PENN YAN — Yates County’s newest literary magazine is hot off the presses.
The first issue of Bluff & Vine was published last month and features five nonfiction pieces and 10 fictional stories, as well as 16 art creations from clients at Skylarc Studio, part of the Arc of Yates’ Center for Lifelong Learning.
Founding editors Bethany Snyder, a 1992 Penn Yan Academy graduate, and Alex Andrasik, the adult services librarian at Penn Yan Library, launched the idea for the literary magazine last June.
They wanted to showcase writers who were inspired by Keuka Lake and the surrounding area; they put the word out for submissions all last summer.
Snyder said they were ecstatic with both the quality and variety of writing pieces they received — 20 in all.
“We had no expectations, we had no idea what was going to happen,” Snyder said. “We were thrilled not only with the number we got but with the number we wanted to accept.”
An editorial committee comprising Snyder, Andrasik, Sarah Thompson and R.W. Webb made the selections. Doug Fleet of Arc of Yates helped serve as the art consultant.
Snyder said the majority of the writers live in the Finger Lakes/Rochester area and several will be on hand at a reception planned for Dec. 13. A quick glance at the magazine’s table of contents shows the writers took the local theme to heart. Among the titles are “Outlet, “A Winter’s Lament,” “Fishing With Dad on Keuka Lake,” and “The Keuka Lake Water Carnival.”
Fleet, of Arc of Yates, said Snyder and Andrasik visited the Skylarc studio and chose art pieces that connected with the Keuka Lake theme and fit some of the writing they had received.
“It’s been really exciting on our end,” Fleet said.
The Arc clients have only seen the finished product in digital form, but are looking forward to seeing hard copies of the magazine. The cover art was done by Brenda Guidone, and Fleet said when she was shown a digital version of the magazine “it was really great stuff.” All of the clients have taken pride in the fact their work has been included, he added.
Snyder said although birthing a literary magazine was exhausting, “we 1,000 percent want to do this again.”
“It was so incredible to tap into the talent around Keuka Lake and the people who love it,” she said, adding the plan is to make Bluff & Vine an annual project with the second issue published next fall.
The reception is open to the public; those on hand can meet not only the writers, editors and artists whose work is featured, but can also buy copies of the magazine and some of the art that’s featured in it.
Bluff & Vine is also available at Long’s Cards and Books in Penn Yan and the Arc of Yates, as well as online at www.amazon.com for $10.
Snyder is understandably relieved and proud that the first issue is in the books, and is now looking forward to sharing the magazine with as many people as possible and to generate interest for the second issue.
“We [Alex and I] both feel like there’s so much to be said about this place and these people and we’re excited to share it and make it beautiful and accessible,” she said.