Created by Creative Writing and Digital Arts & New Media students, Selkirk College students were invited to submit their original words for inclusion in the second issue of the Black Bear Review – the first in print and the first available to the public for purchase.
With a theme of perception, short fictional stories, poetry and non-fiction works delve into a variety of topics from the West Kootenay roller derby scene and the Shambhala phenomena to exploring faith, the value of nature and power of the written word. From the quirky story to dark tales, illustrations are equally evoking and captivating.
Captured here selecting the front cover image, Selkirk College Digital Arts & New Media students collaborated on the Black Bear Review with creative writers on campus.
Creative Writing Instructor Leesa Dean says submissions were adjudicated by an editorial committee composed of second year creative writing students. They used knowledge gained in the classroom revisiting questions like “what makes an engaging story?” and “what does a publishable piece of work look like?”
Creative Writing Faculty member Almeda Glenn Miller says the relationship between the writer and reader arose as critical to an engaging story.
“These submissions in Black Bear Review are only a partial reveal of the writing culture alive and well in the Kootenays,” Miller says. “We hope to inspire good readers and good writers in the future to leave their scat on our pages so we can continue to sniff around this conversation.”
When students got a sneak peek at the final layout, Dean says they were “absolutely floored with excitement.” The finished magazine is a “beautiful” product sure to be a hot commodity.
“Many students in the Creative Writing program hope to be published writers, and this is their first step in that direction. Being included in this magazine means the world to them,” she says.
Collaborative Project Mimics Industry Work
DANM Instructor Marian Lowe was Black Bear Review’s art director. She says the initiative provided an opportunity for her students to gain experience, working collaboratively on a large product, as they would be working in the industry.
“I was keen to take this on because real life projects provide great learning opportunities to develop and enhance skills and the quality of work that came out of it is a testament to that,” she says.
DANM students refined print publishing skills like establishing a masthead and typesetting while taking advantage of an outlet to showcase their creative work.
“The students really came up with their own concepts for how to illustrate each article – they had free reign here. This was an opportunity for them to apply the skills they learned for the previous year and a half in the Digital Arts and New Media program,” says Lowe. “I am impressed with the quality of work the students submitted and how it all came together. There is a lot to appreciate in the Black Bear Review.”
Miller shares this enthusiasm and sees great things coming from the inaugural print edition of the Black Bear Review. Incredible value is added to learning as artistic students connect and collaborate at Selkirk College.
“We're really hoping this continues to be a platform which brings the college community together,” she says.
Black Bear Review will be available for purchase at the Digital Arts & New Media Year-end Show taking place on the Tenth Street Campus in Nelson on Friday, April 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. Students will be on hand reading from the magazine selling for $8 a copy.