Where is Mosaic 55? and Other News

Hello everybody!

If you’ve been wondering where we went, never fear: we’re still around, better than ever, and with a whole lot of good news.

Mosaic 55 has finally been printed! It’s in our hands and boy does it look beautiful. We’re in the process of sending those out to all our contributors, so if you had a piece published in that issue, don’t worry: it’ll be there soon.

We also have a few exciting events coming up! Starting in March, we have two back-to-back Open Mic events: First, on March 3rd at 6:00pm, we’ll be hosting an Open Mic at Back to the Grind in downtown Riverside in coordination with Audeamus, the UCR Honors Journal. Second, on March 10th at 6:00pm, we’ll be at Jafang Pizza. Both of these events are sure to be awesome, and remember, they’re both great places to eat, so make sure you support them by purchasing their delicious food and beverages!

Most importantly, submissions for Mosaic 56 are closing in one week, on February 28th. There’s still time to send in your poetry, prose, or artwork, so please do, because we would be absolutely ecstatic to read it!

That’s all for now, but look forward to more updates. We hope to see you at our events, and we hope to see your writing gracing the pages of our journal.




Updates! – First Open Mic and General Meetings

Hello all!

Our first Open Mic Night of the year is coming up! For this event, we’ll be partnering with the UCR Honors Journal, Audeamus.


It’s at Back to the Grind, which is a wonderful coffee shop in downtown Riverside. They are a cash only venue, so bring some dollars and support the establishment!

You can perform whatever you’d like, whether it’s poetry, prose, music, comedy, or anything in between. We’re excited to hear all of it!

Remember: October 7th, at 6:00pm. Don’t forget!

Now, in addition to this, Mosaic is going to be doing things a little differently this year. We’re a student org, so we’re going to be having general meetings!

If you attended any of our Writing Salons last year, we’ll be doing similar stuff: talking about writing, how to read like writers, that sort of thing. We’ll also be talking about Mosaic events, and industry-related things like publishing and writing programs. Basically, it’s a way for creative writers who are not currently Mosaic Editors to be involved in the process.


These meetings will be held Mondays at 6:00pm in INTS 2138, and will be starting this upcoming Monday, October 10th. We hope to see all of you there!

Also, just a reminder, we are currently open for submissions, so check out our Submission Guidelines and send your wonderful work our way! We can’t wait to read it!

And don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about Mosaic 55! So if you had work accepted last year, or if you’re just really excited about Mosaic in general, don’t worry–it’s still on it’s way. Mosaic 55 is slated for a winter release at this point, so check back for an official release date once we get closer.

Happy living!


Ben (and the radical Mosaic staff)

Mosaic 56 Submissions Are Open!

Some updates for all you lovely people after this long, fire-filled summer! The release date for Mosaic 55 has been pushed back to the fall, but the production thereof is still underway, so don’t sweat it; those fresh-off-the-press copies will be in your hands sometime in the next couple of months.

As for Mosaic’s future, we’ve got a couple of exciting things planned for the coming year (no spoilers), so keep an eye out. The most important thing, of course, is that we are opening submissions for Mosaic 56! Yes, as of today, we are accepting submissions all the way through the end of January. And if last year’s crop of submissions is any indicator, we’re in for some doozies. I have every faith that next year’s issue will be beautiful, and I look forward to seeing all the fantastic pieces we get this year!


Ben (and the tubular Mosaic staff)

The Going of the Goods

Hello wonderful people!

For those of you who are wondering what Mosaic is up to, fear not! We are hard at work putting together our 55th issue, and it will be in existence before too long. In fact, we may be offering a few sneak peeks into what the new issue is going to look like in the coming weeks, so look out for that!

That said, we don’t have a hard-and- fast-date as to when everything will come together, so keep an eye out for any announcements. We will be setting up at least one open mic event in the next month or so, and in the interim, we will be featuring more writing-related blog posts on the website (because we have to show off the talents of our wonderful editors)!

So that’s where we are at! We look forward to everything that’s in store for the end of the quarter and the completion of Issue 55!

Пока, and happy midterms!

Ben (and the awesome Mosaic staff)


Join Mosaic!


Mosaic Art & Literary Journal is excited to announce that editor applications are now open to undergraduates at UC Riverside for the 2016-2017 school year!





Mosaic is one of the few undergraduate-run literary journals in the country, and is an all around awesome organization. Editors read, discuss, and select submissions for the annual publication as part of an editorial team. Additionally, editors have the opportunity to engage with the  Riverside community through outreach events.

Applications can be submitted ONLINE at http://goo.gl/forms/9yPzDgAxxY


If you are a current UCR student and would like more information about what Mosaic editors actually do, come by one of our information sessions in week seven!

info session


С новым годом

Happy New Year from Mosaic!

Hello all (all including you, you fantastic gelatinous glob of coolness and grin-inducing features)—it’s a new year, a new quarter, and things are picking up speed! A word which here means (as Mr Snicket would say): the avalanche of schoolwork with which we will all shortly be inundated; but more importantly, and more excitingly, it means that things for Mosaic are getting pretty intense!

First of all, the deadline for submissions is coming up fast. The date you’ll be looking at as far as that topic is concerned is January 31st. So please get all your prose and poetry together and send it our way, because we would love to read it, and, more to the point, we would love to publish it. Don’t wait until the last second—the end of January is going to be here sooner than you think. And because it’ll be here sooner than you think, it also means MOSAIC 55 will be here sooner than you think. Wow! I don’t know about you, but I think that is freaking exciting.

We’ve already gotten some really great pieces together for this year’s issue, and we hope to have many more come the end of the month.

OK, next item on the agenda: events! We’re going to continue our string of writing salons every two weeks starting this coming Monday, January 11th (details forthcoming, don’t you fret). In addition, we’ll be setting up more open mics this quarter, so be on the lookout for any information regarding those—remember that they are fun as hell, and if you’re not there, we will miss your pretty face.

Hope everyone had a great holiday, and welcome to 2016!

Love, Ben (and the rest of the Mosaic staff)


The Significance of a Backdrop

By Steven Shatkin

Let’s play a game. I am going to describe a story (don’t worry, it’s one you have heard before), and all you have to do is guess what it is. Sound easy enough?

So, this story is about two groups of people at odds with each other. One group is made up of “civilized” colonizers with more advanced technology and great cities far away in their homeland. The second group is made up of the “barbaric” natives of land these two groups encounter each other in. They live a tribal lifestyle, are deeply religious, and (most importantly) possess something valuable they do not let the colonizers take. War seems inevitable, but the colonists introduce a young man to the natives in a hope he will help them take the treasure. However, the young man meets a young woman among the natives and falls in love. After conversing with a source of ancestral knowledge and learning more about the natives, the young man realizes the error of his people’s ways and sides with the natives in the conflict. Peace is reached (for better or for worse) and the young man is accepted as a member of the natives.

Think you know it? Well, I have three answers for you: Frank Herbert’s Dune Saga, Disney’s Pocahontas, and James Cameron’s Avatar. All three stories, as well as many more I am not well-versed in, share the same plot, but it would be ridiculous to say they are the same story. What allows these stories to each exist as its own, unique story is the power of setting.

Setting is as important as the protagonist of a story, despite how passive of a character it may seem. Dune cannot exist without Arrakis, Pocahontas without the discovery of the Americas, nor Avatar without Pandora. Setting shapes characters by defining the obstacles and boons they will encounter of the course of their journey. These slight changes in development allow a story to be seen in a new light, hence revealing new truths and aspects of the story. Try to imagine a book completely devoid of setting. The end result would feel abstract and lacking in detail, and the characters would seem as if they were missing a defining feature.

Another interesting case where the setting of a story is with Sophocles’ Antigone. For those unfamiliar with the story, it is an Ancient Greek tragedy about Antigone trying to bury her brother, Polynices, who betrayed the city. However, Creon, the king of Thebes, declared that Polynices shall remained unburied. Antigone defies Creon until she is jailed and kills herself (right before Creon comes to set her free) rather than submit to his decree. During World War II in occupied France, this was one of the plays French theatres were still allowed to be performed. The French had set the play in occupied France and seen Antigone as the tragic hero who died for the sake of defying an oppressive tyrant, while the Germans had set it in a German controlled territory and seen Creon as the rightful king who lost everything before the righteousness of his laws and methods were seen. The two settings imposed on the story, as you can see, led to two radically different interpretations of the characters and their decisions.

I feel I should also mention how setting is also important to forms of writing aside from standard prose. Playwriting heavily relies on setting, but is able to have it exist as a more abstract element than with the written word. One good example of this kind of setting is in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, where, even though the play is set within the confines of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, most of the scenes take place between the scenes of Shakespeare’s play. Because of its physical location in the abstract, Stoppard’s play is able to better explore more metaphysical concepts and premises than one founded solely in the concrete. Another style of writing that can make good use of setting is poetry. Though poetry is less reliant on setting than prose, setting is still a crucial aspect of some poems. “Deeply Appreciated” by Tony Barnstone is one such piece where setting is central to the poem. In this poem, the speaker watches an interaction between a homeless woman and a young man on a shuttle from LAX where the man ends up in tears after realizing how undeserving he is of what he possesses. It is the setting of this poem that allowed such an interaction to occur, led to the lives of the characters being what they are, and left the man alone at his stop under the judgmental moon.

In brief, every story has been told before once you break it down to its basic elements. Though this may at first sound discouraging to the aspiring writer, it also must be remembered that every story has yet to be told in every way. The unique choices a writer makes with the setting of his pieces leads to unique characters, unique challenges, and an overall unique story. Remember to take careful note of setting in what you read and write. See how they change the characters and imagine what a different setting can do for the piece.

Happy writing!