Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Literary publication Glass Enclosures provides creative outlet, supports sense of learning community on campus

Glass Enclosures student staffers Leah Hollis, co-editor, and Callie-Marie Berry, who is in charge of production and design, display the fruit of their labor.

By Student Public Relations Writer Leah Sternberger

The OU-C Writing Center recently launched the latest issue of Glass Enclosures, a literary publication featuring a collection of poems, short stories, academic essays and digital artwork created by OU-C alumni and students.

Glass Enclosures (GE), now in its fifth year of publication, gives students and alumni the opportunity to showcase their own creative writing, as well as appreciate the work of others. At the launch of their most recent issue, several dozen people gathered to celebrate the collaborative efforts of the students, contributors, tutors and faculty members who made the issue of GE possible. Those who wished to read their work at the event were encouraged to do so.

“Such a venue gives authors an opportunity to give actual voice to their poetry, stories and essays. Reading work aloud gives the audience a chance to absorb the sounds and rhythms of the figurative language,” said OU-C Writing Center Coordinator Deb Nickles. “Plus, it’s always great fun to meet the writers in person and to share a common passion.” Nickles has played an integral role in helping students develop Glass Enclosures since its creation in 2011.

The publication is led largely by OU-C Writing Center tutors who work year-round to help their tutees develop academic writing skills such a clarity, accuracy, and argumentation. However, many alumni and students from a variety of different academic disciplines also contribute and work on GE.

Each issue requires a board of student editors who review between 40 and 60 submissions. “These editors read the submissions and rate each on creativity, style and voice,” said Nickles.  “Once the writings are selected, the editors work closely with the authors one-on-one in fine-tuning wording, punctuation, and mechanics.”

Student Pamela Free, who is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental studies, started contributing to GE to help promote the arts and creativity in her community.

 “I wanted my stories and poetry to be available in my home region. Also, I wanted to contribute in some small way to the arts of Chillicothe,” said Free.

In her five years of contribution to GE, Free has gained valuable experience from working on the publication.

“I continue to learn from the other writers things such as perseverance and optimism,” Free said. She sees a lot of potential in the future of the publication.  “Glass Enclosures can be a great opportunity for visual art people to learn how to work together to bring a project to fruition. Writers can see what it is like to bring a project to closure--how much actual work is involved.”

OU-C students involved in the publication also enjoy the collaborative environment and strong sense of community that GE nurtures.

“Being involved with GE fosters a sense of community on campus because current and past students are allowed to submit their work for potential publication,” said senior and middle childhood education major Callie-Marie Berry. She has served as a GE editor and contributor, and she also designed the cover and complete layout of the latest issue.

“The sense of community comes from having such a small campus. When someone’s work is published, it’s a big deal to the newly-published author and their peers on campus. Everyone is really proud and supportive of each other here at OU-C. The Student Success Center has always been very adamant about supporting students' writing and boosting students' writing confidence. The people involved with GE are no different; the team wants as many people as possible to submit,” Berry said.

Nickles hopes to leverage writing classes at OU-C to encourage students to submit their creative work.

“This year we were delighted to have Dr. Tony Vinci encourage his spring creative writing class to participate in submitting to the journal. His students created some beautiful pieces of work,” Nickles said. 

“In the past we have encouraged creative writing workshops out of the Writing Center and that has always produced more energized writing too. I expect to see more synergy in the near future between creative writing and academic essaying, especially in the freshmen and junior composition courses. I find this incredibly exciting -- creativity fuels the best in critical thought.”

The contributors and staff of Glass Enclosures hope the publication will continue to grow and to bring the surrounding community closer through original expression.

“I am honestly just amazed at the way this campus pulls together at the end of each spring to put this journal together—from funding the printing of the publication to the blood, sweat and tears of revising and editing each piece, students, faculty and administrators pull together to create a fine collection of OU-C’s student and alumni writing each year,” said Nickles.

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