I just returned from attending a panel from the Voices of the Middle West conference hosted by the Residential College and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. I really didn’t know what to expect from the event held in East Quad but was pleasantly surprised to walk into the atrium and find a book fair with tons of interesting looking books and, of more critical importance, bagels and coffee! Together with my classmate Benji Shanus, we went to a Student Publication Panel session where student editors and publishers from various student-run publications answered a variety of questions about their roles as publishers and their background on how they got there. While I have no real interest in ever entering the world of publishing and editing (though I do think it would be fun), I did learn a lot about the process and about some different publications available on campus. For instance, there were representatives from the LHSP Arts and Literary Journal and the RC Review, among others.
Each journal has a different mission with different histories/goals, but each editor reiterated how inspired they were by the student submissions that they review and edit every year. They all maintained that while their work is varied and demanding, including a lot of marketing, advertising, funding, and designing, their publishing work has allowed them to experience a more diverse set of opportunities and perspectives. Their editing work has also seeped into their own writing, inspiring them to find their own unique verse and live up to the exceptional work of the submissions they receive.
In all, this was simply another opportunity provided by the MIW program to experience things I wold never have even considered doing had I not been a Minor. I am glad I went and I definitely learned a lot about some cool art and writing groups on campus.