Whetstone Magazine revived

If you are an aspiring writer or photographer who dreams of having their work published, you are in luck. Whetstone Magazine is back, and it's just waiting for your literary and visual art submissions.

"To my delight, there was a great interest in reviving the magazine," says Dr. Jay Gamble, the English professor who, along with managing editor Rylan Spendroth, proposed giving the magazine a facelift and bringing it back into circulation.

Gamble runs the Creative Writing Association at the U of L and had heard about Whetstone and its history. He asked if anyone in the CWA was interested in reviving the publication and a preliminary meeting was organized to gauge participation. Over 20 students answered the call.

"We not only had students interested in seeing the publication come back, many of them were eager to take on senior editing positions," says Gamble. "That initial interest and enthusiasm bolstered the desire to renew the publication."

Whetstone is a University of Lethbridge based literary magazine that consists of submitted prose, poetry, photography and graphic design images. It was originally established in 1971 with the help of English faculty advisors, and buoyed by a dedicated incoming flow of submissions and donations from the community. The magazine survived until 1999 when it was discontinued due to declining interest.

The plan now is to publish Whetstone bi-annually, with issues out every fall and spring semester. And while the Whetstone name remained from its first incarnation, a twenty-first century upgrade was definitely in order. One of the main changes, its size, came out of necessity.

"Due to the fact we had relatively few submissions in the latest edition, the magazine was able to take a full size format, cut it horizontally in half, and use the look as a new publishing trait," says Andrew Penner, a third-year English major and the public relations advertising manager. "The result is a reenergized Whetstone 2.0."

Gamble says that Whetstone can provide a wonderful outlet for both aspiring and established writers alike.

"It offers a great opportunity for emerging writers to not only have their work published, but to have it showcased alongside more established authors," says Gamble. "Our first issue, for instance, includes work by respected Canadian author Robert Kroetsch."

Penner, who is a poet,attended the preliminary meeting held by Gamble and Spendroth because he was interested in possibly getting some works published. He walked away from the meeting as a member of the executive committee.

"It is really exciting to be involved at the grassroots level of a magazine that has the potential of becoming something very big," says Penner.

Whetstone is available for purchase at the University of Lethbridge Bookstore.

As sales increase and the magazine's budget expands, Whetstone will look to similarly expand its distribution. Until then, the main focus of the magazine is on southern Alberta and the prairies.

"Whetstone will help to establish a community of writers at the University of Lethbridge, in the city of Lethbridge and surrounding area," says Gamble. "I would eventually like to see the magazine grow to become a part of the landscape of Canadian Literature."

Those interested in submitting works for inclusion in the magazine can send their works to or

For general comments or questions, contact the editor of Whetstone at and check out the Whetstone Facebook page.

The next submission deadline is tentatively set for Dec. 1, with the edition scheduled to be released Mar. 15, 2011.