We welcome all UC Santa Barbara students to join us as editorial readers and/or copyeditors! We love to have students from both inside the College of Creative Studies (CCS) and outside – your perspective matters.


In Introduction to the Literary Magazine (W&L CS 170A), you’ll learn more about the current state of literary publishing by reading and examining a number of literary journals (both print and online). We’ll consider how publications create a particular aesthetic and arrange different works from multiple genres into a cohesive whole.  We’ll also talk about the thing we call “literary value” and how publishers determine it. 

Making Editorial Decisions (W&L CS 170B) is where the magic happens--we read through all of our submissions and pick the poems, prose, hybrid pieces and artwork that will go into the journal. We’ll apply what we learned in Introduction to the Literary Magazine and talk more about the role of editors and Spectrum’s aesthetic.

During Design, Production and Editing (W&L CS 170C), we’ll set the order of the published pieces and art in the journal (the Table of Contents) and try our hands at the publishing software Affinity to create the layout of the journal. We learn more about copyediting, and copyedit the chosen texts in the new issue and discuss our edits with authors. We also plan the launch party to celebrate the newest issue.

spectrum vol 60 cover

“Spectrum taught me how to read like a real writer. Analyzing, and summarizing, hundreds of its submissions has made every professional reader job I’ve had look easy in comparison.”

Hannah Morley, editorial reader and copyeditor, 2019 and 2020

Spectrum is a valuable experience for everyone but for writers especially because they get to experience a mini-version of what publishing is like, from the slush pile to discussing and arguing submissions, to the editor-writer relationship. It's helpful to have that experience if you want to be published someday because it familiarizes you with the process (and also gives you some insight into what editors reading through your pieces are dealing with on a day-to-day basis).”

Phoebe Pineda, editorial reader, 2021

Interested in joining? Questions?

Email ccs-spectrum@ucsb.edu for more information or answers to any questions. Or, if you're ready to join, just email the professor for that quarter's class to get an add code.