By Rachel Deanne Sherman ’18
As Shenandoah University students adjust to the new semester, Avalon literary magazine’s team is preparing the publication’s fall 2018 edition. This semester brings with it new creative works, new team members and a new editor-in-chief.
Avalon gives students a creative outlet and an opportunity to gain experience in a publishing setting. Every semester, students from various programs are asked to submit their creative works, including short stories, poems, photographs and artwork.
Assistant Professor of English Sarah Canfield, Ph.D., joined the team as its faculty advisor back in fall of 2015.
“It’s got all of the best parts of teaching, because it’s a student-run publication, and the students on Avalon staff are the ones who make the decisions,” said Dr. Canfield, noting that her advisory role provides her with an opportunity to work with students without giving them grades.
Avalon welcomes its new Editor-in-Chief Heather Knapp ’19, an English major who is minoring in professional and popular writing and psychology. Knapp worked for Avalon last year and said she’s excited to lead the team.
Getting to work
“I love writing and editing, and with Avalon, I get to do both,” Knapp said. “Plus, it’s kind of like talent scouting at your own college. We get some amazing work submitted to us. As the next editor-in-chief, I hope to make Avalon more organized and efficient so we’re giving Shenandoah students the best magazine we possibly can. I think every editor-in-chief brings a bit of themselves to Avalon, so I am excited to find out what I, personally, can bring to the magazine.”
This past summer, Knapp spent time in New York City at a New York University Summer Publishing Institute building up her experience. The six-week institute called on participants to work in groups and create a faux publication. Knapp’s group, which created a magazine about women in business, won “Most Likely to Succeed.”
“We actually had an editor-in-chief from a literary magazine come in and talk to us,” said Knapp. “I’m taking pointers from what she talked about. Especially with how she delegated work, because [one person] can’t do it all. I want to help people learn as we go along, and I think that is something I learned from the summer program.”
Amber Lickey Muse ’19, an English major, is a returning staff member who worked for Avalon in spring 2018.
“It’s pretty neat,” said Muse. “Being able to read others’ works and edit while putting together this magazine is fun. I enjoy the meetings because we have a good time working as a team.”
“I also enjoy writing the works that I submit,” she added. “Without Avalon, no one would read my works. They would stay hidden in a book somewhere. It’s nice knowing that someone will enjoy my works.”
Avalon is seeking new content to publish this semester. The deadline for fall 2018 magazine submissions is Wednesday, Oct. 24. If you have any creative works to submit, questions, or want to join the team, please send an email to Avalon@su.edu. Submissions are accepted as Microsoft Word documents and JPEGs.
Featured photo caption: The Avalon team, shown at a recent meeting held in Henkel Hall. These meetings occur at 3 p.m. every Wednesday. Pictured are: (at the back end of table working to the right) Heather Knapp, Antoni Blanco, Amber Muse, Sawyer Kling, Dr. Sarah Canfield, Lauren Baker, Brynna Strader and Alex Pollock.