Inscape Magazine launches 2016 issue

Emily McCall reading from the 2016 issue of Inscape Magazine. McCall was an editor-in-chief for this edition of the literary magazine.

Ryan Thompson

“Inscape” held a launch party May 5 at South Wind Gallery for the 2016 issue of the literary journal.

“Inscape” magazine is an annually published literary journal edited by Washburn students as the creative writing capstone. Inscape began in 1972 and publishes works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual arts. The journal accepts submissions from around the globe.

The launch party was held in the South Wind Gallery on SW 29th Street west of MacVicar, which has hosted Inscape launch parties in the past, and the event featured selected readings from the 2016 issue, which were read by the editors.

The publication is edited by the class of EN 384, which was taught by Eric McHenry, associate professor of english, for the first time last fall. While final decisions were made by students, McHenry guided them through the process and taught the class about literary journals and the world of publishing. He also required students to submit their own work to literary journals in order to learn about the industry from both sides.

Much of the class time was spent discussing submissions, which were selected on their own merits with the identities of the contributors withheld from the editors.

“It came down to what the editors felt was quality enough to go in each section,” said Emily McCall, senior english major. “We didn’t have any set notion of what it was going to be.”

For practical reasons, not every submission was reviewed by the entire class.

“We had different section editors who would sift through what they thought was worthy of being looked at by all the editors,” said Christianna Pope, senior creative writing and German double major.

Pope and McCall, along with Kraig Dafoe, were selected by McHenry to be the editors-in-chief of the 2016 issue.

“In the past there has often been a single editor-in-chief,” said McHenry. “This time around I had three who I thought made very compelling cases for themselves. Each had something different to offer and I thought the three of them working together would complement each other very well.”

The publication was not without its difficulties. Angela Batt, a fiction editor for the 2016 issue, was omitted from the masthead of the first printed copies. McHenry considers this mistake to be a true learning experience of the publishing industry.

“You pay so much attention to getting every detail right and making sure there is not a comma or apostrophe out of place,” said McHenry. “Almost invariably you miss something big. The whole process is an illustration of the imperfections of publishing and how things slip through the cracks. I’ve provided my students with a perfect example of that in my omission of an editor.”

Because Inscape used IngramSpark’s print-on-demand service for the first time, rather than a traditional printing press, this error was able to be rectified and newly ordered copies of the journal will include Batt’s name. Overall, the editors are pleased with the final product and McHenry encourages more submissions from local writers and authors.

“We’re really proud of it and it’s a prestigious place to publish your work,” said McHenry. “We are very much open to work by Washburn students. The submissions period will begin in August, so anyone interested in submitting work should bear that in mind.”