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Submissions sought for Serape XVII

Submissions are being sought for the 17th edition of New Mexico State University's Serape, an anthology of creative writing by New Mexico authors ages 55 and older.

Cover of Serape XV.

dline for submissions is Feb. 1.

Submissions of poetry, fiction and nonfiction are accepted, although in nonfiction personal essays are preferred over scholarly essays. Several pieces may be submitted, totaling no more than 40 pages.

Kevin McIlvoy, New Mexico State University English professor and co-editor of Serape with local authors Kathryn Byrd and Valerie Baca, said the idea for the anthology originated with a writing class he has been teaching at the Munson Senior Citizens Center in Las Cruces for 19 years.

"It became clear to me after the first year of the class that there was some remarkable work coming out of it that warranted attention from the community," McIlvoy said.

Serape originally sought submissions from authors within the community, but has since broadened its scope and now receives submissions from "every edge of the state, from tiny communities to larger towns," according to McIlvoy.

McIlvoy said people are often surprised by Serape's content.

"Biases about older people come into play," McIlvoy said. "Readers don't expect to find work so far-reaching in emotion and understanding. The writing in Serape reflects the authors' long life experiences and their long formal and informal education and broad perspectives on our culture."

Payment to the authors will be three complimentary copies of the anthology.

A self-addressed stamped envelope must be sent along with submissions to: Kevin McIlvoy, Serape Anthology, Box 30001, Dept. 3E, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, 88003-8001. Copies of Serape XVI may be requested from the same address and are $10, or $8 for senior citizens.