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Jessup's Student-Led Literary Journal

Rebuilding Jessup’s Student-Led Literary Journal 

Many English majors dream of working as a professional editor. With a favorite pilot pen in hand, they envision a career using their knack for words, critical thinking, and attention to detail to craft digital and print media or help book manuscripts make the next bestseller list. 

Hands-On Editing Experience 

At Jessup, students get a unique opportunity to don their editing caps. Each fall, the English program offers Metonym, an upper-division creative writing course where English majors (and occasionally others) produce an original, student-led literary journal by the same name. 

Supervised by Associate Professor Dr. Dorisa Costello, the student-staffed team gets hands-on editing experience, along with the chance to read, write, design, and collaborate with other peers and artists. 

The journal features a collection of original fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and visual art. Always on the lookout for quality, meaningful work that speaks to the human experience, the team welcomes submissions from both the Jessup community and outside contributors. Although genre-editor roles are reserved for juniors and seniors, younger students may join the team and contribute their voice in other ways.  

“It truly is a student-driven journal,” shared Dorisa. “There is so much laughter each week! The camaraderie and debates on which submissions are good and which are not—sometimes appallingly bad!—make for some fun discussions.” 

Rebuilding a Vision

This year, the journal’s theme is “rebuilding.” After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Metonym’s Spring 2023 issue launched just in time for Commencement. 

“In the rubble of broken relationships, worldwide crises, and personal dissociation, our lives are overflowing with opportunities to open up, reach out, and put in the work to rebuild what’s been broken,” shared the team in their submission prompt. “This can look like leaving and restoring your legacy somewhere else, staying and mending what’s broken around you, or something else entirely.” 

Since neither Dorisa, nor the students, had prior experience with Metonym, they were able to innovate while still building on the department’s existing tradition. 

This theme really hit home for Rosette Thorson, Co-Managing Editor for the Spring 2023 issue. As a commuter student, being involved in Metonym’s editorial team helped Rosette feel more connected to campus life, especially after a time of social isolation. By learning to intentionally invest in relationships with other English majors—a notoriously quirky bunch—she found her close-knit Jessup family. 

“I helped advertise our journal on social media, organize our website, and assist our Editors-in-Chief in the submission process,” said Rosette. “It was all quite fun.”

Growing Together in Community 

As a Christ-centered University, Jessup seeks to faithfully expose students to a wide range of literature and worldviews, while still being rooted in faith and pursuing art that reflects God’s beauty, truth, and goodness. 

Each issue of Metonym will approach this a little differently because each student class is unique. Not everyone will agree all the time. But that’s all part of what it means to grow together in community.    

“Students also get to experience teamwork as they work together in vetting submissions, arguing for or against a piece,” said Dorisa. “They practice leadership, especially in the editor-in-chief and managing editor positions, where they organize the genre-specific groups, delegate tasks, set timetables, check in with everyone, and in essence, run the whole show. Students learn to trouble-shoot problems, think creatively, communicate with the public, meet deadlines, and really see a project through from start to finish.” 

Although many English majors go on to be teachers, the major is excellent preparation for other fields, too. Our Jessup alumni might go to law school or complete graduate work in the humanities or education (while writing their sci-fi novel on the side). And of course, many go on to become writers themselves.

Follow along on Instagram @metonymjournal to stay up-to-date on future issues and submission opportunities.


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Jessup University’s Bachelor of Arts in English program approaches the study of literature and writing from a redemptive, Christ-centered worldview. It offers students the opportunity for a transformative experience where each one grows to know themselves, others, and God more deeply through their study of English. By developing the ability to read, write, and collaborate effectively, students are equipped for graduate work or satisfying careers in fields where good communication and people skills are important. 

Learn more about Jessup’s Bachelor of Arts in English.    

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