Final Preparations for Cal U’s Literary Magazine

Melisa Lynn

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Johanna Eisel, Staff Writer

As the Inkwell staff wrap up the finishing touches for this year’s literary magazine, California University of Pennsylvania’s student editors discuss what their aspirations were for this year’s magazine.

“I wanted the 2020 edition of the Inkwell to represent the capabilities of our English department,” said Ciera Jones, Cal U English literature major and editor-in-chief for the magazine.

“Our staff is full of bright individuals with varying levels of expertise and experience, so I wanted to ensure that everyone was given an opportunity to grow within their work as it applies to themselves and the academic community. I really wanted my staff to challenge themselves. Growth is the heart of this type of work.”

The Inkwell was established in 2005 and has been published every two years by Cal U students who take English 351, publishing the magazine class. This year’s magazine features work by Cal U students, faculty, and alumni.

Jones said that her goal has been met for this year’s edition of the magazine.

“This magazine is the most impressive one I’ve seen thus far, and that’s evidence enough,” said Jones. “I’m most proud of our staff’s communication skills. Any problems we approached over the course of the semester was met with diligence and maturity.”

Cal U English major and assistant editor of the magazine, Brent Zavislak, said that his goal revolved around reaching out to the Cal U community for submissions.

“I wanted to do the best we could to get word about the Inkwell out to students, despite having this semester off-campus,” said Zavislak.

Zavislak credits group member, Kaitlyn Collins, for promoting the magazine and its need for submissions.

“Kaitlyn did a fantastic job of overseeing the Inkwell’s social media pages, and based on the number of submissions we received as a whole, I think that an adequate amount of word has reached students being that this semester was not held on campus,” said Zavislak.

Cal U English student, Hannah Wyman, said that being the editor of the print and webzine section had its difficulties.

“In general, being online makes communication difficult,” said Wyman. “I think our roles are super visual so it’s hard to demonstrate or convey something over Zoom when it could’ve been laid out in person.”

Wyman said that her main goal was to create a magazine that could hold its own amongst other collegiate literary magazines, one infused with professionalism and maturity.

“In the end, I’m going to be proud that it even exists,” said Wyman. “We could’ve gone the easy route and decided to go all online this semester, but there was a strong push to also create a printed edition. After a semester of being completely online, I’m very much looking forward to holding it in my hands.”

Cal U’s finals week is the projected launch date for the Inkwell, both for the print and for the online version. A launch party for the magazine’s staff, contributors, and English faculty is planned for Dec. 11 at 4 p.m, via Zoom.

English professor at Cal U, Brent House, looks forward to this year’s publication of the Inkwell.

“That class is an important part of the work of our creative writing concentration and our English program, so I always look forward to the work our students develop during the course,” said House. “I hope our students will create a literary magazine that reflects both the cultural concerns and the literary aesthetics of our current moment.”