English Department holds reception for new issue of Pioneer Pen

By Katelyn Marshall

Volunteer State Community College’s English Department will celebrate the newest issue of Pioneer Pen, the student literary arts magazine, Number One, (Vol State’s professional literary journal), and

The Best of Student Essays, Tuesday, April 23, from noon – 2 p.m., at SRB 150, according to Vol State’s website.

“Each year, we put together a staff of students who spearhead the project,” said assistant professor of English and the Publications Coordinator for the English department Emily Andrews.

Pioneer Pen accepts poems, photography, artwork, short stories, excerpts from longer fiction, short films, cartoons, and music lyrics. All submissions are from students.

“Professor Laura McClister, my faculty co-advisor and I have very little to do with the publication other than oversight. We have absolutely nothing to do with the submissions or the anonymous voting process that takes place in order to determine what should be published,” Andrews said.

“We met several student literary arts magazines where the faculty were overly, in our opinion, involved. We want to make sure that this publication remains in the hands of the students,” Andrews said.

The 2019 Publication Reception, “is a time for us to come together to celebrate the end of another semester and another successful publication,” Andrews said. “It is a moment for the authors, artists and staff members to celebrate their hard work.”

Andrews said that authors can read some of their works. All photographs and artworks are projected on a screen throughout the event, said Andrews.

In addition, the Publication Reception honors the students whose work has been chosen for awards.

“It’s really a casual party to celebrate the publication,” Andrews added.

“[The new Pioneer Pen edition] looks beautiful. We are really, really proud of the work our staff puts in. For the most part, they have little to no experience with InDesign software (what we use to compile the magazine) when they enter the staff,” said Andrews.

“The photographs are gorgeous. The cover will catch your eye easily. It is very colorful. The writing is pretty exceptional, as well this year,” Andrews added.

For those interested in writing for the Pioneer Pen, Andrews said that she is looking for anything.

“There are no bounds other than the ones you place on yourself,” Andrews said.

All submissions are accepted, and nothing is off limits because Andrews said, “We value freedom of speech in this publication.”

Andrews explained that she would like everyone to realize that the creative community is alive and well at Vol State.

“Typically, community colleges aren’t associated with a thriving creative scene, but I feel like Vol State is the exception to that. Between various publications we value student creativity and the humanities,” Andrews explained.