Five students from UIndy were selected for the 2017 “Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets” anthology by Z Publishing House. The publisher reached out to the students of UIndy after reading copies of the university’s literary journal, Etchings Press.
One of the poets included in the anthology was sophomore English literary studies major Shauna Sartoris, who said she received an email from Z Publishing about her work in addition to what had been published in Etchings.
“They said, ‘We saw your poem in Etchings and we’re working on putting together an anthology and we’d really like it if you submit,'” Sartoris said. “So, they kind of sought me out, which was really exciting. And then I had to submit a portfolio of poems and they picked one.”
Sartoris’ “Worms” was published in Etchings and also selected to be included in Z Publishing’s anthology.
In addition to the “Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets” anthology, Z Publishing also complied a poetry and a fiction writing anthology for each state. According to junior creative and professional writing major Natalie McCann, Z Publishing is small publishing company for younger writers who do not have experience and are trying to get their names and work published. Publishing is no longer a process that writers should have to go in alone, according to the Z Publishing website. The company hopes to start bringing writers and readers together with each volume.
Like Sartoris, McCann was also sought out by Z Publishing.
“I didn’t think people sought out writers,” McCann said. “I know you can’t really write poetry as a living and I am not really trying to do that. I am going to write poetry because I like doing it.”
Z Publishing selected a poem McCann wrote her freshman year titled “7AM.” McCann said that the poem is about missing people back home.
Sophomore professional writing major Sara Perkins also had her work included in the anthology. She said that the faculty at UIndy were helpful in preparing her submissions.
Perkins said that she was not in a workshop class, so Assistant Professor of English Liz Whiteacre helped her to set up a workshop with some of her peers.
“I took an intro to creative writing class with Kip Robisch,” Perkins said, “He was the first person that was like, ‘Hey, you’re actually a writer, you should write.’ He [was] the first person to call me a poet.”
English majors were not the only students to appear in the anthology. Junior actuary science major Rochelle Bauer’s poem “Cold Coffee” was also selected for publication. Bauer said that poetry has just been something she has always done for herself and not to necessary be published.
“Poetry is a really good outlet for a lot of different people,” Bauer said. “I think it’s really nice to see what other people create because when you’re writing your own stuff you’re like, ‘Okay this is what I think poetry should be and this is what it is to me.’ But then other people see something completely different.”
Some of the students like senior education and creative writing major Catherine Watness are starting to seek out companies like Z Publishing to publish their work and get their work out there. Watness said that she is in the process of publishing her own chapbook and novel. She was happy that her work was finally recognized.
There were a variety of poems that Z Publishing had to pick through to select the works that would be included in the anthology. The applicants said they were not sure which of their poems the publisher would select.
Watness said that her inspiration came to her in her Spanish class, when she saw red clouds. The inspiration led to “Rubem Sanity,” which was published in the anthology.
Other students followed a different path of inspiration. Perkins said she submitted an old draft from her intro to creative writing class that Etchings had published. She said she did not expect it to get published the first time nor get recognized by a publishing company.
“What [poem] they [Z Publishing] saw in Etchings was called ‘The Worst Night of Your Life,’” Perkins said. “[It is] antsy, teenage poetry I guess you could say. It was the first poem I wrote, it was actually a rough draft, and I ended up revising it heavily. But the first draft got published, so every time I see it I cringe a little.”
Although, not all of the applicants are English majors looking to publis, they were still appreciative of the opportunity that Z Publishing had offered.
“I am really thankful for Z Publishing,” Perkins said. “It’s really cool that they are actually doing this for one. And cool for them to be actively connecting people because I would have never heard of it regardless. That’s a lot of work, so super Kudos to them.”