Irreantum: A New Issue, A New Editor

We’ve been busy at Irreantum these days.  The submission window for our fiction and creative nonfiction contests just closed on May 31, and we received 90 fiction entries and 48 creative nonfiction entries, our most robust level of participation yet.  And even though that’s a lot of reading, the high response level is very satisfying to me.  It shows how many people out there are writing Mormon literature, and gives me great hope that we can find some excellent work to publish in Irreantum’s pages.

We also have an announcement to make.  The Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Irreantum will be my last.   I’ve been involved with Irreantum for six years now and have enjoyed my time as editor a great deal.  Although I’ve gained many benefits  from my editorship, it’s become clear that I need to make more time for both my family and my own writing.

I care too much about Irreantum to leave without a stellar replacement, however, and we’ve found him!  Joining Jack Harrell as Irreantum’s new co-editor is Josh Allen.  Josh has a BA in English from BYU and an MFA in fiction from Old Dominion University.  He writes short stories and creative non-fiction and is currently working on his first novel. From 2002-2004, he taught writing at The American University in Cairo (Egypt), and he currently teaches creative writing, professional writing, and American literature at BYU-Idaho.  Last month, Josh presented a paper on how his faith influences his art at The Association of Writing Programs’ Conference in Denver, and some of you may have met Josh at the AML’s annual meeting earlier this year.  Josh will officially join Irreantum in 2011.  I know he will be a fabulous co-editor, and that he and Jack Harrell will do great things with the journal.  Welcome, Josh!

And, finally, it seems that I can’t leave Irreantum behind completely.  I plan to stay on as our contest coordinator, helping Jack and Josh and the section editors run our annual contests that supply so much of Irreantum’s great content.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to at least keep my toe in the water, because I do love Irreantum and hope it has a long and happy life.

And one more announcement: Jack Harrell has been busy working on his first issue, Spring/Summer 2010.  The issue should go to print sometime this month, so now is the time to renew your subscription–or become a new subscriber!  To whet your appetite, here’s the table of contents:



Lisa Madsen Rubilar, “A Confession” (1st place, 2009 fiction contest)

Thom Duncan, “When We Remembered Zion” (3rd place, 2009 fiction contest)

Lon Young, “The Man and His Wife”


Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye, “Mornings and Nights” (1st place, 2009 creative nonfiction contest)

Eric d’Evegnee, “What’s a Dead Mother Like You Doing in a Place Like This?”

David Grover, “The Missionary” (honorable mention, 2009 creative nonfiction contest)

Boyd Petersen, “Escape from Groundhog Day: Mormon Literary Creation and the Cycle of the Eternal Return”


Jim Papworth, “Residence Inn Marriot: Salt Lake City”; “At Sacré-Coeur”; “Welder: Falling”

Simon Peter Eggertsen, “Felucca at Maadi”

Matthew James Babcock, “Jerusalem Artichoke”; “Visions at Birch Creek”

Tyler Chadwick, “For the Sycamore”; “On Winter Nursing, by J. Kirk Richards”


Angela Hallstrom, “An Interview With Brady Udall, Author of The Lonely Polygamist


Douglas L. Talley,  “The Myriad Unknown: Mark D. Bennion’s Psalm & Selah: A Poetic Journey through the Book of Mormon

Tyler Chadwick, “Of Speaking the Truth, Scapegoats, and Absorbing the Rhetoric of Blame: Melissa G. Moore and M. Bridget Cook’s Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter

Joseph Geisner, with Jeffrey Needle, “Closer to the Source: Jensen, Woodford, and Harper’s The Joseph Smith Papers: Revelations and Translations, Manuscript Revelation Books, Facsimile Edition”


We’re looking forward to a great summer of reading, both Jack’s issue and all our contest entries.  And I’d like to thank all of your for your support over the years as I’ve worked on the journal, and to express my gratitude for the opportunity to be involved in publishing the very best Mormon literature has to offer.  It’s been a great privilege.

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12 Responses to Irreantum: A New Issue, A New Editor

  1. Th. says:


    I’ll miss your presence, Angela, but I’m glad you’ll have more time for your own writing now.

  2. Wm Morris says:

    Amen. No pressure, but if we could get both an Angela Hallstrom and a Margaret Young novel sometime in the next 6 years, that’d be awesome.

    And: that Boyd Petersen essay title has me all intrigued. I can’t wait.

    And: Way to represent, Tyler!

  3. Tyler says:

    Word, Wm.

    It’s sad to see you go, Angela, but the future of the journal looks bright. How many BYU-I profs does that put on Irreantum’s staff?

  4. Courtney says:

    I was at AWP for Josh’s presentation and it was exceptional. I’m glad he’s joining staff, but Angela, you will be missed. I hope a new novel is on the horizon.

  5. Angela H. says:

    Thanks, all. My youngest goes to preschool this year, and without Irreantum keeping me busy, I plan to dive into my latest writing project head first. (It’s a YA trilogy that’s a little bit science fiction, a little bit romance, a little bit dystopian fiction, and deals with religious questions head on.) I’m hoping I can get the first novel done in six years time! (Fingers crossed.) And if nobody wants to publish it, at least maybe I can send a copy to Wm., whose good opinion always means a lot to me.

    And Tyler, I think that brings us to a grand total of three BYU-I profs: Jim Richards, the poetry editor, and Jack and Josh as co-editors. Brittney Carman, our creative nonfiction editor, lives in Idaho, too. We’re migrating north!

  6. Angela H. says:

    And I think Josh is going to be great, too. I’ve only met him briefly, but I’m impressed with his enthusiasm and his experience with both literature and editing/publishing. He and Jack will make a great team.

  7. Tyler says:

    <i>We’re migrating north!</i>

    Well, that bodes well for me, then. *wink wink*

  8. Wm Morris says:

    A dystopian sci-fi/romance hybrid with religious questions? I’m so there. Good luck with the writing.

  9. Josh Allen says:

    Thanks, Angela, for the warm welcome and the vote of confidence. As you know, I’m thrilled to be working on Irreantum.

    I’m sure your influence will be missed, and I hope I can maintain your high standard.

    Best of luck on your novel.

  10. Jonathan Langford says:


    As I’ve commented before, the business of Mormon letters is a labor of love that all of us pretty much have to take in shifts. You’ve put in fine service as editor. I hope to see more good fiction from you moving forward.

  11. Th. says:


    Incidentally, when will this issue ship? (If you don’t mind me asking.)

  12. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury says:

    BYU Mailing received the copies on Wednesday and they are working on getting them out in the mail today (I hope).

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