Shale--An Undergraduate Literary Magazine

Winning Journal in the 2015 Sigma Tau Delta-Sponsored National Competition for Undergraduate Literary Journal--3rd Place!



Out of the ashes of the old literary journal JAR, UK undergraduate Eric Schlich created The Cat’s Figment in 2008 as part of an independent project guided by the Gaines Center for the Humanities. Renamed Shale under Ashleigh Lovelace during the 2011-2012 publication cycle, this journal passed from the leadership of one Gaines Fellow to another for seven years. In 2012, Sarah Hayden incorporated the dying world language journal In fi nI into our pages and later secured funding for our first perfect bound edition. In 2013, Katie Cross brought Shale to UK’s campus by co-founding Graphite Creative Writing Association and organizing creative events including the Off the Ground reading series. Over the years, Shale has evolved from the loose newsprint of that first Cat’s Figment to a professional book published twice a year.

Shale is run by the philosophy of opportunity. We hope to provide the opportunity for passionate undergraduates to publish their art in written or visual form. We maintain this philosophy when it comes to the composition of our staff.


Shale is run by a volunteer staff, with potential turnover in each publication cycle. The majority of our staff members happen to be English majors interested in the editing and publication processes. To join staff, email (“shaleuk” at “gmail” dot “com”) with relevant editing, design, or marketing experience. Description of Jobs below--Lots of staff positions open!

FALL 2016 Editors
  • Nathan Petrie & Jiv Johnson:  Editors-in-chief 

CONTACT:  On Facebook under "Shale Literary Journal" and on Twitter as @ShaleJournal

EMAIL: (“shaleuk” at “gmail” dot “com”)

Job Descriptions Fall 2016--Applications due Sept, 2, 5 PM!


Editorial Board


Editor-in-Chief / Co-Editor-in-Chief

  1. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for coordinating the times and locations of all All-Staff Meetings, as well as setting the agenda and leading said meetings.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for attracting and coordinating funding for each semester’s edition and for catering for the reception event at the end of each semester.
  3. Create promotional events and fundraising opportunities to grow the journal’s influence on campus
  4. Forming and maintaining relationships with departments and organizations that are relevant and/or helpful to our mission as a journal.
  5. Responsible for obtaining multiple quotes from printers, developing a professional relationship with local printers, and ensuring timely payment of the selected printer.
  6. Addressing any issues or concerns that arise among staff. Ensuring that they understand their job role and are able to execute duties effectively. Assist where needed.
  7. Meeting with our English and MCLLC advisers to keep them apprised of journal progress and consulting them when in need of advice or guidance.
  8. To do whatever necessary to ensure the consistent progress of the journal in quality and quantity.
  9. Hiring new staff new members, promoting managers from inside Shale when possible, training the Co-Editor-in-Chief and looking for someone to replace the current Co in the following academic year


Social Media Co-Ordinater

  • Consistently, regularly promote Shale through social media, posters, word of mouth, and other promotional materials.
  • Ensure that students on campus are aware of Shale, its message, and its deadlines, its events, and that Shale is being portrayed in a respectful way.
  • Assist in event promotion/planning


Layout and Design Manager

  • The Layout & Design Manager will be in charge of the visual presentation of Shale, whether it be in print or via some other source.
  • Formatting of the interior pages and cover.
  • Keeping the visual presentation of Shale consistent with the work of PR, the Art Manager (especially if the Art Manager is involved in the selection of the cover image), and heavily guided by the vision of the Editor-in-Chief and Assistant/Co-Editor.



Subsection Manager

  • Organize and plan subsection meetings so that the entire subsection can participate within reason
  • Foster healthy discussions, keeping meetings on track, and insuring every editor has a voice in every decision
  • Maintain our selective standards evenly across subject matter and forms
  • Break tied decisions
  • Communicate with your editors respectfully, providing adequate time for them to respond to emails, text messages, etc.
  • Hold editors responsible for coming prepared to meetings and giving fair criticism
  • All of the responsibilities of a regular editor


Subsection Editor

  • Advertising Responsibilities
    • Post at least one batch of flyers before submission deadline
    • Make a formal presentation in front of at least two classes or clubs before submission deadline
    • Solicit submissions via word-of-mouth
    • Follow and like the Shale Twitter and Facebook page
    • Distribute print copies of Shale to at least one location
    • Talk about Shale to friends
    • Complete all other assigned tasks
  • Communicating Responsibilities
    • Attend all staff and subsection meetings
    • Meet all deadlines.
    • Be respectful of managers and other staff members
    • Promptly respond to emails, Doodle polls, and any other communication
    • Communicate any difficulties fulfilling duties or frustrations with other staff members or with the Editors-in-Chief
    • Be professional in oral and written communication between staff members, clubs, professors, etc.
  • Reviewing Responsibilities
    • Be open-minded about subject matter and style
    • Be open-minded about and respectful of other editors’ opinions
    • Excuse yourself from discussions of work by someone you may know
    • Consistently accept and reject pieces based on the merit of the work alone
    • Come prepared to each subsection meeting having read/viewed and made a decision on each of the submissions
    • Attend all All-Staffs and subsection meetings, arriving on time.


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