Byzantium 2019

29th Edition


Byzantium is the Cal Poly English department's award-winning annual literary journal produced entirely by undergraduate students.

The journal's poems and stories are chosen in Cal Poly's longstanding annual Al Landwehr Fiction Writing Contest and Kevin Clark Poetry Writing Contest, for which undergraduate and graduate students from all majors submit their work. Two separate judging committees, one for poetry and one for fiction, read the entries blind, along with student editors. The winning poems and stories, along with the judges’ choice entries, are published in Byzantium. Along with the prestige of publication in the journal, first, second and third place winners are also awarded cash prizes.

Begun in 1990, Byzantium has published literary works of remarkable quality, and many of the student winners in the writing contest have gone on to prestigious graduate schools in creative writing, including Columbia, Emerson, UC Davis, Houston, UC Irvine, Oregon and San Francisco State, among others. Byzantium complements the English Department's creative writing emphasis by providing both an in-house publication goal and a capstone work that demonstrates our student and department commitment to creative writing. The journal has been cited for its literary excellence and has twice won awards for design.


The Process

Each year, several graduating seniors are chosen to manage, edit, and produce the next issue of the Byzantium literary journal. The editorship historically consisted of two English majors that would work in tandem as co-editors, but this year a third editorial position was added. These three English major editors work with a student Art Director chosen from the Art & Design Department. Numerous English majors compete for the privilege of editing the journal, and those who are selected usually have editing experience, business acumen, desktop publishing skills, a fundraising vision, and the ability to work collaboratively under deadline.

Working with the Art Director, the editors are responsible for all aspects of the publication, including raising funds, choosing a printer, editing the text, designing the book, distributing the publication, and coordinating a reading for the writers. Additionally, the editors produce a year-end report chronicling their project. This report, along with the finished journal itself, serves as a manual for the following year’s editors.

The 2019 edition of Byzantium will be released in June 2019 with an unveiling event. Details will be posted soon. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the book when it is released this Spring, visit the English Department or contact You can also see previous editions on the English Department page.

Get Involved

This year, Byzantium is will have two submission windows to allow ample time for Cal Poly students to submit their work for consideration. The first submission window for fall will open on November 26, 2018, and will close at midnight on December 10, 2018. The second submission window for spring will open on March 4, 2019, and will close at midnight on March 18, 2019. 

We encourage you to send your best short story and up to five of your best poems for consideration. All Cal Poly students, regardless of major, are encouraged to enter; past winners have included students from each of the colleges at Cal Poly! Winning entries will receive cash prizes and will be published in the 29th edition of Byzantium. Additionally, the issue will also feature Editors' Choice, entries selected by this year's editors as honorable mentions.

Submission Guidelines

Submit work as an attachment via email. Include name and email address in the body of the email, but do not include personal contact information in the attachment. Instead, please use only one pseudonym for all submitted work. Individual contestants may submit both fiction and poetry. You can send your entries to the following emails:



If you are interested in advertising your business or club in this year's issue of Byzantium, or have questions about ways you can help, please use the link below to email this year's editorial team.


The 2019 Team

Sarah Wix

Managing Editor

Sarah is a fourth-year English major with an emphasis in Technical and Professional Communications, as well as a Spanish minor and a Media, Arts, Society and Technology minor. Outside of her literary pursuits, Sarah is also an active member of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club and an avid banana bread baker. After graduation, Sarah plans to travel and teach English as a second language before diving into a career in editing and small-press publishing.




Ariana Nevarez

Poetry Editor

Ariana is a fourth-year English major with a concentration in Poetry. She also works in the Communication Studies office of Cal Poly as an assistant. She is passionate about language and connecting to people and the world around her through it. When she isn’t reading she enjoys laying down, eating spaghetti, and watching movies. She is excited to gain editing and publishing experience through Byzantium, while showcasing the art of her peers.


Bridget Butler-Sullivan

Fiction Editor

Bridget is a fourth-year English major pursuing Cal Poly’s Technical and Professional Communication Certificate. Alongside her studies, she is also a tutor for the Writing and Rhetoric Center and an advisory board member for the Central Coast Writers Conference. Post-graduation, Bridget plans to take on the Big Apple where she will pursue work in the publishing world. You are most likely to catch her tearing through a Kurt Vonnegut novel, planning one of many trips to Sequoia National Park, or jamming out to the Front Bottoms as she drives her car, Subie Doo, around.



Hope Golden
Art Director

Hope is a third year Graphic Design student with a passion for illustration, books, and history. When she is not busy making project deadlines she is exploring libraries, making costumes, volunteering with cats, gaming, and napping in unusual spots. She hopes to work in print design in the near future.