English department seeks submissions for literary magazine

Kristy Mason

Although every Western student may never publish a novel that makes The New York Times bestseller list, Western’s English department is giving students an opportunity to gain some fame on campus.

The department is currently taking writing and art submissions for its literary magazine, Zephyrus.

English professor David Lenoir, the magazine’s adviser, said Zephyrus started in 1955 to give students an opportunity to get their work published. The magazine showcases students’ poetry, short stories, essays and art.

The selection process for the magazine is done solely by volunteer students who are part of the editorial staff.

Lenoir said that all writing pieces submitted are given a number, to keep the anonymity of the author during the selection process.

The editorial staff reads all submissions and decides the best work. Many pieces are submitted but only 10 percent get published.

Lenoir said there is no specific criteria for selection except the quality of the writing.

“The staff is varied and has varied tastes, so pieces which make it through the selection process are generally going to have some sort of wide appeal,” he said. “… If writers can connect to their readers on some level — socially, intellectually, creatively — they’ve done their job.”

Several pieces chosen for publication also receive writing and art honors.

Rosine junior Alex Taylor has won the Ladies Literary Club Fiction Award for two consecutive years now. In 2002, Taylor’s short story, “Ferry,” won him the award.

Getting published in Zephyrus was a major accomplishment, Taylor said.

“When I got published it reaffirmed my endeavor as a writer and now I feel I actually have a talent,” he said. “I was really pleased and honored my work would be recognized.”

Smiths Grove graduate student Trish Lindsey Jaggers won the Jim Wayne Miller Poetry Award last year.

“I admire Jim Wayne and his writing. I have a collection of his pieces at home.” Jaggers said. “It wasn’t the money, it was the award. It took my breath away and truly was the apex for my college career.”

Jaggers hopes that one day the Zephyrus will be sold in bookstores and on campus. The limited funding the English department provides limits the possibility.

Lenoir is very pleased with the growth in the the number and quality of submissions for the magazine.

“I plan to get Western students’ writing talents showcased in the future,” Lenoir said. “It’s really important to have a venue for students.”

Students who are interested in submitting works for this year’s magazine should bring their work to Room 135 in Cherry Hall by tomorrow.

Reach Kristy Mason at [email protected]