NDSU class a ‘mini publishing company’

Red with anger. A green-eyed monster. Feeling blue. Our everyday lives seem to be associated with color. Northern Eclecta, the annual campus literary journal, expanded on this idea when seeking submissions for their most recent publication.

Since 1995, Northern Eclecta has published a mix of creative work produced by NDSU students. The publication is edited and produced by students in the English department’s literary publications class.

“It's a unique class that offers some important real-world skills, such as working under hard deadlines, offering and listening to criticism, team meetings and more,” said Luna Zauhar, a recent graduate from Shakopee, Minnesota, and editor-in-chief of the latest journal. “Every spring this class comes together to essentially become a mini publishing company.”

At the beginning of the semester, the class decides a theme for the publication. Zauhar said submissions previously were restricted by very specific themes. But the goal for their most recent publication was to keep it broad.

The class decided on ‘Hue: Color Your Story’ as the theme.

“It’s been really cool to see people write whatever they want to write about and associate it with a color,” Zauhar said. “I think having a more open theme has really opened submissions and attracted a lot more people.”

Each section of the journal was categorized under color rather than genre. Creators were asked to include the color they would like their submissions sorted under when they submitted their work.

“The theme means something different to everybody,” said Kylen Kubas, a junior from Gladstone, North Dakota. “To me, it’s cool to see a piece and realize that somebody might associate a different color with it than you would.”

After submissions have closed, the class begins the review process by categorizing each submission. They read each piece, usually about ten to fifteen per class period, critique and decide if it will be published.

“We use guided conversations to nail down our pieces and ask questions such as, ‘Does this piece fit the theme?’ or ‘Will this piece require excessive editing?’” Zauhar said. “From there, we decide if we want to publish the piece.”

Once the final pieces are selected, they are edited, compiled into a final manuscript and sent to the printers for publication and distribution.

The publication accepts submissions of poetry, creative non-fiction, fiction, photography and digital art. The class accepted video and music as categories for the first time this past year. Anyone can submit their creative work to the journal.

“It’s a really interactive class,” Kubas said. “There are so many different parts to the journal. To see it all come together is really, really cool.”

“Northern Eclecta has impacted the last three years of my life,” Zauhar said. “I came into the class as a sophomore just looking for an elective credit for my English minor and instantly fell in love with the class.”

Color your own story and apply to NDSU today.