By Cheyenne Moore
Although The Trillium is well known across Glenville State College, its recognition doesn’t stop in our small town. As a Gilmer County resident, I have been positively influenced by Glenville State College. As a child, I knew my future would be English-centered. Although I dabbled with various hobbies and skills, I always gravitated back to reading and writing.
After years of writing for myself, I knew I was ready to step out of my comfort zone. I felt an unexplainable confidence come over me. When choosing a college, I knew I wanted to find a small, academically conscious college where I could learn and develop my skills as an aspiring writer. Upon speaking with Dr. Jonathon Minton, I found that the Department of Language and Literature works extensively to do just that.
Minton has been teaching English at Glenville State College for 16 years, 15 of which he has spent overseeing the publication of The Trillium, the college’s official literary and arts publication. It dates back as early as the 1970s, and is as prominent now as it was then. Although he stays involved through his position as advisor, he states that the publication is “student-centered,” meaning student editors select materials, while Minton supervises the process.
The Trillium primarily features student submissions. While the submissions received are typically creative writing, literary editor Anna Childers is interested in including literary criticism in new editions of the magazine. Although this is a concept that has not typically been featured, they are open to this idea and eager to see what will come of it.
The Trillium also features visual art selected by Zoe Yates, art editor for the 2021-2022 edition. Although Zoe and Anna both select works for the magazine, Zoe explains that it is also her job to “go through submissions and cultivate a show for Spring 2022.” While it is Zoe’s first time working with The Trillium, she is a former editor of the literary and arts magazine at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. She is optimistic and excited about using her skills for The Trillium.
Zoe, Anna, and Minton claim that there are no real limits when it comes to content of the magazine. While Zoe’s process is based partly on how well the artwork can fit in the gallery, Anna’s is much different in the sense that she will rely more on word count limits when selecting literary pieces. Minton states, “Selection of work is based on length of submissions and how many submissions we receive.”
Zoe’s biggest piece of advice for those wanting to submit material is, “Never be afraid that your work isn’t enough.” She continues, “There’s no reason to be intimidated by the idea of seeing your work in gallery or a magazine, and it’s a privilege for us to see your work. Beyond that, I’d say to look over your work, be it a printed piece or a piece of art, and be prepared to ‘edit’ if you feel necessary.”
Hearing that the publication features so many different forms of writing and art put my mind at ease. As someone who has never published their own work before, I have always been worried about the quality of my stories or my art. While my idea of a decent painting is a couple strategically placed lines of my favorite colors, it is writing that I favor and do well in. I’ve written and told stories to anyone who would listen, ever since I was old enough to read and write. My parents joked that I should’ve been named Gabby for my gift of gab.
And with this gift, I realized that I was ready to share. My next step was learning how I could publish my work. Submission opportunities for The Trillium begin with the smallest community, Glenville State College students, and are then extended to faculty, staff, the community, and the state. While The Trillium primarily features West Virginia artists and writers, the publication has received submissions from various states, including Ohio and Arkansas.
While it’s exciting to see submissions from various states, Minton continued to stress the importance of student involvement. When speaking to students who are interested in publishing their work, he tells students that The Trillium is a good place to start if you’re serious about becoming a writer. He states, “You’re not really a writer until you share your work with someone.” While some publications are exclusive and difficult to get published in, “The Trillium is a good quality publication,” and is welcoming to new writers and students who want to share their work with their community.
While The Trillium is funded by the Department of Language and Literature, it’s the aspiring writers and artists who truly support the publication. Within each uncertain student lies creativity and promise waiting to be voiced. With each interview, I realized that Glenville State College is the place for that creativity and promise.