October 23, 2020

Dovetail, the Arts and Literary Magazine of NYU SPS DAUS, Debuts Digital Format During COVID-19 Quarantine

Dovetail, the Arts and Literary Magazine of NYU SPS DAUS, Debuts Digital Format During COVID-19 Quarantine

There is no shortage of artistic talent at the NYU School of Professional Studies, and one of the most engaging vehicles for exhibiting student creativity is Dovetail, the annual art and literary journal of the NYU SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS). Founded more than a decade ago, the magazine features original fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, and visual art that is submitted by emerging writers and artists at NYU SPS.

This year for the first time, as the world came to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown, the editorial staff of Dovetail, which is comprised of DAUS students enrolled in the “Literary Magazine Production” course, migrated the content, which normally takes the form of a printed magazine, to a beautifully produced digital format that incorporates musical recordings and readings.

Usually, the printed version of the magazine is distributed at the end of the spring semester at Humanities Fest, an evening of live music, literary readings, studio art, and great food. This year, that in-person event was canceled due to the pandemic. “Missing the launch was a big disappointment because that’s when we showcase the work of our students and celebrate,” noted Clif Hubby, clinical associate professor and coordinator for the humanities at DAUS. “With the quarantine in effect, it became urgent to produce an online version of the magazine.”

Faculty adviser Simona Blat, who teaches the “Literary Production Class,” praised the students for their “self-driven work and enthusiasm” in learning new technical skills and producing this year’s digital issue. She reflected on how the publication has evolved over time. When she started out at NYU SPS three years ago, Dovetail was a homogeneous black-and-white publication with solicited articles and a heavy focus on the editing process. She revamped the class to include all aspects of producing a magazine, so that students would learn the practical “ins and outs” of literary publishing. Under her guidance, students acquired the skills to write marketing copy, edit submissions, curate visual images, communicate professionally with authors, design the layout and style of the magazine, and choose cover art.

This year, when classes went remote and Dovetail could not be physically printed, students added another skill to their repertoire—they learned to create a literary digital website using tools such as InDesign and WordPress. “Our students are quite computer savvy so it was not a big hurdle,” asserted Blat. “They adapted to the circumstances and moved forward.”

This fall, in the new digital format, Dovetail will debut the first edition of Dovetail Diaries to provide the opportunity for artists and writers to respond to topical issues.

Dovetail has become a high-level literary magazine of your dreams,” Hubby concluded. “The content is rich and has been brought to life by the use of accompanying multimedia elements.”

Dovetail is open for submissions every year from September 15 — February 15. Please submit to dovetail@nyu.edu.

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