On Tuesday, November 7, the UFV College of Arts hosted Modern Voices of Publishing, a panel discussion which aimed to demystify the world of writing and publishing for a living. The panel discussion and presentation was held in the Evered Hall of the Student Union Building at UFV’s Abbotsford campus. Panelists included author and editor Carleigh Baker, writer at EVENT Magazine; Shashi Bhat, novelist, English professor, and editor of EVENT; and local editor and co-founder of arts publication Raspberry Magazine, Katie Stobbart.
Some 20 to 30 students and a sprinkling of faculty members attended the discussion, which primarily focused on highlighting the real, actionable steps that students can take to get ahead in the publishing world. Advice ranged from the practical (“Publishers aren’t going to look at your manuscript or story if it isn’t formatted correctly,” shared Baker), to the encouraging.
Bhat stressed the importance of persistence when it came to submitting work to publications.
“You’ll get rejection letters,” she said. “Keep submitting.”
The bulk of advice and examples to students on the practical side had to do with one of two attributes: preparedness, and persistence.
“Know who you’re submitting to,” Bhat said.
The event also served to highlight to students the opportunities available in the world of writing. Writing novels is possible, yes, but more often writers are employed at magazines which deal with less literary content.
UFV alum Katie Stobbart also encouraged students to take advantage of the resources available to them now. “Submit to Louden, or write for The Cascade.” Before graduating, Stobbart served on the editorial board of the Louden Singletree, and as editor-in-chief of The Cascade. The skills she picked up while engaging with work on-campus, she said, were invaluable.
“I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for [my experience at UFV],” said Stobbart.
After a short introduction by UFV English professor Andrea MacPherson, who emceed the event, the panelists engaged in open conversation with each other about the challenges and rewards of the publishing world, and took questions from the audience, as well as the faculty members who were present.
As the event drew to a close, students and audience members took notes, and nodded their heads appreciatively. If that’s any indication, the event was a success in inspiring students to consider publishing their work, and to take advantage of the resources available to them.