Page Turner Magazine: A Space for Genre Writers to Flourish

Sarah Burton, Editor-in-Chief of Page Turner Magazine, looks at the camera with a faint smile. Her hair is bright yellow and she wears a black top.
Sarah Burton, Editor-in-Chief of Page Turner Magazine

While academics make up a large part of graduate school, extracurriculars are vital to a well-rounded graduate experience. Student organizations are a great way for graduate students to network, gain professional experience, and build a community among their peers. In today’s blog, we’re highlighting one of Emerson’s graduate student publications, Page Turner Magazine (PTM). We’ll hear from Sarah Burton, the Editor-in-Chief of Page Turner Magazine, about what makes this publication so valuable.  

What is Page Turner Magazine

Page Turner Magazine is an Emerson College publication founded by students in the Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing MFA program,” Sarah explains. Because the Popular Fiction program is online and asynchronous, the magazine is also run entirely online. While Popular Fiction students founded PTM, the current staff includes students from multiple Emerson programs. 

Founded in 2020, Page Turner Magazine exists to uplift genre fiction writing with the same respect that literary magazines uplift literary fiction. PTM also focuses on furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the publishing industry, seeking to publish historically marginalized writers and artists.

The magazine also recently added a DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) page to its website and is currently looking for features about DEI in writing, publishing, and fiction.

PTM publishes submissions regularly online and also has a yearly print publication.

Who can work for PTM?

Emerson undergraduate and graduate students may work for Page Turner Magazine

What are the different roles for staff?

“Everyone has been amazing in their roles this year,” Sarah starts. “I just can’t say enough about how great the staff is.”

Some of the staff roles at Page Turner Magazine include:

  • Art Submissions Manager
  • Submissions Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Web Design Manager
  • Print Layout and Design Manager
  • Copy Chief
  • Communications and Administration Manager

As Editor-in-Chief of Page Turner Magazine, Sarah’s job is to ensure that the magazine’s departments and projects are running smoothly. She loves working with the magazine staff, saying, “Everyone has the most creative ideas about how to inspire people and bring more people together. My role is to systematize those great ideas in a way that is accessible and practical.”

Sarah encourages Emerson students to work for PTM, saying, “Working at PTM gives an inside perspective on the creativity and passion necessary to run a fiction magazine and the challenges that are part of working in that space. Beyond that, it’s fun, and it looks good on your resume.” By working for PTM, students gain valuable experience with editing, publishing, and producing a professional magazine. 

Who can submit?

“We focus heavily on Emerson students and alumni,” Sarah says. The magazine solicits written work exclusively from current and former Emerson students.

While PTM accepts written work from Emerson students only, they are expanding their art submissions.  This year, Page Turner Magazine accepts visual art from students at any college or university, not just Emerson. 

What are the goals of Page Turner Magazine?

A major goal of PTM is to uplift the writing and art of Emerson students, both through online and print publications. Sarah adds that, by publishing students’ genre fiction online and in print, PTM  hopes to give more weight to the work of genre authors. 

The magazine’s print edition will come out in May of 2024, and Sarah is working to get the magazine stocked in brick-and-mortar bookstores, such as Powell’s City of Books, the nation’s largest independent bookstore. The team also hopes to offer both digital and print versions of the magazine on Amazon and To find out where to get a copy of Page Turner Magazine, be sure to check the PTM website for updates.

Who is the target audience of Page Turner Magazine?

“Our audience is the Venn diagram between people who love literary fiction and those who love genre fiction,” Sarah says. “In the ‘90s, it would’ve been the people reading zines.”

A stack of magazines marked with sticky notes. They sit on a black table
PTM hopes to be stocked both online and in brick-and-mortar bookstores. Photo by Bernd Klutsch on Unsplash

The magazine also exists for people in the publishing industry. Sarah hopes that publishers look to PTM and similar publications to decide who they want to publish and represent.

Lastly, the magazine is for Emerson students to read and uplift their peers’ work.

What are you writing?

Sarah will graduate from the Popular Fiction Publishing and Writing MFA program in the spring of 2024. As such, she’s working diligently on her graduate thesis. Sarah’s thesis is a manuscript that is a combination of speculative fiction, fantasy, and romance. 

The manuscript follows Rue, a dream-walking witch, and Merrick, the potential heir to the holy throne. When a plague sweeps the Basarab kingdom, the priest-king plans to end his people’s suffering through a ritual that would sacrifice 13 witches. Rue is the 13th. With the help of the other witches, she escapes, following whispers of another way to end the plague. The priest-king’s nephew, Merrick, pursues her, hoping to prove himself to his uncle and become the heir to the holy throne. 

How can people keep up with Page Turner Magazine and your work?

To keep up with Page Turner Magazine, be sure to follow them on Instagram. For more about Sarah’s work, check out her website, Vivian Walker Ward, which is her pen name. 
Graduate student organizations like PTM allow you to gain valuable professional experience during graduate school. For more information about graduate student organizations at Emerson, visit the Graduate Student Organizations website.

Follow Olivia Wachtel:

Writing Assistant

Olivia is a second-year student in Emerson's Communication Disorders MS program. Originally from Ohio, she is loving Emerson and city life. When she's not writing for the Grad Life blog, she loves to read, bake, and crochet.

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