Route 2: The road to creativity

By Lindsey Hunneman

Route 2 showcases student writers and artists.

All around the Fitchburg State University campus, there is unlimited talent and untapped potential. Yes, you guessed it: We are talking about the students.
To help uncover that potential, Dr. Ian Williams works with the English department to create Route 2: The Literary Journal of Fitchburg State College.

Published each spring by Fitchburg State’s English department, Route 2 provides a showcase for student poems, scripts, photographs, and even a few editorial pieces. Route 2 does not publish academic essays, but Williams said, “a strong non-fiction piece, i.e., creative non-fiction, would be welcome.”

The English department had been publishing a similar booklet for years as The Miller Hall Folio, but in 2005, the entire publication was revamped and changed to Route 2. Williams and the English department decided to reconstruct the publication because the Miller Hall Folio had slipped “into oblivion,” said Williams.

Thus far, the English department has put out four different volumes of Route 2.
“Route 2 takes a lot of work,” Williams said. “We get over 100 submissions and it takes hours for the editors to read through all of the work, discuss, and offer suggestions.”
Approximately 60 to 70 percent of the work submitted is printed in Route 2, though the work rarely is printed in the original form it was submitted. “We do sometimes ask for a lot of revisions before giving the final acceptance,” said Williams.

Each year, more and more students decide to submit their work and because of this, the finished product grows thicker and thicker with each volume issued. Route 2 is currently between 100 and 120 pages long. According to Williams, “Every year, something leaps out of the pile at you.” That fact alone makes him even more enthusiastic to read through each and every submission that he and the editorial staff receive.

The editorial staff of the Route 2 booklet is comprised of three to four student editors, one student layout designer (usually a graphic-design student), and Williams. The editorial staff changes yearly and that means that there are always fresh eyes and ears available to give their advice. This allows the English department to have multiple students involved, helping organize the publication and offering constructive criticism.

Route 2’s submission process is just like that of any other publication. Some pieces will be accepted, others will not, but constructive criticism will continuously be offered and if the editorial staff sees that your work appears promising, they will work with you in every way possible to prepare your piece for publication.

Williams is very much used to giving and taking constructive criticism. He demonstrates it throughout all of his classes and he also had his own book, titled “You Know Who You Are,” published earlier this year. He is now working on his second publication. Williams aims to make the entire Route 2 publication process informative and educational for everyone involved. “You know it’s really worth all of the effort when we can produce a product that we are proud of,” said Williams.

Interested in lending a hand to the publication of the 2010/2011 Route 2 booklet? Williams and the English department still need three to four editorial staff members, a layout designer and, of course, student submissions.

Stop by the English department to get your copy of the prior year’s publication or check out the Route 2 website (www.fsc.edu/route2) to read over submission guidelines, view prior submissions from students, and to see the artwork from the layout designers.

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