Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Many people are asking what happened to the summer edition of The Gorge Literary Journal, originally scheduled for publication in August. Editors John Metta and Julie Hatfield were forced to postpone the last edition because of funding difficulties.
“We feel bad for the writers who’ve submitted,” said Metta, “but this project is entirely volunteer driven, and we pay everything except printing costs out of pocket. Our sponsors pay for the printing, but we didn’t get the sponsorships this time, so had to fall back and regroup.”
Thankfully, fortune has smiled down upon the project and the editors are delighted to announce that Gorge Lit has been awarded an Elks National Foundation (ENF) Beacon Grant, through the local Hood River Elks Lodge No. 1507.
Metta called the grant “a truly serendipitous event.”
The Committee Chair of the Elks National Foundation, the Gorge’s own Kristyn Fix, was one of the writers scheduled to be published in the summer edition. “She reached out to me to ask when the publication was going to happen,” said Metta, “and when I said, ‘I don’t know,’ her response was ‘What’s it going to take to make it sustainable?’”
“Many people don’t realize that the National Elks support community cultural programs,” Fix said. “That enables our local lodge to help, too. Gorge Lit was an excellent fit for the grant.”
Not only is Gorge Lit fully funded for its Winter and Summer 2018 issues, but the grant even includes a payment of $15 for each writer published. Payment is unusual for such small literary publications, and a first for Gorge Lit.
“John and I have been trying to boost our sponsorship levels to allow payment ever since the journal debuted two years ago,” said Hatfield. “We’re extremely grateful to Kristyn and the Elks National Foundation for helping us reach that goal.”