Forget Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the release of the new issue of The Eckleburg Project!
The Spring 2016 issue of TEP has been in the works since January, with artists refining their best work and sending it in and the editorial team working tirelessly to craft a perfect issue.
Since the club’s genesis in January 2013, The Eckleburg Project has been dedicated to showcasing Texas A&M University’s undergraduate poetry, prose, and art and providing it free of charge to the TAMU and Bryan/College Station community. While the club has undergone a rebranding or two since its origin, the basic premise has remained the same: to bring attention to the seemingly hidden world of art found right here on campus.
Senior environmental design major Matthew Walker, whose photography is published in the Spring 2016 issue, finds the magazine’s mission a worthwhile one.
“I think TEP provides a unique opportunity to the world of art by having so many media exist in one published work,” he told TEP.
Matthew explains that having the opportunity to have his work published, especially since photography is a “new frontier for him,” has shown him that his “work has potential, and that other people want to see the world through [his] eyes, [his] photographs.”
“I don’t pursue this art for getting published or winning competitions, I do this because I enjoy it and I want to continue capturing my own experiences through photography, and if the world wants to join with me the more the merrier,” Matthew mentions, expressing the sentiment that having an eager audience is quite the bonus.
Published prose writer Joshua Stenzel also mentions that writers should find an audience who will appreciate their work, even if your genre may not be “conventional.” Even though he calls his writing “Weird Fiction,” which focuses on “the notion of secret worlds, hidden truths, and the idea that … behind our physical reality is a nigh-incomprehensible one,” it seems he’s found a supportive audience right here at Texas A&M.
The junior physics major in no stranger to being published; he’s self-published a non-fiction book of local history for Sante Fe, Texas! However, he mentioned that the Inkling Society of Texas A&M (for which he is an officer) has provided him an environment for his creative writing to thrive.
Joshua also revealed a big source of inspiration for him: Eckleburg! “I have enjoyed reading so many of the varied stories that The Eckleburg Project shares, and the idea of submitting stories was a big motivator for my writing last semester.”
Not only does TEP publish varied stories, but the writers themselves are also extremely diverse. This has proven to be one of poet and environmental studies major Nichole Mehlhaff’s favorite things about the magazine. “People often forget that those pursuing a major or career in a science field, such as myself, can have creative spirits,” Nichole says. “My passion for writing will never falter, despite the requirements and responsibilities I will have in life; The Eckleburg Project has really helped me remember this, especially since it is open to all majors.”
While this is her first published work since college, sophomore Nichole has had much of her work published before; despite this, she still describes her work as “personal” but is willing to share it to the world to allow for others to glean from it what they need most.
You can find all of these wonderful artists’ work in the Spring 2016 The Eckleburg Project, which is set for release this Tuesday, October 11th at 7pm in the Stark Galleries. Be sure to grab a (free!) copy, listen to some artists read and discuss their pieces, and say “Hello!” to Matthew, Joshua, and Nichole!
To tide you art-hungry readers over until then, don’t forget to check out the last TEP here.
Feeling inspired? Submissions for the Fall 2016 issue are open! Be sure to submit your work before the end of the month for a reduced submission fee of $3. All media and topics are welcome—and encouraged! Review our submission process here.
If you’re feeling discouraged about your work, all three of our artists had words of wisdom that all published artists can certainly get behind:
Matthew: “Thank you to the other artists for pursuing what they are passionate about, and simply that. Continue to pursue your passions for your own enjoyment and love of what you do, and allow for the potential of your work to be published to be an added bonus.”
Joshua: “Just keep writing until you figure out what you have to say, and then find the people who want to hear it.”
Nichole: “[Artists] should always keep trying and they will reach their goals. But I want everyone to know they should never be afraid of submissions. Never.”