Student-run journal invites literary submissions

Dionte Berry
Editor-in-Chief
dberry11@murraystate.edu

The student editors behind “Notations” a yearly digital literary magazine are accepting submissions from students giving them the opportunity to have their work published.

Open to undergraduate students with English and philosophy majors or minors, the journal allows students to submit poems, fiction and nonfiction works of their choice.

“Notations” editor and junior professional writing major, Danica Fuerst has had her work published in past editions of “’Notations” and is looking forward to seeing student submissions.

As a student editor Fuerst is responsible for organizing and selecting submissions for the magazine as well as designing and copy editing.

“An internship is a requirement for my major, so last semester I started talking to my adviser, Dr. Danielle Nielsen, about my options to fulfill it. Notations was one of my options, so I contacted Dr. Jerrell, got permission and registered for it just like any other class,” Fuerst said.

Beyond taking on an editor role, Fuerst has had her work published in the 2020 edition of “Notations.” Fuerst said she has wanted to be an author since she was nine but she never liked what she wrote, and when she came to Murray State she was nervous about making her writing public.

“To anyone who’s nervous about submitting, I’ve been there before,” Fuerst said. “I was extremely nervous and had no confidence at all in my writing ability, but I forced myself to do it and, with the support of my classmates in class workshop, it reignited my passion for creative writing.”

After having her piece published in “Notations,” Fuerst went on to change her minor to creative writing and began writing more during her free time.

Overseeing the creation of “Notations” is Associate English Professor and Creative Writing Program Coordinator, Carrie Jerrell.

Jerrell’s advisory role serves to ensure the student editors are meeting deadlines and help them through the design process.

As a published author, Jerrell says she knows the publishing process can be overwhelming.

“Publishing your work can be intimidating, but it’s also really exciting,” Jerrell said. “Publications like ‘Notations,’ that are specifically for undergraduates, are very friendly testing grounds for developing writers.”

Jerrell said “Notations” is a way for students to put their foot out into the world of writing by having it take place amongst peers who are the same people supporting each other in class and at workshops.

Even though publishing and writing go hand-in-hand in the literary world, Jerrell said there is a clear line in between the two and that whether something gets published or not does not impact one’s status as a writer.

“Don’t get discouraged if your work isn’t accepted for publication. My work has been rejected so many times I can’t even count them,” Jerrell said. “I write first and foremost because I love the act of writing, and I want to do it even if I’m never published. Writers find joy and fulfillment in building worlds or conveying emotions or exploring ideas in language.”

Send submissions to msunotations@gmail.com by Sunday, Feb. 20, at midnight. Read the 2021 edition of “Notations” in the Murray State Digital Commons.

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