My Word! Celebrates Three UVU Student Publications

My Word! Celebrates Three UVU Student Publications

"The camaraderie and experiences you will gain by doing something you love will live on in your memory as a priceless piece of your life that you will never regret."

On Thursday, April 25, the Grande Ballroom hosted “My Word!,” a celebration of the hard work and creativity of dozens of students. Teams of students worked tirelessly over the past semester to make the night a reality, but the night was really just a window dressing for the main attraction — three student-fueled, student-run publications: Essais, Touchstones, and Warp & Weave.

Each of these anthologies serves a different purpose: Essais focuses on providing a vital forum for students' scholarly endeavors in critical literary analysis and literary theory; Touchstones is a literary journal that houses a variety of creative works from poems to plays; and Warp & Weave publishes speculative fiction and artwork. While the contents are different, the overall missions of each journal are the same — to give students the opportunity to learn about the full publication process. 

“Students gain first-hand engagement with all aspects of the publishing process from participating in Essais — debating the selection of articles for publication, running editorial meetings, participating in collaborative peer review, copy editing, typesetting, proofing, etc. They are able to apply the knowledge of literary theory and criticism that they have learned (as part of the English courses) toward these activities,” said Ruen-chuan Ma, Essais faculty advisor.

“I’ve enjoyed the many opportunities that Essais has given me to work on my editing skills, to help other students get their pieces published, and to continuously work with amazing people,” said Essais Editor-in-Chief Brooklyn Eborn. “I was so proud when the editorial staff and I sent the journal to the printer. There was so much work put in by the entire staff that led up to that moment, and I am very proud to have been a part of it.”

Touchstones faculty advisor Kara Van De Graaf said, “We have many roles for students, including students outside the English department, who serve in positions such as art director or public relations and social media. But perhaps even more important than this, Touchstones helps create a literary community on campus at UVU. I think our writing community at Touchstones helps make UVU a richer place to be, and we welcome all interested students to participate.”

“I love that you can learn so much about the publication process as a member of the Touchstones staff,” said Touchstones Editor-in-Chief Tanner Vance. “Whether it was learning the function of an em dash, how to use InDesign to create a tangible book, or leading a team of editors, working on the journal for three years taught me a myriad of valuable skills.”

Touchstones Editor-in-Chief Tanner Vance Presents at Launch Night

Lisa Zeigler, the editor-in-chief for Warp & Weave, has tried to participate in as many student publications as possible — six publications for five different journals — during her time at UVU to help diversify her experience and gain as much knowledge about the publishing industry as she could. But, she said, Warp & Weave is definitely her favorite. “While I love its speculative fiction genre, there is no other publication on campus that will give you the experience Warp & Weave can in learning to be an editor. While Warp & Weave does the copy edits for grammar and punctuation that the other journals do, we also provide extensive content editing and continuity editing for our authors’ stories that other publications don't necessarily need to do.”

My Word! celebrated the literary award winners, giving them a space to share their work with a larger audience. “We love the chance to show off the amazing work of our student editors, who produce professional-quality publications,” said Van De Graaf. “We come together, one last time, as a larger community at the end of the semester.”

“This semester’s My Word! launch night celebration was the proudest I have felt while working on the journal,” said Vance. “Celebrating the completion of the spring edition and the success of the writers, artists, and staff members was a marvelous, yet bittersweet experience. It is so rewarding to see our hard work come alive in each physical edition of Touchstones.”

To any students who are thinking of participating in one of these journals, the resounding recommendation from everyone was “do it!”

“It takes some effort and time, and makes getting homework done a little more complex for a few weeks each semester,” said Zeigler. “But the camaraderie and experiences you will gain by doing something you love will live on in your memory as a priceless piece of your life that you will never regret.”

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