The trees, the road and the ocean were black and obscure. Driving down a stretch of road to Port Aransas, Frank Mann wondered what was in the wilderness on the other side of the road. As the gears in his mind started turning, he let his imagination take over. Seagulls? Coyotes? Something larger? From that drive, Mann’s story “And Be a Fisher of Men” was created.
As is the case with most writers, seemingly trivial events can produce the best writing. “Anything can inspire a story,” says Mann, who currently works at the John Peace Library. “You just have to look at it the right way.”
After returning from his trip and coming to work at UTSA, Mann realized how much he missed the times he spent at Texas A&M at San Antonio’s writing club. Mann was curious, so he asked an English professor whether there were any writing clubs at UTSA. He was directed to “The Sagebrush Review,” a literary journal published each spring by UTSA students that showcases Texan students’ original pieces of literature, art and photography. After attending a meeting and hearing about the call for submissions, Mann contemplated whether or not he should enter “And Be a Fisher of Men” for consideration to be published.
Despite previous unsuccessful attempts to have his writing published, Mann’s dream to see his name in print was still alive. As he ventured out of his comfort zone once more, he didn’t let the fear of failing stop him. Finally, and nervously, he clicked “Submit.”
“I think most people have a desire to create things and share them,” Mann says. “I was responding to that desire.”
Alexis Haight, Assistant Managing Editor for “The Sagebrush Review,” knows the importance for students to submit their original work. “Our journal is a great place to showcase what students are capable of,” Haight says. “Roadrunners who submit [their work] show their support for their school’s efforts to share the achievements of student writers.”
After submissions are received in the fall, editors diligently work to review and select the pieces to be published. Although multiple submissions are received, only a select few are published in each volume.
Hoping that his dreams would be accomplished, all Mann could do was agonizingly wait for an answer. “The desire to be published became a desire for an answer one way or another,” he confesses.
Then in March of 2013, Mann received the news he’d be waiting for: his work was chosen.
“It’s a satisfying feeling of approval having someone else say ‘your writing is good enough that we’re going to put it in our limited space for others to see.’” Never having been published before, the opportunity that “The Sagebrush Review” provided catapulted Mann’s ambition.
“[Being selected] has given me hope that other people will like and enjoy [my writing],” Mann reveals. “Being published has made me feel that I can make it as a writer.”
Throughout the year, “The Sagebrush Review” holds multiple open mic events around San Antonio in an effort to give students the opportunity to present their work. By inviting guest readers from Northwest Vista, Our Lady of the Lake University and Trinity University, “The Sagebrush Review” gathers writers from all around San Antonio who share a common interest.
“We bring UTSA writers together with writers from other schools to exchange stories, poetry, and artwork,” Haight says. “We hope that by doing so, we can enrich the literary and artistic culture in San Antonio and beyond.”
Volume 9 of “The Sagebrush Review” will be released this spring for purchase. Interested students who want to submit their pieces for consideration for Volume 10 will be able to do so starting in the fall.