The student-run literary magazine “The Lantern” is open for submissions — but not for much longer.
The magazine will accept poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and art submissions until November 1, 11:59 p.m.
The magazine was established in 1933 in order to publish student work. According to the Ursinus website, the name of the publication originated from the top of Pfahler Hall, which symbolizes “the light shed by creative work.”
Professor of English and Creative Writing, Dr. Jon Volkmer, has been the faculty advisor for “The Lantern” since he started at Ursinus in 1987. Back then, the magazine used to put out two issues a year: one in the fall and one in the spring. It has since condensed into one, larger issue that included more content then the magazine was able to include previously.
Dr. Nzadi Keita, a professor of English and Creative Writing, is currently serving as the advisor, however, as Dr. Volkmer is on Sabbatical for the Fall 2018 semester.
The submission period began on October 1 and ends on the first of November. It then follows with a celebratory launch when the magazine comes out in April.
Senior English and History major Joe Makuc serves as the senior editor of “The Lantern.” In previous years, Makuc served as the magazine’s fiction editor.
He explained the transition from being a section editor to his new position.
“The majority of the process is to make sure the production staff is together,” Makuc said. “It’s a lot more organizational heft, a lot of it is more solitary.”
He explained the responsibility of being one of the few people in the production staff who knows exactly what piece is written by whom. Staff readers, who determine which works will be published, receive the submissions anonymously. However, since the editor has to keep track of who published what in order to properly attribute the published works, he reads the submissions knowing who submitted them.
“You have an ethical responsibility to not judge anybody’s work for reasons that you shouldn’t,” Makuc said.
Makuc discussed the ways in which he’s encouraged more students to get involved. He has talked to people he knows, and encouraged them to talk to others he may not know to submit work.
Makuc stressed that submitted work don’t necessarily have to be from creative writing minors or visual arts majors.
“That happens all the time, we have people who study biology getting published for poetry,” Makuc said.
Makuc expressed gratitude and confidence when it came to his production staff.
“I feel personally pretty confident about my staff, people who I can trust and people who represent some of the better communities and some of the better things going on at Ursinus,” Makuc said. “But of course working with my staff and getting out there to promote it is fun. It reminds me that the work I’m doing is valuable.”
Moving forward, Makuc has already compiled a list of things that he feels should be done differently. He expressed his stance on having the next editor not be a senior.
“Being a senior myself, I personally feel it is a lot to handle. I feel with senioritis, with my worry about the future and my desire to some extent to get prepared for that future, I’m not as focused on ‘The Lantern’ and I really feel like it would be great if the next editor is a junior or even a sophomore,” Makuc said.
When asked about the future of “The Lantern” at Ursinus, Makuc responded, “As long as people find art valuable and as long as people find producing art valuable then I really feel like there will be a place for ‘The Lantern’ on campus.”