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Publishing takes off on campus

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 23:10

The lively literary scene on campus recently received a boost with the new development of the 42 Miles Press. It has already published a full book and a chapbook while in other classes self-publishing serves to teach and fuel creativity.

Dr. Kelcey Parker, head of the creative writing department at IU South Bend, described the publishing activities in an interview. She said the first full-length published book, "Our List of Solutions" by Carrie Oeding, was the winner of the 42 Miles Poetry contest in 2010. It was released September of 2011. The book holds over 30 poems.

According to the 42 Miles website, "The Mimic Sea" by Erica Bernheim will be published the fall of 2012 as another winner of the contest. "The Difficult Here" by Christine Garren was the first chapbook published by the press. It was released in the spring of 2011.

Parker described the publication contest sponsored by 42 Miles Press saying, "We have a poetry book contest where writers submit full manuscript of poems and the winner receives one thousand dollars and publication." She named David Dodd Lee, a faculty member of the English department as the judge.

The website elaborates on the entry process, rules and awards. Manuscripts are accepted from December 1 to March 1 and the winner of the contest will also receive 50 copies of the book. Current or former students, employees of IUSB and friends of the judge are not eligible. The winner may also be invited to give a reading at IU South Bend. On September 21 of this year, Carrie Oeding held a reading at IUSB. The website also says that a fiction writing contest is under development.

42 Miles Press publications are available for checkout and purchase at the Press' office in Wiekamp 3185, which is open Mondays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m. and also 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is run by student worker McKenzie Tozan, who helps students check out works through 42 Miles Press and other publishers. Tozan says that work is underway to get a shelf set up in the bookstore for 42 Miles Press works.

Parker also pointed to publishing activities elsewhere on campus. In some English A190, A399 and the fiction writing W301 classes, students self-publish anthologies and chapbooks, which are single-author short works.

Some students used full-color collages to illustrate works. Others publish on website blog. Self-published works are uploaded on a website and when printed are about $10 each for however many copies students want.

Parker explained how involvement in publishing stretches skills. "It helps students get involved in writing, publishing and editing. The students think about cover, fonts, lay-out, book size and color as well as the writing aspects."

Parker is not the only professor helping students display their work. "Other professors are working on classes for publishing too. One professor teaches comics, where students create the first eight pages and back story, put them on a board and exhibit at the end of the semester. Another teacher had students do literary publishing online. There are still plenty of print publications, but more and more are online."

Parker said that development of a program to train students in publishing and editing is in the early stages of development. "The idea is to engage and train students in literary publishing and editing. 42 Miles Press connects with the mission and center." 

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