by Bekah Bresee
The last day for students to submit literary works and pieces of art to Script, Whitworth’s undergraduate literary journal, is March 14. For 17 years, Script has been completely composed and organized by Whitworth students.
“It is a complete in-house production,” senior Matthew Comi, the managing editor of Script, said. “It is excellent experience for publishing your first time, second or third time.”
Script submissions are divided into four genres: poetry, fiction, non-fiction and art. Each student can submit up to five poems, up to 15 pages of non-fiction or fiction prose and up to five pieces of art. Submissions in multiple genres are allowed, Comi said.
“You get to create an account to submit and work through the process of submitting your work,” Comi said.
Students can submit their work by visiting the Script Facebook page (facebook.com/scriptlitmag) and clicking on the link in the information tab or by going to script.submittable.com/submit.
Each submitted piece is viewed by the 17 students that make up the editing staff. The editing staff of Script consists of a managing editor, two assistant editors and editorial teams and readers for each genre. As managing editor, Comi reviews the pieces genre editors have chosen for the literary journal.
“There are editorial teams for each genre,” Comi said. “They make recommendations of submissions. Then me and the assisting editors look at the pieces. If we don’t agree, we reject it. If we like it, we meet with them [the editors] and talk about it.”
Senior Lydia Buchanan is the poetry genre editor this year. She leads a team of three to four students who read through submissions and discuss which pieces should be sent to the senior editors.
She takes out the names and contact information of each submission then sets up a meeting with her readers to go through them, Buchanan said.
“It is entirely for and about and by Whitworth students,” English senior lecturer Thom Caraway said. “It is a cool way to showcase what’s going on in the English department. And it’s a good experience for writers and editors.”
Caraway is the faculty advisor for Script, a position he has held since 2008. He oversees the editing process and ensures the editors stay on schedule and within budget. However, it is the editors’ job to promote Script, review submissions and edit the journal.
“It’s [the editors’] responsibility to recruit and train the editing staff,” Caraway said.
The managing editor chooses editors for Script in the fall. At the beginning of each school year, an organizational meeting is held to explain Script to potential editors and readers. Those interested in an editing position submit an application that asks what genre they are interested in editing. Although no experience is necessary, any experience with a school newspaper, yearbook, writing class, internship, etc. should be noted.
Many of the editors are students who have taken EL 348 Literary Editing & Design or are readers for Rock & Sling, a faculty-lead literary journal published twice a year at Whitworth, Caraway said.
However, the positions are available to everyone, not only English majors.
“There’s a lot of perception that it’s only for English folks,” Caraway said. “Good writing can come from anywhere.”
More than half of the submissions selected are not from English majors, Comi said.
“The truth is, regardless of style, there is a level of proficiency and general quality,” Comi said. “We’re looking for what compels us to read and to keep reading.”
After the submitted pieces have been reviewed and chosen, the editors begin designing and editing the journal.
“You have to format, layout, copy edit, proofread, then go back and reconstruct it,” Caraway said. “It’s always hectic but always ends up awesome.”
Students are also responsible for designing the cover, making Script a literal student product from beginning to end.
“This is a real publication that you can be a part of, that has your name in it, that you can show people,” Caraway said. “It is really great for a student to experience this, to experience being published. It is self-fulfilling.”
Near the end of the school year, usually in May, there is a Script reading in which the published authors can read their works. Students can get free copies of Script by attending this reading or by contacting the English department.
“It’s really cool to see something you worked on all year and hold it and be proud of it,” Buchanan said. “People should submit because, they really have nothing to lose. The possibility of getting published is awesome.”
Contact Bekah Bresee at firstname.lastname@example.org