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Encouraging students to publish their works

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My greatest fear as a writer is presenting my work to someone else, but without sharing what we write then there isn’t really a point in doing it at all.

People write because they have a message they want to share, not just because it’s what their professors expect from them. Everyone has something they want to tell the world, and the best way to do that is to submit it to a literary journal.

Not only does submitting to a literary journal give writers an opportunity to receive feedback on their work, but it also gives them a chance to share their ideas and creations.

This is my third year working as an editor for a student-run literary journal, and I know from experience whether people submit works for publication or edit them the result is the same: they grow as a writer.

Editors must provide feedback to authors regarding grammatical or literary errors and typically decide what submissions are published each issue.

Editing requires a strong knowledge of both grammar and literary styles, and providing feedback on a piece can help an editor recognize what’s good or bad in their own writing in the same way that feedback to an author can help them realize what parts of their work need improvement.

The question should not be if someone should submit their works for publication, but rather when or where. For USI students the where is a simple enough answer.

Each year USI produces “FishHook: A Student Journal of Arts and Letters,” which is a student-run journal compiling submissions from current students for publication. All students are welcome and encouraged to submit work, and the submission range is typically from October through January, although the exact dates are open to change.

Other options include “The Evansville Review,” which is a student-run publication organized by The University of Evansville, or “The Riverbend Review,” another student-run publication published by the Henderson Community College each year. There are plenty of opportunities to submit locally, not to mention the countless opportunities present nationwide.

But not only should students consider submitting works for publication, but they should also consider taking a more active role in the actual production of a magazine.

Of the two literary journals I’ve worked at, trying to find editors able and willing to do the work has always been the most difficult part of the job, but while that may mean that there’s more work to split between the editors, it also means that they’re generally on the lookout for extra help.

Working as a student editor provides a hands-on experience to the world of publication and editing and has several benefits: not only does an editorial position look great on a resume, it’s also an interesting extracurricular activity, and it helps an editor learn to fix problems in their own writing.

There’s really not a reason to submit to a literary journal. Submissions are almost always free and editors are generally happy to provide feedback on a piece they feel needs improvement. It can help you get your voice into the world, and can only help you grow as a writer. So, stop whatever you’re doing and submit something today.

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
Encouraging students to publish their works