By Virginia Johnston
Once Room 207 opens to the eager students chatting in the hall, giggles and easy conversation fill the room. The window blinds are lifted to let the sunlight join in on the creative vibe. The students of Producing a Magazine of the Arts (ENL 170) seem to be ready to begin the submission review process of Sea Change.
“It seems like there are just endless possibilities, which I think is a really important way to start,” said Professor Rebecca Griffin, who teaches ENL170 and oversees the production of Sea Change.
For 50 years, Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) has been producing a literary arts magazine filled with submissions from students, staff and faculty. Art pieces are selected through a blind voting process to ensure that the work is chosen to fit the semester’s current theme and to give every submission a fair shot.
“Every semester is different, and every semester the students bring their own strengths,” said Griffin. Each edition since 1968 showcases a variety of art created by the visionary minds at 4Cs.
“People should definitely consider submitting,” Griffin said. “We get a high volume of quality pieces.”
Griffin points out that having your work featured in the magazine gives students a physical representation of their work that can be sent in with resumes.
According to current Sea Change editor Sarah Austin, this semester brought in about 180 pieces of artwork, 15 pieces of long writing such as fiction and nonfiction, as well as 55 poems. These submissions will be spread across somewhere between 40 and 45 pages in this edition of Sea Change. Every individual in the class is allowed input on each submission, bringing up constant discussion and debate, a process that leads to a thoughtful outcome.
Pieces of work that don’t make the magazine can sometimes be found on the magazine’s website: seachangecapecod.wordpress.com.
“I’ve always loved the arts, and writing and reading articles,” said Austin.
This class is an opportunity to mix all these passions. The course details the history, basic design, creative writing, review process and editing that go into producing a magazine. For a student that wants to collaborate, these different stages within the class offer options to gain the experience of being part of a production team. For someone looking for possible careers within this field, this will lead a wider range of knowledge and insight.
The title “Sea Change” comes from an excerpt from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a passage that they try to include in each edition.
“The concept and objective are to reflect the 4Cs environment and cultivate an exclusively student-run magazine of the arts,” said former editor-in-chief Joe Thorpe in his letter from the editor.
This means that the students play a main role in choosing the overall theme or feel of the magazine, which in turn dictates the submission process.
The 2019 Sea Change is currently a work-in-progress, but the college is waiting in eager anticipation for another stellar edition.