When a 20-something signs onto their social media accounts, what do they see? What I see is a mixture of things; pictures from a friend’s spring break trip, a horrifying debate about what color a certain dress is, and fairly common rants from my passionate political friends. While the world of the internet may seem like a vast wasteland where information and opinions are dumped into 140 characters, it has the potential to be so much more than that. It can be a place where literature can thrive, and undergraduate writers can have their voices be heard.
In creative writing courses, we read works from the greats: Flannery O’Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, Shirley Jackson and many more who inspire us to be better writers. Write things that matter. This is where the undergrad brings something new to the table. We may not have our degree yet, but we are striving for much more than that. We want to write to let our voices be heard, write to the relevant topics that we face today, write to make these things matter.
At times as a student, it’s hard to keep your school work, social life, and online life separate. One minute I can look through all of my social media friends and see Facebook posts about a recent news event at another college, tweets about a new song that just dropped by Kanye West or how crazy a friend’s weekend went. Ten minutes later I’ll be reading hard copies of work from my other undergraduate classmates and go through the process with them, read work that’s relevant to my own life, while the online world keeps updating every few seconds. Wouldn’t it be great if all this blended into one sitting? Online literary journals are the way to do it. Now I can read the best work from all over the nation, from undergrads who haven’t yet had their voice heard in the literary world.
With Runestone, an online literary journal for and edited by undergrads, we get a chance to create something new for the world of literary arts. Now when I scroll through my social media, I can begin clicking on links to a great piece of fiction a talented young writer has worked on, or a poem that has reached the masses of youth on social media. Online literary journals can join the ranks of social media and begin a new way to connect with others all because it’s refreshing and relevant to what is being talked about in our culture, and what is being talked about online.
It’s time to hear from the undergrads, the next generation of writers that have been submersed in a world where the next great story could be a click away, and readers who want to keep those pages refreshing. We’re ready.
Meet the blogger:
I am studying creative writing with an emphasis on fiction, with a minor in English and Sociology. Upon graduation I hope to break into the publishing world, working in marketing and publicity some day. Fun fact: I can recite the alphabet backwards!