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California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Writing Center to launch new Gumby Writing Project

Photo Contributed by Cori Pizano.
The deadline to submit work for the inaugural edition of the Gumby Writing Project is Sunday, April 14.

For the first time in California Lutheran University history, the Writing Center will be launching an online literary journal, titled the Gumby Writing Project.

In collaboration with Writing Center Director and Associate Professor of English Scott Chiu, senior Cori Pizano will be the first editor of the first issue at the Cal Lutheran Writing Center. 

“Hopefully, as this project gets more momentum as the years go on, it becomes a tradition and people will like to look back at the previous issues. So this is your opportunity to be in the debut issue of it,” Pizano said.

Starting this year, the Gumby Writing Project will be an annual tradition. Pizano and Chiu have created a space for the California Lutheran community to submit writing pieces based on a unique annual writing prompt. 

Students can submit their work for the Gumby Writing Project via their website. After the deadline, Pizano said he would review submissions and provide feedback to those who submitted their work. 

Chiu said that after submissions are published on the Gumby Writing Project website, writers will be invited to a celebration event where applicants will be presented and may receive the opportunity to read a little bit of their writing.

“We’re looking for something that is creative, non traditional, and that can be a little hard to define. There’s an annual celebration for the writers who are not necessarily English majors or literature lovers, but for anyone who has a story to tell or anyone who responds to a story that comes to them,” Chiu said.

The first issue that is available now until Sunday, April 14, and is titled, “The UnAcademic Journey.” According to the website personal essays, narratives, poetry, short stories, and think pieces will be accepted.

“Writing something less academic is something we don’t always get to do,” said Pizano. “I’ve been kinda of reflecting on my experiences since I’m graduating so I was thinking, ‘okay, what’s going to be meaningful to the community and relevant to the school?’” 

Pizano said that a lot of times students are asked to write about academics for personal statements when applying to college, applying to grad school, etc. For this prompt, Pizano said he’s looking to hear about anything else and everything else.

Pizano said we have a diverse community that includes people from different states, countries, and experiences. He said he wants to hear about everything that is impactful to people’s lives outside of academics.

“How was moving away from home like for the first time? How did you navigate jobs and disappointments, or sidetracks during your journey? Do you have something that may be helpful to another student that they can read and feel like they’re not alone?” junior and student worker at the Writing Center Elizabeth Arias said.

Arias said she sees this project as a platform for Cal Lutheran members to be vulnerable and share what they’re going through.

“I definitely feel this is about raising awareness too. You’re not just a student, you’re a person. So I think Cori’s initiative is really inspiring and the same with Dr. Chiu helping,” Arias said. 

Chiu said this new platform welcomes submissions from everybody affiliated with Cal Lutheran, including Cal Lutheran students, faculty, staff and alumni of all skill levels. 

“My vision is that it will be a grant supported writing project for the CLU community that will not just be a platform for students to demonstrate and showcase their experience and passion, but also for the ordinary people who never think of themselves as writers so that they will have a place to share a story,” Chiu said.

Pizano said the plan is to have a different student guest editor affiliated with the Writing Center each year, and that students will select a prompt they feel is relevant to the Cal Lutheran community.

The deadline to submit work for the inaugural edition is Sunday, April 14.

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