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English Department Starts Project “Cre8”

Jordan Shearer | Staff Writer | 3-30-2012

In spite of being wounded from budget cuts through recalibration, the artistic branch of Bemidji State University is rediscovering how to thrive on campus by drawing its members into a community where they can publish and display their individual works, as well as learn from the creations of fellow writers and artists.

The BSU English department will be offering two internship publishing classes beginning in the fall semester of 2012.  The classes will cover the process of publishing literature as well as several other art forms. The content generated from the class will be published onto the website designed for the class, cre8here.com.  Students, alumni, as well as people with other BSU connections will be able to submit their creative work to be posted on this website.

The classes are called Internship in Literary Publishing I and II.  They will meet together and be taught as a single class.  The reason it is being divided into two parts is so that students who have already taken the first section in the past can still be involved.

“It is going to be involved in advertising, getting submissions, making the decisions about what they publish,” said Maureen Gibbon, who will be teaching the class.

Gibbon held an informational meeting about the class and website, known collectively as Cre8, on March 15 in Hagg-Sauer. During the meeting, Gibbon explained her vision for the website as being a “creative community.” She said that the goal is to set a high bar for the online publication.  Taking that into consideration, there will be opportunities for both alumni and, perhaps, people with other BSU connections, to have their work submitted in addition to students.

Dean Brooks, who is a creative and professional writing major, explained how this “creative community” could be an effective way not only to share people’s work, but also to build off of one another. “Ideas and connections grow more quickly than we expect sometimes, and I think Cre8 will not only be something to submit to, but also a catalyst for ideas,” he said.

One of the features that will be on the website is a section that profiles different artists, explaining how they come up with the inspiration for their work.  Gibbon described it as a place where “people will be able to give a little insight into their creative process.”  This particular portion of the magazine is going to include all different kinds of artists, with everything from writers to jewelers to dancers.

Although the website itself will be a new aspect to the English department, the concept behind it has been previously seen at BSU.  Similar to Cre8, the English department used to publish a small anthology of student-submitted creative writing and art known as the River’s Meeting under the supervision of Dr. Carolann Schlemper.  It was last published during the 2009-2010 school year.

Although Schlemper voiced the loss of no longer having a physical anthology, she stated that “An electronic publication expresses the values of recent technology: diversity, thriftiness, flexibility, and speed.”

Cre8 will operate in a similar fashion to the River’s Meeting in that they both will be collections of students’ writings and artworks.  They are also similar in that they both are managed by an editorial board of students in addition to a faculty adviser.  Cre8 is more open in its structure than the anthology was, however.  Due to the fact that Cre8 is electronic, it is more flexible in the types of artwork it can support.  For instance, Gibbon mentioned the possibility of having some form of movies on the website.

The website itself will start to take form during the summer, but it will not contain any information about submission guidelines until the beginning of the fall semester. Gibbon said the plan is to have the necessary information on the website after the first couple of class periods.

Photo by: Kailer Overman