Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sport Literate | by Jay

I'd like to take a moment to mention Sport Literate, a unique literary journal focusing on "life's leisurely diversions," and the chef-d'oeuvre of a favorite contributor of ours, Gina Vozenilek. (You might remember Gina's essay, reprinted by us, on the dilemma of weddings and football Saturdays, entitled A Special Reverence.) From the SL website:

The first issue was a modest affair, printed at a local copy shop and stapled down the middle. But the idea of considering sport stories as something deeper than journalism, of illuminating the common experience of life beyond the daily grind and elevating it to something literary and thought-provoking, had staying power. Sport Literate has grown up to be a perfect-bound magazine published twice annually and supported by eleven consecutive grants from the Illinois Arts Council. Our issues and authors have garnered awards and recognition in anthologies such as The Best American Sports Writing and The Best American Essays. We are proud to be perhaps the nation’s lone literary magazine examining sports and leisure primarily through the lens of creative nonfiction.

Since its humble genesis, Sport Literate has sought to publish the best writing about how people pass their free time. We read elements of story in all sport; we are less interested in the final score than in figuring out why we play in the first place. Through memories, dialogue recast, and real-life characters rendered as accurately as possible on the page, our poets and writers tell true tales artistically. Our definition of sport is broad, literary excellence is our only criterion, and our loyalties lie with a story unforgettably told.
Sport Literate has launched an enhanced website with links for subscription and a new online blog. They've also just released their latest print issue, "Another Issue of the Big Shoulders." (If you scan the table of contents, you might find a familiar name.)

To mark the launch of the new site, SL is sponsoring a creative non-fiction essay contest, on the broad theme of "football." The winning essay will not only be published in the Fall Football issue, but will also garner the talented author a prize of $300. Sharpen your quills.

Anyway, if you're looking for some quality reading material on "life's leisurely diversions," please check out Sport Literate. It's a lively read, and it's that rare sports journal that takes the notion of "writing" just as seriously as "sports."