The University of Baltimore has a brand new literary journal set to be published this spring. Skelter, which will consist of work exclusively from the UB community, will be compiled and edited by students in WRIT 401: Publication and Performance.
At this point, a number of Post readers are probably feeling a little confused. Skelter, though similar in name, is not to be confused with the older, more established Welter. This past fall, Welter was passed to graduate student hands. As a result, the undergraduate class was left without a publication. That’s when Skelter was born, and it was decided it would publish writing from the UB community.
Kath Sargent, the freshly elected Editor-in-Chief for this brand new publication, sees Welter as having a broader, more nebulous literary focus, since they accept pieces from all over the world. It’s also true that every year Welter is completely recreated, loosely connected by the ethos of a syllabus and by the few submissions that come from UB.
Sargent sees Skelter, though still literary, as more focused. Though this makes the prospect of getting submissions more challenging, it makes for a journal that will likely have a much more connected identity from year to year. It will echo the UB community.
“Skelter is, like Welter, a celebration of literature,” Sargent explained. “But Skelter will focus on writing from a dynamic thriving community of persons.” And indeed, the focus is not set solely on the student body; there is hope that submissions will come from all corners of the campus, not just the academic ones.
“We are reaching out,” Sargent said, “to alumni, administrative staff, the UB police, outdoor and indoor environmental staff, plant operations, and faculty, as well as our fellow students.”
As a Teaching Assistant for the class, I have been able to witness the students’ evolving attitude toward Skelter. When the switch from Welter to Skelter was announced in the first class of the semester, the news was not entirely welcomed. I admit that, as a student from MFA who had purloined Welter, I felt somehow responsible for the students’s disappointment. But, the students’s negative feelings did not last long. By the time editorial elections happened in mid-February, the energy and excitement in the room was palpable. Each student who ran had passion and determination to define Skelter’s first issue as something to be remembered. Sargent acknowledged the challenge that lies ahead: creating an identity for a newborn journal in mere months. “The journal will be defined and executed almost simultaneously,” she said.
There is no doubt that the student staff is ready to make a beautifully innovative journal in the coming weeks.