Student Publishing in the Arts and Humanities

Attention Arts & Humanities Student-Scholars and Student-Artists!

What do Hope students Michael Bertrand, Lauren Berka, and Katie Bode all have in common? Their names, academically speaking, are “up in lights.” All three are Humanities majors who have had their work published, while undergraduates here at Hope.

Here are the citations, with the three students’ names in bold:

Bertrand, Michael (2009) “God Might Be Responsible For Physical Evil,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 87: 513-515.

Huizenga, Tena A., Aunt Tena, called to serve: journals and letters of Tena A. Huizenga, missionary nurse to Nigeria Jacob E. Nyenhuis, Robert P. Swierenga, Lauren M. Berka, editors. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.

Bode-Lang, Katie (2002) “She’s heard it said that if it weren’t for the sky we should go mad,” Poets Under Twenty-Five, Beloit Poetry Journal, 52: 40.

Philosophy professor Joseph LaPorte says this about students and publishing: “Students need to know their opportunities. I think they don’t realize how much sustained work with the guidance of a professor can help them to publish . . . and thereby set them apart and how much all of this can put them in a position to develop their talents after Hope . . . in a satisfying career of service.”

If you are interested in pursuing publication for your own work, the library is happy to help you explore the possibilities. The library has created pages that highlight opportunities for undergraduate publication:

Arts & Humanities: Undergraduate Publishing Opportunities

In pursuing publication, keep in mind that not all journals are equal. A journal in which it is fairly easy to get published will not garner the same respect or attention from other scholars and writers as will one with higher standards. As you land on journal web pages (via the links provided, or through Googling), keep an eye out for the following: Sample articles, or creative works, from previous issues, available under the category “Archives” or “Earlier issues” or “Samples”; and Submission guidelines, often listed simply as “Guidelines” or “Submissions.”

The single best way to determine whether or not a journal is potentially a good home for something you have created is to browse issues. This will help you judge the quality of the journal and determine topic-wise and style-wise whether the journal editors would likely be interested in what you have written.

Even if you do not think you have something ready for publication, reading through specific journals’ missions may jumpstart an idea to develop into an essay. For instance, read the description of Dialog: The Undergraduate Essay Journal of Boston College and get inspired.

Finally, keep in mind that though there are an increasing number of publications open exclusively to undergraduate authors and artists, few mainstream journals exclude undergraduates from submitting. Mike Bertrand’s essay on God and evil appears alongside work of established scholars in the field. In many ways undergraduates live in the golden age of publishing: you have more options than anyone else to choose among.

Priscilla Atkins, Head of Reference and Instruction

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