The Broadside committee, which produces monthly-published creative writing pieces, allows anyone in the Goshen College community the opportunity to have a piece of creative writing published, as well as the opportunity to read them.Broadside includes pieces of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction or prose. Students, faculty and staff members are all invited to sign up to receive Broadside and/or submit pieces to Maddie Gerig, a third-year serving as the Horsewell Fellow for this school year.
In a historical context, a broadside was simply a printed announcement on a single side of a paper and then hung up somewhere in public.
“It’s like social media pre-Internet,” said Gerig.
But today, broadside is more of an art form. Goshen’s Broadside follows suit, going for a stand alone, artistic publication.
Gerig presents the submissions anonymously to the board, who then select the pieces to be published in Broadside.
The board is a collection of students, including: Gerig, juniors Dona Park and Dusti Diener, seniors Elizabeth Derstine and Armarlie Grier and faculty members Ann Hostetler and Micah Towery. Whether a piece is selected or not, the board offers feedback to each writer. Once a piece is selected, Gerig works with the author to talk about suggestions and edits.
“The entire process is meant to encourage good writing on campus and to help writers,“ said Hostetler.
It is also beneficial for the students who participate in serving on the board.
“It’s an exciting adventure for me, to be part of this community,” said Park. “I get to hear a range of critical opinions and experience the process of what goes in and out of the publication committee.”
To kick-start the number of submissions to Broadside, the committee holds a competition each semester.
The prompt for this semester’s competition was to begin or end a piece with “we had to leave it behind…” in 500 words or less.
“It was amazing to see how many different directions people were able to go using the same sentence,” said Derstine. “There were stories on romance, growing up and action-filled post-apocalyptic.”
All of these stories demonstrate the creativity of the writers but also the open-ended prompts that promote diversity in the responses.
Park said, “It’s fascinating to peek into the creative minds on the Goshen College campus.”
Printed on high quality card stock, each Broadside is hand-signed by the author and then delivered to campus mailboxes.
Broadside is not limited to just English majors and minors.
“You don’t need any experience,” said Gerig. “Just a good piece of writing.”
You can sign up to receive Broadside or submit your own piece of creative writing by emailing Gerig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winners of this fall’s Broadside competition will be announced at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11 in Java Junction, where the top three winners will read their pieces.