Student guest post by Valerie Franklin
Why get involved with UFV’s student arts magazine? Past editor Valerie Franklin weighs in on the Louden Singletree–from contributing your work to joining the editorial board . . .
Published once a year, the Louden Singletree features art, poetry, creative writing, and photography from UFV students and alumni.
If you are an artist, writer, poet, or photographer, I highly recommend submitting your work to the Louden Singletree. This year’s deadline is December 18; check out submission guidelines here.
I joined the editorial board of the Louden Singletree in the spring of 2014 because I thought it would be an easy directed study credit. I’ve rarely been so happy about being so completely wrong.
Its editorial board is run entirely by students, except for English instructor Andrea MacPherson, who has supervised the board for each of the seven years it has existed. The production of the journal counts as a directed study; board members can receive 400-level academic credits for serving a one-year term, and are graded for their participation. But unlike your average directed study, many students I’ve spoken to have described their experiences on the Louden editorial board as one of the highlights of their time at UFV — and I would agree.
Every year is different, and past boards have run the gamut from big to small, from close-knit to chaotic. Our board of five people was unusually tiny, making it a challenge to get everything done on time.
The long road to publication involves encouraging artists and writers to submit their work, answering email queries and keeping up a social media presence, raising funds around the university and in the community, keeping track of meeting minutes and agendas, wrangling volunteer reviewers, organizing literature readings and other events… the list seems endless. And that’s just in the first months between September and December — after the submission deadline in mid-December, things shift into high gear as submissions have to go through two blind reading processes before the shortlist of submissions is finally chosen for publication.
But even though it kept us busy, being part of the board was, simply put, fun. When our other classes had us sweating over midterms, we spent our Louden meetings weighing the merits of the poetry, art, and short fiction submissions we’d received (all of which were excellent). Instead of writing essays, we were planning literature readings. And when things got intense near the end of the semester, as they inevitably do, our little team helped each other through the bumpy moments and celebrated our successes with beer and poetry.
Best of all, there was a perpetual sense of movement and progress throughout the year — a feeling that we were accomplishing something together. Unlike a regular class, the end goal was not just a final paper or an exam, but a tangible thing that would become part of UFV’s creative culture and history.
If you’re looking for the most fun you can have while earning a directed study credit, try joining the Louden board next year. It’ll make you work hard, and your board’s adventures may be completely different from ours — but I guarantee it’ll be worth it.