Thursday, April 26, 2018

Vol State’s Pioneer Pen wins National Award

Kaily Farrell in the media lab

Vol State’s Pioneer Pen recently won a first place national award from the American Scholastic Press Association for the 2017 edition. The Pioneer Pen is a student led literary arts magazine published annually each spring. Students have the chance to submit original works of art, photography, poetry, fiction, and more.

“Pioneer Pen
is an opportunity for students to have their work published and viewed by a large audience. It is a bragging right to say that your work is published in the college’s literary magazine. We received many submissions and only the best are published,” said Laura McClister, faculty advisor and professor of English.

The Pioneer Pen may also be taken as an English practicum (ENGL 290P) which is designed to provide students with hands on experience in all aspects of publishing a literary arts magazine. From choosing the submissions to designing the layout, it’s all in the hands of the students.

Student Pioneer Pen editor, Kaily Farrell, shared her experience: “I wanted to join Pioneer Pen partly because I’m a writer, but I want to do some work as an editor in journalism, and I thought it would give me some legit experience … my favorite part is putting it all together and seeing which pieces actually complement each other, even though they may be from two different people. It reminds me there’s a sort of universality among all artists whether they’re painters, writers, or photographers.”

Also, faculty advisors Emily Andrews and Laura McClister were recently invited to speak on Vol State’s behalf at the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference because of their experience with Pioneer Pen.

“It’s the largest literary conference in North America. They asked us to speak on reinventing a literary arts magazine at a two year college … we met a lot of people from across the country who are looking to add a literary arts magazine to their program, or had a magazine, but were looking to add the practicum in,” explained Emily Andrews, faculty advisor. 

For students interested in careers in English, Art, or in between, Pioneer Pen may be worth checking out. For more information about the Pioneer Pen and other Vol State publications, please visit:

-By Rachel Keyes

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