By Anne Elliott
“The Noisy Water Review,” an annual publication of Whatcom Community College students’ academic and creative works, is currently accepting pieces from students who wish to submit any form of academic or creative writing, visual art, or music.
“The deadline is May 9, but we’d love to see work before then,” said Joanna Kenyon, who teaches creative writing and composition at Whatcom and helps coordinate the publication.
For the past four years, Noisy Water has published student works online, which allows for music submissions via mp3. This includes pieces composed for a class, spoken-word poetry, and songs written and performed by students or student bands, among other works.
In past publications, visual arts selections have included photography, paintings, sketches, and graphic works.
Academic works may include essays, articles, and research papers, while creative writing encompasses poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, and even short plays.
“If you think that you have a work that is good enough, send it in,” Kenyon said. “We like to see a wide variety. I would love to see more coming from the writing-intensive biology classes.”
Kenyon said submissions go through a screening process where they are looked over by a team of volunteer students and teachers. They are then ranked on a scale from one to five via a private online survey.
“Every submission gets two readers at least, some get three or four depending on how many volunteers we get,” Kenyon said.
The pieces that rank highest are then reviewed and proofread by a smaller group of volunteers during a panel meeting, which was held last year at Kulshan Brewery.
Proofreader marks are then typed up by Kenyon, who sends the revised version to the student that submitted it, who then accept the edits or make changes.
Kenyon said that Karen Blakely of Whatcom’s Art Department processes all of the art pieces.
She added that Whatcom’s Music Department has been shifting, and that there will be a new music teacher in charge of musical submissions this year.
“Writing is where we get the bulk of submissions,” Kenyon said, adding that she would love to find more student volunteers.
The president of Whatcom’s Student Senate, Lucas Nydam, hopes to turn the entire operation into a mostly student-directed publication, and has hopes to bring back a hard-copy publication in addition to the online version, she said.
Nydam said he would like to see more frequent publications of Noisy Water in the future, with more student submissions for each publication. He said he would like to see an issue of Noisy Water come out twice a year if not quarterly.
Nydam said that he will be vice president of a new writing club, The Writers of Whatcom, currently forming under direction of the club’s president, Greg Lane. Nydam said he hopes that the club will have a large part in the creation of future Noisy Water Reviews.
Nydam had a piece published in last year’s Noisy Water publication, a free-verse poem called “Scrap.” He said the best part about being published is “putting a piece of yourself out there” and having other people read your work.
Kenyon said she hopes to see more student involvement and increased readership, although she also enjoys the way that students and teachers currently work together. “I would also love for Noisy Water to get its own URL in order for easier access,” she said. “Right now it’s kind of buried under other webpages.”
There will be a reading of selected written pieces from The Noisy Water Review at Village Books in Fairhaven at the end of spring quarter. Students interested in participating should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions can be sent as an email attachment.