Fishladder looks for talented art, writing submissions

GVL / Archive
Caitlin Horrocks, faculty advisor to the Fishladder

GVL Archives

GVL / Archive Caitlin Horrocks, faculty advisor to the Fishladder

Matt Oberski

Grand Valley State University’s art and writing publication, Fishladder, is now accepting submissions for this year’s edition – and they’re looking for a lot of talented students.

The annual publication of student-submitted writing, including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and drama, photography and art of any medium was founded in 2003.

But the publication isn’t limited to art and writing students: any student can submit work, regardless of their major.

Caitlin Horrocks, GVSU assistant professor of writing and faculty adviser for Fishladder, started working with the publication in 2008.

“It’s a very competitive process to be published in a magazine,” Horrocks said. “It’s a lot of really high editorial work for the editors and published writers. It’s a good way to get experience in that field and to build up resumes.”

Last year’s volume included more than 30 pieces from many different disciplines. Being a part of the publication can be very beneficial for students, Horrocks said, whether they are editing or submitting work.

“Most people that create art and write want to be read,” Horrocks said. “They’re expressing themselves, and have something to say to the reader. Fishladder highlights work that is especially strong, and we’re really proud to be making that work available to people throughout the Grand Valley community.”

Last week, photography and art editing staff started placing posters around the Allendale Campus to promote Fishladder and to provide submission information for interested students.

Balancing an editor position at Fishladder along with class and other commitments can be tough, but editor head and creative writing major James Hinkson said it could be done.

“It’s definitely a big commitment, but I’ve known about my involvement way before hand. It’s just a matter of planning ahead,” Hinkson said.

Hinkson got involved with Fishladder last year when one of his professors suggested that he submit work. He went on to become part of the poetry editing team for the writing section.

“Reading though the work, it really is a tough process picking what goes into the magazine – it’s reassuring to me on a personal and professional level how much talent is out there,” he said.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 17, after which editors start looking at the submissions and sort to find the best possible pieces.

The 11th volume of Fishladder won’t be released until April, but it’s free and available to the public. Afterward, selected writers and artists can present their pieces to staff and students on the night of distribution.

Not all submitted art and writing pieces are published in the magazine, but for the students who submitted and didn’t get featured, there is a second chance at the spotlight.

“If they don’t get into the publication, there’s the Fishladder Red Wall Show in Lake Ontario Hall,” said Elizabeth Uitvlugt, illustration major and art editor for Fishladder. “We’ll keep pieces that we really like and display them, and students can have the experience of being in a curated show.”
The Fishladder Red Wall Gallery opens April 1 and runs until May 18.

Posters around campus describe the submission process, or for more information, contact Horrocks at [email protected]
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