Artistry highlighted in yearly compilation of work

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By Gunner Young/reporter

Marine Creek Reflections is an award-winning literary journal sponsored by the NW campus English department.

Giving students an opportunity to be published, Marine Creek Reflections has won multiple awards since its debut in 1999.

NW English professor George Edwards was one of the two sponsors with the journal from the beginning.

“We decided to start a literary journal because every other school had one,” he said.

Edwards said that not a lot has changed since the first year of publication.

“It wasn’t much different than it is now, except there were only two of us putting the journal together,” Edwards said. “It was me and Christy Conaway who volunteered to help me put out that first edition.”

It received recognition from the Community College Humanities Association, winning best new magazine and best in the Southwest division in its first year in print.

“The amount of submissions that first year were surprisingly good,” Edwards said. “We worked all throughout that summer to put it together.”

In 2017, the magazine won first prize in the Southwestern Division of the Community College Humanities Association literary magazine competition.

The student, faculty and staff-produced journal accepts more than just literature.

Zainah Usman, NW English instructor and creative writing professor, began working on the journal in 2018.

“We accept all kinds of creative work from NW students: artwork, photography, essays, poetry, and short fiction, to name a few,” Usman said.

Student work is selected anonymously, and sponsors encourage students not to be afraid to submit their work.

NW English instructor LeeAnn Olivier believes its beneficial of beginners.

“It’s a great way for beginning writers and artists to get a first publication credit, which will hopefully inspire them to keep creating and submitting their work,” Olivier said. “Spend some time editing and revising your work, make it as professional as you can, then please do submit!”

When choosing what goes into the journal, Marine Creek Reflections has a team of student editors, as well as faculty editors who decide what gets in every year.

“It really depends on what the student editors are looking for; sometimes they’re set on a theme, and it depends on the turnout, which is usually pretty good,” Usman said.

Although this is a literature and art journal, it accepts other forms of visual art as well, some even coming with discs that include music and digital versions of the art in the journal.

Olivier said they are always looking for new forms of art.

“We even received a video submission this year and hope to be able to include this type of media in the future.” Olivier said.

The MCR team has big plans for the journal, and plan to release an online version of it along side the regular copy.

Olivier said they plan to work with the graphic design department in releasing the online version.

“We are hoping and planning to create an online and print edition for future journals. My best guess is the print journal will be released first, and hopefully the online version will happen soon,” Olivier said.

Todd Blackmon is a student whose work was published in the 2017 edition of the journal, and he thinks going online is a good decision.

It is more convenient to access, but moreover it will be more widespread and will increase the odds that someone who submitted a piece will be approached by a publisher or perhaps a video game developer.” Blackmon said.

Above all else, the journal serves as an opportunity for students to have their art displayed in a professional way.

“I believe it provides a safe place for anyone who may be self-concious about their writing to be fairly judged and gain some recognition.” Blackmon said. “Personally, I’m excited to see how many people realize their talents as a result of this wonderful program.”