A LETTER FROM THE BOARD

ALANNA SMITH

“No genre fiction.”

The three words were right there, printed in Times New Roman on the syllabus. It was my last semester of undergrad. The capstone course for my soon-to-be-awarded creative writing degree. But those three words knocked the wind out of my sails. My passion was fantasy, and I hoped that the sentence was a misprint.

But when the professor repeated those same three words on the whiteboard, I knew it was no mistake. Fantasy wasn’t welcome in his course. Neither was sci-fi, or horror, or romance, or mystery, or any other genre. Which left me with two choices: to follow the rule, or to break it.

I chose to break it.

Talk to almost any writer of genre fiction, and they’re likely to have a similar story—and not all were lucky to have a professor who begrudgingly, yet fairly, accepted their thinly veiled fantasy stories. Despite popular fiction of all genres ascending higher and higher in public esteem with every decade, it remains snubbed in the realm of academic creative writing. Professors won’t read it. English departments won’t teach it. And academic literary journals won’t publish it.

Page Turner Magazine sprang from soil watered by the blood, sweat, and tears of genre fiction writers longing to find a home for their work. It happened beautifully and organically: a supportive faculty advisor, a group of dedicated Emerson College writers, and a dream. Over the last ten months, we’ve cultivated our little magazine, learning new skills and pooling our experiences to keep it growing. I’ve been especially honored to help lead the magazine’s board: a collection of students and alumni committed to shaping genre fiction into a space for all voices and experiences. We’ve done so much already, and we can’t wait to touch the lives of not just those at our school, but in the greater writing community beyond.

We’re proud to welcome you all to our first issue—hopefully of many to come. To paraphrase the quote at the entrance to my favorite theme park, welcome to the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.

Welcome to the world of genre fiction.

ALANNA SMITH
MAY 24, 2021