Spread the Word: Literary Opportunities

Libby Darrell , Special Features Co-Editor

Any University students who have taken a course with Assistant Professor of English Joe Scapellato would know about the concept of literary citizenship. As several courses in the English department explain, the concept refers to one’s engagement in the community in which they wish to be included. In other words, literary citizenship means that an aspiring author should interact with other writers through reading, buying, reviewing and promoting the works of other authors.

For those interested in learning more about the art of writing or English, there are more than enough ways to engage on campus at the University.

Magazine Opportunities

BE Magazine 

At the University, BE Magazine is a student-led publication that promotes the act of community building through allowing students and other members to share interests in the fashion industry on its platform.

Et Cetera Magazine 

Et Cetera, or ETC Magazine, is a publication that aims to create awareness about the lives of University members. Using both a print and online platform, ETC features personal stories and visuals from various students, faculty and other community members. 

Her Campus Bucknell 

As one of the branches of Her Campus (HerCampus.com), the University’s Her Campus outlet is an online magazine that offers insight on topics including style, health, love, dorm life and careers relating to the University’s community. Since the magazine utilizes media platforms and content that caters to college women, the organization has weekly meetings in the Women’s Resource Lounge of the Elaine Langone Center (ELC).

The Humanities Review

Another literary publication on campus is The Humanities Review (THR) — a student-run and peer-reviewed journal. Unlike some of the other more literary or creative magazines on campus, THR includes history, criticism, theory, art, humanities and humanistically-oriented social science content from both University students and those attending other universities. In addition to promoting students’ publications, the journal — which has its own ISSN at the Library of Congress — connects students to a network of published authors.

Clubs and Organizations

The Creative Writing Club 

Hoping to inspire students at the University to create a stronger sense of literary community and citizenship, Nicole Yeager ’22 started The Creative Writing Club. Through weekly meetings, the club will provide those interested in exploring writing or finding writing buddies the opportunity to grow as writers.

Confetti Head

Another literary magazine is Confetti Head, which began as a student initiative to grow the sense of literary citizenship at the University. The online publication accepts pieces of poetry, prose and art from all undergraduate University students, regardless of their majors.



The popular LitFest is an annual literary event for students of color, during which performances of spoken word, poetry, prose, art, music and improvisation are featured. 

Literary Fiction and Poetry Readings 

In addition to the various literary organizations and publications available on campus, students can also attend fiction and poetry readings from a variety of visiting authors held in the University’s Stadler Center for Poetry. Some of the literary events occurring this spring include: the Kiki Petrosino and Leah Hampton (Philip Roth Residents in Creative Writing) reading, a fiction reading by author Marie-Helene Bertino, the Diana Khoi Nguyen (Darrow Poe) poetry reading and the annual student Cadigan Prize winner reading.

But how can students get more involved?

The West Branch Internships

The University’s very own Stadler Center for Poetry houses West Branch — a publication where students can work as an intern for a semester. Specifically, this internship is perfect for students who are interested in either writing generally or pursuing a career in writing or publishing.

“West Branch is [the University’s] award-winning professional literary journal, which reaches readers and writers all over the country and even overseas,” Managing and Book Review Editor of West Branch Andy Ciotola said. “The West Branch internship is an opportunity for undergrads to experience a bit of the American literary scene and to work closely with the journal’s editors on such tasks as manuscript selection, proofreading, and contracting literary work.”

Ciotola works alongside G.C. Waldrep, a professor of English and the editor of West Branch.

Because the magazine publishes poetry, fiction, essays and reviews three times per year, interns are able to aid the editors of West Branch in working on the publication layout, screening submissions, maintaining the publication’s online presence and copyediting.

When asked why University students should join the internship program, Ciotola said, “The internship is geared toward students who see themselves as future members of the literary world, whether as writers, editors or in some other role in the literary publishing industry. The only prerequisite for the internship is a passion for literature, particularly contemporary fiction and poetry. West Branch interns have gone on to work as editorial assistants, agents, advertising and marketing specialists and many other roles.”

In addition to learning about becoming a better literary citizen, participating students are taught the nuances of the publishing world. 

“Many interns are surprised to learn about the fierce competition for space in our and the competitiveness of the literary world in general,”  Ciotola said. “We receive thousands of submissions per year from writers across the United States and beyond. Our editors read every submission we receive, but only a small fraction of these are selected for publication. The best work tends to find its way into print one way or another.”

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