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My favorite feedback when I comment on literature-based papers is “You should look into getting this published,” encouragement being a central component of scholarly kindness. Maybe you’ve recommended similar possibilities, the keywords abstract, conference-length, and academic writing sample resonating with your mentorship. What professors invested in me, Learner, I’ll office-hours back to you. Halfway through grading my Literary Interpretation courses’ end-of-semester papers last December, I spent time searching for print and online journals that publish undergraduate literary criticism—might as well give concrete starting points, I thought—differently worded queries revealing whatever links nil and scant.


Since 2020, 1-Week Critique has focused on creative writing pedagogy, whether through detailed editorial suggestions, panels, or craft articles. Lately, we’ve thought along the lines of resources and resourcefulness for those who write about literature. With Interpretations, we answer the questions Where and How do undergraduates enter the larger literary conversation?


Adhering to the ‘early and final draft’ model of our interview series, we’re publishing high-quality papers as we first encounter them, followed by more realized versions after paragraph-by-paragraph discussions with the author. Additionally, we feature critical reflections that describe the student’s revision process as they share their insights past the classroom community.


While undergraduates haven’t yet reached the level of MA or PhD writing, their voices are just as important. “Not all of us are extroverts,” I tell students on the first day of class, “but all of us are thinkers.” Interpretations is where new ideas on fiction, drama, memoir, and poetry transcend their assignment beginnings. We never know who is just a draft away from a life of letters, or a life that recognizes the importance of letters. This fuels my optimism where tomorrow’s literary criticism is concerned as we debut another facet—scholarly mentorship—of 1-Week Critique.

- Jon Riccio

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