Joining the club focused on your major is beneficial in many ways. I am an English major, therefore, I am part of the English Society.
On the eve of the blizzard, not many people showed up for the meeting. Even so, it was a great opportunity to meet some of the other members in a much more intimate setting. The President, Erin DeGregorio, and VP, Matthew Roberts, did a good job of setting up a fun semester.
People might think the English Society is a fancy title for a book club or a place where the members only talk about Shakespeare but in reality the English Society is much more up to date with its discussions.
In future meetings, as the Matthew Roberts promised, everyone will bring a piece of literature: poetry, a short story, anything. Then everyone will read aloud their piece. It could be a good confidence booster, a way to get engaged in the community and hear what other people have to bring to the table.
Another aspect, which I did not know about, was the English Society gets their very own column in the Promethean. And that column is open to any member who wants to write for it.
Attending this meeting lead to another realization that Siena offers so much. Take advantage of everything, even if it’s a small English Society meeting where only 5 people show up. I met new people who enjoy the same things I enjoy and I now look forward to meeting again next week.
Pendragon is Siena’s very own Literary Magazine; in which students can submit any form of a creative medium (short stories, poems, artwork, photographs, etc.) and the Editorial Board reviews it anonymously and then selects the best works to be publish in that issue. President, Miranda Nagell, gave me some insight on how careful their review process really is. She explained that the submissions are numbered as they come in with no name. Then the board members rate each individual submission on a scale of 1-5; five being the best thing they have ever read and one being the worst. The scores are then added up and depending on how many pieces they have room for in that addition, that number of pieces with the highest sum of ratings are then published.
The anonymity of the critique minimizes the intimidation factor and promises an unbiased eye. Obviously, no one wants his or her work critiqued but in the real world you and your work are nothing but critiqued so submitting to Pendragon is a great trial run.
Two semesters ago I had an extra credit opportunity to submit a short story from one of my classes to Pendragon. Whether or not it was published was not the point. It was just to get awareness of Pendragon out there and to encourage the students to submit. To my surprise they published my short story.
When I graduate I don’t plan on being an author. Honestly, I don’t even write short fiction unless it is for a class. But the feeling of having a short story I wrote published in an academic literary magazine was a great feeling. I felt accomplished that my work was good enough to get published, even if it was only for a class.
I stress the importance of trying new things and getting your name out there. Even if your work does not get published, you still made the effort to submit it and you then have room for improvement.
With the publication you get two free copies of the journal, another line on your resume, and bragging rights.
The submission deadline for this year’s addition is February 21st, 2015.
Click here for the guidelines: https://www.siena.edu/academics/schools-departments/departments/english/pendragon/pendragon-submission-guidelines/
Click here for more information about Pendragon: http://www.siena.edu/academics/schools-departments/departments/english/pendragon/
Some Books by Ben O’Bryan
After a pleasant but short winter break, we are back in action!
Just a few reminders:
- Don’t stop engaging with the Siena community… socially and academically. I know its cold and you don’t want to leave your dorms but going to events and lectures gives you an opportunity to meet new people and learn about different ideas and perspectives. You will develop skills you won’t get from just sitting in a classroom and you will hear stories that will inspire and motivate you. So go!
- Keep an open mind… don’t close yourself off from anything. The best experiences only come to those who are willing to experience it. As a Liberal Arts major you already understand the benefits of a broad , liberal approach to your studies so keep that unbiased mindset in all your endeavors.
- Finally, read the digest. It has really improved over the past couple years so take advantage of it! That is where you learn about events and lectures on campus and current Siena news. Take a minute each day before you scroll Twitter and Instagram to skim over the digest.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @Siena_Lib_Arts and Facebook: Siena College School of Liberal Arts