying out different forms, all the way through professionals who have been writing for years. 

Yvette Flaten, author and contributor to the sixth issue of Barstow & Grand, said her first time submitting to the journal was for issue two.

“I’m very pleased that Barstow & Grand continues to be successful and continues to publish,” Flaten said. “I’m really proud to be featured in a local publication.”

Flaten said she feels Barstow & Grand has a very user-friendly submission process and that as a contributor, she appreciates this. 

“They’re easy to work with and Eric Rasmussen is easy to talk to and he’s eager to help people succeed,” Flaten said. 

According to Flatten, it’s obvious that the editors make a point to really find the best writing, and that this attention to detail is what makes a good journal. 

“To be included is a real hallmark,” Flaten said. “I’ve met new authors that I had never read before through Barstow & Grand.”

B.J. Hollars, founder and director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild, a partner of Barstow & Grand, is a consulting editor for the journal. He said his favorite thing about the publication is that you’ll never get the same issue twice. 

“The beauty of the editorial process is that it amplifies a range of genres and subgenres,” Hollars said. “In some ways, Barstow & Grand issues are always the same in that they are never the same.”

Hollars said some of the highlights of the sixth issue involve work from first-time Barstow & Grand contributors including Brady Foust, Christopher Chambers, Emily Kassera and Richard Terrill.

“Barstow & Grand’s release party is really a way to bring writers together to celebrate our shared work,” Hollars said. “This is a chance to socialize, celebrate and push ourselves to continue the writing ahead.”

Rasmussen said submissions are open for issue seven in March and April.

“We’re always looking for more writers to join us and share their work with us,” Rasmussen said. 

More information on the submission process can be found on Barstow and Grand’s website. To find out more about the issue six release party, check out Barstow and Grand’s Facebook

O’Brien can be reached at [email protected].