New literary journal: ‘Freaky Squirrels’

New literary journal: ‘Freaky Squirrels’

JORDAN WAIDELICH

Editor-in-Chief

jrwaidelich@goshen.edu

In one semester, Occasional Press has produced an entire book.

The literary journal, “Freaky Squirrels: No Answers, Just Stories,” containing essays, memoir pieces and photos from various alumni will be released on Dec. 7, and students can pick up their copies in Java Junction. Pieces range from reflections of general life experiences to the various ways that GC has shaped their lives.

Over the course of the semester, the six students in the editing and publishing class, led by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, visiting professor, have worked on putting this literary journal together. The class functions as the editing team for the Occasional Press. On Wednesday, they would like to share their work with the campus.

“This project has become so much more than a class,” Dusti Diener, a senior, said. “It is something that we have become very passionate about and are eager to share with the rest of [the] campus.”

The stories shared in the literary journal come from alumni, who are hand-picked by the editorial team.

“Aside from the fact that it’s terrifically entertaining,” Joe Kreider, a senior, said, “it will give [students] a chance to familiarize themselves with some really remarkable alumni writers who are not nearly as well-known around campus as they should be.”

When the project began, the goal was to publish a book on alumni and their accomplishments/connections to GC, which didn’t make Helena Neufeld, a senior, very enthused. However, once the details and content started getting worked out, she grew more excited about the literary journal.

“It’s not boring, it’s not stuffy and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which I’m proud of,” she said.

Producing a book in the span of one semester was a challenge for most of the students in the class because not all of them had much experience in editing, let alone publishing a book. Overcoming that challenge and gaining experience with the publishing world has proved to be one of the biggest rewards for many of the students.

“Diving headfirst into the work and learning by doing has been a refreshing type of learning experience,” Maddie Birky, a senior, said, “one that’s different than the traditional classroom or lecture setting.”

Maggie Weaver, a senior, had never been in a class set up like this.   

“We were thrown into the editing process without any experience. It has been a challenge to figure out where we fit best in the editorial process and how to make the editorial team run smoothly and efficiently,” she said.

But those challenges have made the publication all the more important to Weaver.

“Seeing the publication typed up and ready for print was incredible, knowing how much work we all put into the piece,” said Weaver.

The members of the Occasional Press would love to have students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members at the release party for their literary journal. From 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, students, faculty and staff can stop by Java Junction to eat snacks or pick up a copy of “Freaky Squirrels: No Answers, Just Stories.”

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