Jordan A. Sprogis

​After years of hiatus, WCSU’s Black & White: Journal for the Arts is back. It is a student-run publication that specializes in publishing students’ writing. It prints once per year, offering a collection of submissions on various topics, accepting everything from photography to haikus. 

On Oct. 28, Black & White hosted its first public reading in Warner Hall, inviting all published writers from the previous issue to read their work to an audience. The event was put together to show new students who may not know what Black & White is and to show them how to get their names out there. 

“It’s been on for quite a few years, but it took a hiatus because a couple years ago, students graduated and never reelected, so it kind of died off for awhile and just recently in the past year or so they brought it back,” says Amanda Currier, the Vice President of Black & White. 

 During the fall semester, Black & White compiles submissions, and in the spring semester, the editors meet a few times per month to go over the submissions and decide which ones will be accepted or rejected. 

“Even if they’re not accepted, it’s a good experience because it helps illustrate the strengths of their pieces, the weaknesses, and it helps get them experienced in an editorial setting where they’re able to look at different pieces,” says Robert Shaw, the President of Black & White. 

The submission process is easy. You just have to email with your document attached. The editors print it out without the name so it stays anonymous to prevent biased judgments. Once the editors go over the piece, they will email you back and let you know whether or not your piece has been accepted. 

“There’s no limit to the number of submissions, but we try to select around two or three pieces if it’s all poetry or one short story and a poem depending on the length,” says Kyle Venditti, the club’s secretary. “There is a 1,500 word limit on submissions however.”

And if you want to help edit stories, just show up at one of the meetings. Meetings are biweekly, every other Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Midtown Student Center room 209. They will be meeting next Thursday, Nov. 19., and then two weeks after that. Depending on the workload, editors will meet once a week. 

“The best part about this is that we have a community of writers that are able to workshop each other’s pieces,” says Robert. “It really encourages students and the writers of the community to get out there, to share their work with other writers which is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of being a writer.”

“Last year, we got over 100 submissions,” said Ayesha Ali, the treasurer of Black & White. 

“People write everything. I mean, there’s tragedy in here, comedy, poetry,” Amanda added. 

Dr. Ryan is the club’s faculty advisor, and also the Chair of the Writing Department, who helped organize the event. He was very pleased to have the writers of WCSU participate in a public reading because it helps them come out of their shell and receive feedback from the audience.

“I enjoy it too,” he says. “I teach mostly nonfiction writing, so this is good for me. I heard our students’ work in something other than they might have written for me. I’m very impressed.”

And as for future goals for Black & White? 

“We are hoping to start a contest for the cover art,” says Amanda. 

Meanwhile, start submitting!