Middlesex Community College strives to provide students with hands-on experiences. For students studying creative writing, this includes a review course focused on publishing an issue of the Dead River Review (DRR), MCC’s online literary magazine. Working on the magazine helps students edit creative work – including poetry, short stories, and photographs – giving them insight into a possible career for their major.
Katie Durant, English and Creative Writing Instructor at MCC and Alumnus, shows students how the publishing world works by exposing them to different career opportunities. During the course, she also invites special guests including published authors, editors and podcast producers.
“It’s important to give students the opportunity to get involved in DRR because it’s real and tangible,” Durant said. “Student work is not academic or loaded work. Here, students are editors. Their work has a meaningful purpose and will be seen by people not involved in the classroom or in the creation of the magazine.”
Working on DRR provides students with relevant and valuable skills that will appeal to potential employers and potential publishers, according to Durant. They can spend their time working on the magazine on a resume, a writer’s biography, or a writer’s website.
With dreams of becoming an editor, Carolyn Reistad, a 2021 recent graduate, considers working on the magazine one of her favorite parts of her time in Middlesex. Hailing from North Billerica, the English major with a concentration in Creative Writing believes experiences like this have helped prepare her for her future career.
“I know I can really make a career out of using my reading, writing and editing skills,” she said. “In an increasingly competitive world for liberal arts graduates, the practical skills gained from working on something like DRR become even more important in helping us stand out from the crowd.”
From Dracut, Raymond Anganes also appreciates the hands-on experience that MCC offers to students. Graduated in chemistry and creative writing with the intention of graduating in the spring of 2022, he enjoyed learning more about publishing and working on the magazine. Publishing his work has also helped him gain confidence in his writing.
“The DRR is a taste of the world of publishing, curating and publishing, and I learned an incredible amount during the semester I spent on its editorial board,” did he declare. “I had the opportunity to have feedback on my work, to read in front of other authors and readers, and finally, I had a short story published. Without the DRR, I would still be intimidated by the idea. to submit work to literary magazines. “
The RRC team received numerous submissions from students and faculty across the college. Students who work on publishing magazine review submissions, edit the collection, and publish the issue on the Internet for everyone’s enjoyment.
From Acton, Aamer Farttoosi, who hopes to graduate in English, understood that the field is a mixture of individual and group work. Calling writing a “commitment,” he appreciated receiving feedback and suggestions for new ideas to improve his work, including understanding where his story should go and how to reformulate his writing.
“When I edit and get feedback, I try to think about what doesn’t or isn’t right for me, as well as whether that is relevant and fits the mission,” he said. “During the workshops, I wrote articles, then shared them – with the teacher and my classmates – and received feedback. Fortunately, the feedback was positive and helpful. I felt at home. feel comfortable – it really helped me realize how important positive feedback is to me and it probably is to all other writers. “
Students worked on the latest issue of the magazine throughout the pandemic. This included attending Zoom workshops and editing on Google Docs together. After the new issue was published online, the team hosted a virtual party for readers and presenters to showcase their work.
Working on DRR during the pandemic has given English literature major Deklan O’Connor – who plans to graduate in 2023 and earn a degree in animal behavior – something to look to the future. By participating in a project, he had the opportunity to interact and collaborate with his classmates during an otherwise lonely time. The magazine also helped him learn to work better as a team.
“Working directly with other styles probably helped me develop mine even more,” he said. “But the best part was that once the submissions were received, Professor Durant would divide us into teams to discuss the work in small groups. This class was an online beacon.”
Visit http://deadriverreview.com to read current and past issues of MCC’s RRC.
Part of the Arts and Humanities pathway, MCC’s Creative Writing Program helps students enter the workforce or successfully transfer to four-year schools through its award-winning and affordable offerings, small class sizes and its flexible hours. For more information visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/discover/and discover your journey towards a career in creative writing at Middlesex.
With flexible course formats and a variety of student support services and resources, MCC is now registering for the fall semester 2021. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu or call 1-800-818-3434 to register for classes.
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This press release was produced by Middlesex Community College. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.