The Bell Tower Arts Journal, TJC’s literary magazine, is currently seeking submissions from students interested in having their work published in the upcoming 2009 issue.

The Bell Tower was founded two years ago by faculty member D. Linda Gary with the help of then-dean Richard Menter.

“When I came to TJC in 2005, I was so impressed with the level of creativity and talent of the students here, and I felt that the school needed an arts journal where the students could have an outlet for creative expression,” said Gary.

The magazine is entirely student-generated. All the work it contains is submitted by students as faculty are not allowed to submit work.

The cover art is created by graphic design students as well, and is selected just like the inside content.

The work published is chosen by a committee composed of an equal number of faculty members and students, and the process is a blind selection in which the creator of each submission is kept anonymous while making the selection.

A goal when the choices are made is to keep the magazine balanced between literary and visual work. Last year there were 21 literary pieces and 21 visual.

“The selection is very hard because of the quality of the students work. 90% of what we receive is worthy of publication. We just don’t have the space,” said Gary.

The competition to become selected has grown even stiffer since the first issue. In the magazine’s inaugural year, approximately 100 submissions were turned in.

The following year that number more than doubled. The response from readers has been generally positive as well.

“The last issue of the Bell Tower was awesome. All the work in it was really high quality, and I think it’s great that TJC students have a channel with which to express themselves,” said sophomore Libby Harmon.

Although there is no limit to the number of submissions a student is allowed to make, the deadline to turn in work for the 2009 issue which is to be released the week before spring break is October 31.

While work can be turned in at any time, many students are waiting for the “Storm the Bell Tower” event, planned by the Sigma Kappa Delta honor society, which sponsors the Bell Tower.

On October 31 at 7 a.m., students ready to submit their work will gather in the courtyard by the bell tower at Jenkins Hall, where a proclamation will be read, before “storming” into the Jenkins conference room to turn in their submissions and enjoy coffee and refreshments.

For those who aren’t the “storming” type, editorial guidelines and submission forms are available in the University Studies Office in Jenkins Hall or from Dr. Gary’s office in J-164, and can be turned in any time before the deadline.

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