By Maureen Ragner
It is every writer’s dream to be able to say that he or she is published. On Bethany’s campus, there is a chance that students’ written works will be published and placed around campus to be read. That publication is starting to expand its publishing borders, as well as its opportunities for students, faculty and staff to have their works end up in its pages.
Professor Elizabeth Horneber, with the help of the students that make up Inkwell’s staff, has recently been working to expand Inkwell into more than just a yearly publication. As of this year, they have created a blog, located at inkwellblc.wordpress, and have had events in the Lab, named “BLC Creates.”
“It’s another way to help people find time to write outside the craziness of school,” said senior Eleonore Mumme of the events.
The BLC Creates events are scheduled by sophomore Karee Henrich, one of the head staff members, and involve talking about different kinds of writing that students could be interested in experimenting with when not worrying about papers or other such homework. Mumme, as head editor, had an event earlier in the semester, as have members of the faculty.
The blog is more multi-media focused than the printed Inkwell issues could possibly be, and with students and faculty having varied creative interests, it broadens the scope of submissions that Inkwell can take.
“If someone wanted to write a song and record it, we could post the recording on the site,” said Horneber.
Horneber added that it will give people an opportunity to try new things and find their audience.
That does not mean that Inkwell is going to be found solely on the internet, however; there are still plans to continue creating the printed issues that students normally see alongside The Scroll issues around campus. The issue will also be showcased online. The hope for this year’s issue is that the pieces showcase as much variety as possible, touching on genres and subject matter that Inkwell hasn’t placed much focus on in the past, or had the opportunity to, such as non-fiction or playwriting. This would make Inkwell more inclusive to other majors and approaches to writing beside what can be found within the English majors. Other majors are not the only people that Inkwell will be willing to take written works from, however.
“Inkwell’s began reaching out to alumni and professors for the spring issue,” said senior Kristina Carpenter. “I don’t think that has been done before.”
This does not mean that everything submitted to be published in the physical issue will end up there.
“Sometimes editors are looking for something specific,” said Horneber.
Horneber is reshaping the printed issues of Inkwell to create something similar to a professional literary magazine. This allows for students who are looking to submit to magazines that are not affiliated with the campus to gain experience and know how to write short author biographies and cover letters that they will have to submit with their works.
“Professor Horneber is a vault of literary journal knowledge,” said Mumme. “She is exactly what we needed.”
Horneber is considering having a talk concerning that knowledge next year, as well, as it is so important to any writer who wants his or her writing read by a broader audience. Her changes to Inkwell stem from this knowledge, and there is no doubt that more will be making their appearance known in the coming years.
“It’s only going to go up from here,” said Mumme.
At this point in time, the physical issue of Inkwell does not have a set publishing date, but Horneber hopes to have it out before the end of the year. If the printed copy is not prepared, then the online version, which will be put together by sophomore Hannah Bockoven, will be emailed out to students. She also hopes to be able to continue to post submissions on Inkwell’s blog throughout the year, adding that it is open to students, faculty, staff and alumni if they choose to submit their own creative works.
“Now they have the capacity to put their stories and artwork out there on the website at any time, rather than just waiting for the annual issue to come out,” said Carpenter.
In this way, Horneber hopes to take advantage both of the age-old physical publishing and the recent digital publishing technology.
“We have our feet in both doors,” said Horneber.
The road to being published can be a difficult one if writers aren’t given the proper tools. Inkwell hopes to provide these tools so that students looking to spread their love for their work will know the steps they will need to take in the future.