VIDEO: Student author shares experiences, achievements

A table stands alone on the first floor of the Humanities building with stacks of books along the edge.
The students who sit behind the stacks go almost unnoticed as their peers hurry to their respective classes. Among them is a man who is featured in a magazine written and produced by SF State students.

Transfer Magazine is the name and Kevin Cotter’s work appears in three consecutive issues of the biannual publication.


Cotter’s journey back to his birthplace was a long one.  After two decades of working in advertising in England, Cotter quit his job and moved back to California in 2007 to pursue his love for writing. While walking through a Beverly Hills library he came across a book written by Thom Jones, which grasped his attention and increased his desire to write even more.

Cotter’s life at SF State was reflective of his unsettled nature. He began his college career as a creative writing major at Santa Monica Community College, soon transferring to the literature department. Eventually, he realized it was not what he expected, but couldn’t go back to creative writing. Though this was a minor set back to his grand plan, Cotter continued forward with his writing dream.

Cotter’s long-standing relationship with Transfer Magazine came by chance. As he took in the sights and sounds of SF State, he walked into the Humanities building and came across the Transfer table, where students were announcing the deadline for submissions.

In 2009, he submitted his first manuscript, which was published in the Transfer 98 edition . There was no looking back as the next two editions, Transfer 99 and Transfer 100, would also carry his fictional stories. Transfer managing editor Sarah Cook edited his first story, “Mo Blake, and his last story, “Fat Barry,” which featured in the centennial issue of Transfer.

“His work is different because of the rich and real characters, and the brazen voice of the narrator,” said Cook in an email.


All manuscripts submitted for publication go through a rigorous editing process that takes three months from application submission to the reading and final edits. The magazine editors compile a long list of which stories have gone through the process, and then students taking the Creative Writing 640 class read and critique them. With the critiques, Transfer editors make a final list of those which stories will be published, and the writers are contacted.

“The students look for the strongest, most ambitious submissions,” said Transfer Magazine adviser Nona Caspers. Caspers has been the faculty adviser for the past nine years and takes pride in all her students.

“I have no favorites. All the students work hard and look for intelligent well-written pieces,” Caspers said.

Cotter said that he has gratitude for those who run Transfer Magazine.

Transfer is one of the most brilliant things in this university,” Cotter said. “I think those who run it do a great service to up and coming writers.”

Looking back at his journey, Kevin is proud at his achievements thus far. Being published in three Transfer Magazine editions is a major achievement to him, but he has one more ambition which he believes will be the greatest of all – to be on the alumni wall at SF State.



*Editors Note – Want more Kevin Cotter? [X]press producer Khaboshi Imbukwa sat down with him to discuss his writing inspirations and different writing styles. [Click on the topics to listen].