New student publication Inklings focuses on collaboration

After spending a semester abroad in London, Laura Rosenthal ’15 felt an that some part of her Colby experience was missing.

“I was just thinking back on what I do at Colby and even though I love everything I’m involved in, I realized that there were things that I had grown to love but nothing that came out of my own passion,” Rosenthal said.

With this in mind, Rosenthal decided to embrace her passion for creative writing and founded the new literary magazine, Inklings. Through Inklings, Rosenthal wanted to create a club where students would have the ability to not only submit and publish their work, but learn how to improve their writing as well.

After coming up with the idea for Inklings, Rosenthal reached out to Madison McLeod ’15 to help start up the club.

Much like Rosenthal, McLeod also has a passion for creative writing. They felt that there should be another outlet to work on writing in an interactive environment. Although Colby offers creative writing courses, they can be relatively difficult to get into.

“I thought [Inklings] would be really great for people who maybe couldn’t get into [creative writing] classes and could be pointed in our general direction so that they could improve their writing on their own with other students in a no-pressure environment,” McLeod said.

In order to emulate this interactive environment, Inklings plans to host 3 different workshops each week in the Mary Low Coffeehouse.

The club plans to hold a fiction workshop on Mondays at 4 p.m., a creative non-fiction workshop on Wednesdays at 4 p.m., and a poetry workshop on Thursdays at 6 p.m.

The workshops are not intended to feel like a classroom because, according to Rosenthal, many students love writing but don’t want to have the responsibility of a class.

During the workshops, students will read their own work and critique the works of their peers through questions and feedback.

“I’m excited about getting people excited about writing and getting people to improve their writing and to be proud of their own work,” said McLeod. “I think that’s a very big thing when it comes to writing. It’s very difficult to be proud of your work and to know that it’s good [and] it’s hard to know if you’re writing by yourself.…I always think it’s nice to be able to get feedback from others…and to make sure that people are getting what you’re getting and feeling what you want them to feel.”

In addition to the literary magazine that Inklings will print once a semester, the club is also planning on updating a blog throughout the year.

According to Rosenthal, the purpose of the blog is to post new submissions throughout the year in order to keep Inklings “lively and exciting.” The blog will also feature a broader scope of content, including  craft essays written by professors, interviews with professors and other writers, and podcasts of students reading their work.

Rosenthal hopes that the submissions for the print magazine will come from the stories, poems, and essays that students have been writing and critiquing in workshops.

“My goal is to have a group of people who are committed to the workshops and the workshop process and who, at the end, feel that the pieces they’re publishing in the magazine are something that they’re really proud of and … to increase awareness and enthusiasm for creative writing in the Colby community,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal wants the Colby community to know that Inklings is open for anybody to join and is not just intended for students who have taken multiple creative writing classes. She wants the club to be composed of people who have a passion or hobby for creative writing and who really want to improve and learn from writers their own age.

“We’re open to anyone and we just want to help people improve their writing enjoy writing and have a really good time in a stress free environment,” said McLeod. “It’s not a class, we’re not going to grade you for it, so it’s all about enjoying the process.”

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