Housed in the English Department at CU Denver and produced collaboratively by faculty and student editors, Copper Nickel ( is a national literary magazine that publishes about 0.5% of the submissions it receives from all over the world.

Since 2015 work published in Copper Nickel has been reprinted in the Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses anthologies. Copper Nickel contributors include recipients of the National Book Critics Circle Award; the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; the American, California, Colorado, Minnesota, and Washington State Book Awards; the Nobel Prize, the Georg Büchner Prize; the TS Eliot and Forward Poetry Prizes; the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; the Whiting Writers Award; the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award; the Lambda Literary Award; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill, Witter Bynner, Soros, Rona Jaffe, Bush, and Jerome Foundations; the Bunting Institute; Cave Canem; and the American Academy in Rome.  

Each semester, about 20-25 student editors work for Copper Nickel, screening submissions as well as participating in promotion, design, proofreading, subscription drives and management, etc. Students usually get involved by simply volunteering for the journal, though at some point they often also take the course English 4088: Literary Editing: Copper Nickel, which combines practicum work for Copper Nickel with the study of literary magazines and publishing more broadly. Each semester, two Copper Nickel internships are also available. Additionally, student editors have the opportunity to attend the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference, where students work alongside faculty promoting Copper Nickel at the Book Fair, where 700 literary journals and book publishers from across the country have tables. The conference is attended by about 12,000 writers; students attend readings, panels, and craft talks; meet with editors of other journals and presses; and encounter numerous writers previously published in Copper Nickel.

In addition to working with Copper Nickel, students also have the chance to work for The Sentry, the University of Colorado Denver student newspaper. “There are so many great things for students to get involved in,” Professor Teague Bohlen says. “There’s more to offer than just these classes.” Creative Writing alumni have gone on to prime graduate placements at institutions that include Columbia University, Cornell University, Emerson College, Purdue University, Sarah Lawrence, the University of Alaska, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin, and Virginia Commonwealth University, among others. Other graduates now work as grant writers, arts administrators, corporate communicators, editors, and freelancers.

For more information about Copper Nickel, please contact Wayne Miller.

For more information about The Sentry, please contact Teague Bohlen.  

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