The Sequel serves as creative outlet

by Michael D. Mook

Having literary and artistic work published as an undergrad is normally a difficult and daunting challenge, but for many decades Simpson College students have had the opportunity to have their works published by the The Sequel, an officially recognized student magazine.

“As a poet, I feel a gratifying sense of purpose helping Simpson students interested in literature and art to have an outlet for their work and the work of others, as well as helping to create a supportive community for artistic and literary students,” said Mel Wilk The Sequel faculty advisor.

The Sequel is published each year in the spring. This publication was marked with a forum event, which took place Tuesday, April 8, in Dirlam Lounge. At this forum event published students read selections of their published work and prizes were awarded to three people who had work published in the The Sequel this year.

This year’s prize winners included: Sara Neppl in third place for her poem “Mathematics,” Bridgette Davis in second place for “Poem-over” and Mindy Marks in first place with “Swallowed.”

The Simpson English department supplies $200 to use for literary prizes, which is dispersed to first through third place literary winners with $100 to first place, $60 to second place and $40 to third place. The winner’s names were announced at the Forum event and will be announced again at convocation when the checks will also be presented.

“The Sequel staff and editors determine which submissions are accepted and rejected,” said Steve Horvath, co-editor. “When discussing a work, only the editor to whom the work was submitted knows the submitter’s name. This process is sometimes quite difficult and every effort is made to judge the works based on their literary and/or artistic merit, including such factors as composition, balance, flow, style, creativity, cohesiveness, etc.”

The Sequel is considered very important by both student and faculty participants, however due to a lack of permanent funding, like many other activities, The Sequel’s production quality as well as its very existence is never certain from year to year.

“The money required to publish The Sequel and to make it available to the Simpson community should be part of a permanent budgeted amount, fixed by Student Senate or administratively funded through the English department,” said Mel Wilk. “The students who edit, produce, and keep The Sequel going deserve much more reliable and generous financial support than is now the case.”

As it currently stands The Sequel must appeal for funds each year. This means the amount of funding is never a certainty and is determined by the Student Senate. According to Wilk reliable funding would make the process of publishing and making the The Sequel available to the community easier.

Copies of The Sequel were handed out at the Forum event and any extra copies were taken to the library so students who could not make the Forum event could get a copy.

“The Sequel is a showcase for the literary and artistic talent of the Simpson community,” said Jess DeBoom, co-editor. “Basically, it is produced out of an appreciation for the arts. Its existence is part of what makes Simpson College a liberal arts school. It is also something that every student can take part in, whether they do it through submitting pieces or inclusion into the magazine, working on the staff, or just enjoying the magazine when it comes out in the spring. To take it a step further, this publication is truly made from the Simpson community, for the community.”