“To climb the glass mountain, one first requires a good reason.”
—Donald Barthelme, 1931-1989
Glass Mountain was founded in 2006 when several undergraduate students at the University of Houston combined their creativity and skills to start a journal that would be the counterpart of Gulf Coast, the journal edited by graduate creative writing students at UH. It was a little over a year between our initial meetings and the Spring 2007 premiere issue.
The journal’s name is inspired by a line from Donald Barthelme’s short story “Glass Mountain.” The quotation “To climb the glass mountain . . . .” began the editor’s note of our inaugural issue. The glass mountain, a sky scraper like the many we have here in Houston, represents the achievement of what seemed impossible when we first began laying plans.
Our “good reason” for creating Glass Mountain was simple: it was needed. Scores of new voices that needed expression have found a place to be heard, both on the printed page and at our readings and gatherings. A community of emerging writers that needed a niche has joined with the already vibrant arts community of Houston. With the success of the inaugural Boldface Conference for Emerging Writers in June 2009 through to the most recent Boldface Conference in 2016, we are taking new strides to ensure that developing writers have the community and support they continue to need.
Each November Glass Mountain presents its annual fundraising event, Write-a-thon, a fun and upbeat day of writing and contests that helps fund staff, faculty, and scholarships for Boldface. For a week each May the Boldface Conference presents workshops, readings by visiting writers, master classes, panels, and participant readings at the University of Houston campus. Glass Mountain also participates in local arts events like MenilFest, a springtime festival sponsored by the Menil Collection that brings together the visual, literary, and performing arts communities of Houston. We also host a monthly reading series featuring undergraduate and graduate writers—followed by an open mic—along with music, food, and drink. In addition, we attend the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference and bookfair (stop by and meet the editors!), a national event which brings together thousands of talented and motivated writers, literary journals, and literary publishers. During the 2013 conference Glass Mountain was the recipient of AWP’s National Director’s Prize in the Content category. Our journal continues to offer emerging writers a unique national platform for publication, with high literary standards in print and online. As Glass Mountain continues to grow and thrive, we remain committed to the writing community and quality work. We invite you to read, submit, attend, enjoy.