‘The Plow’ to sprout this spring

Julia Adkins

Many students dream of having their literary and visual art pieces being published and available for others to see.

Kent State University at Ashtabula is doing just that.

The English Society, a student organization at Ashtabula’s campus, announced in the fall that they would produce a creative arts magazine that would feature poetry, short fiction, prose and visual art by the students at KSU at Ashtabula campus. 

They’re hoping to publish an issue once a year, during the spring semester of that school year. 

English Society Advisor and Professor Dr. Abigail Bowers said the reasons for choosing the name The Plow for the publication was unique.  “We put out a vote and the students [of the English Society] came up with The Plow,” Bowers said. 

They came up with the name for the journal because they felt that plows in general were important to their community and knew they could relate it to literary and visual arts. 

Their purpose of the magazine title was this: “During the long winters of northeast Ohio, we are all familiar with the sight of a snow plow pushing aside the snow.  During the summer months, many of us have plowed the earth for planting.  Of course, all of us, at some point or another, have plowed our way through crowded hallways to get to class on time.  Kent State-Ashtabula’s new sown literary journal The Plow invites you to push aside writing blocks, turn your creative soil and plow through the process of creation.”

Although the Kent State Ashtabula English Society runs The Plow, four students currently make up the editorial board.  The purpose of this board is to decide which pieces are going to be placed in the issue that year. 

All submissions are reviewed during a blind process where no one’s name is left attached to his or her pieces for review.  Each board member reviews each piece and rates it on a scale of one to five, one being the lowest and should not be featured in the journal and five as the highest rating and should most definitely be inside The Plow.  The board started to accept submissions on Dec. 1, 2013 and closed them this March 5 at midnight. 

Freshman Victoria Watson, an applied communications major with a minor in writing, is a member of the editorial board for The Plow.  With a little encouragement from Bowers, her professor, she joined the editorial board and has submitted a few pieces of writing for the first issue herself. 

“I would have never thought to do it if she wouldn’t have told me to because it’s one of those things you hear around like, ‘Oh, the English Society is doing this,’ and I’m much too intimidated to just step up and say I’ll do this,” admitted Watson.  “It was good to have somebody push me and say ‘I think you can do this.’ “ 

The purpose of this magazine is to let the students showcase their work and have the opportunity to use this as clips and samples of their work as they move through college to their careers, according to Bowers.

The English Society just recently formed, again, in the spring semester of 2013.  Bowers said there had recently been an English Society at Ashtabula’s campus before, but “things happened and people got busy,” so it fell through. 

During the time of the previous English Society, there was a literary journal just for Ashtabula students known as The Platypus JournalThe Platypus Journal produced its first issue in the spring] of 2009.  As the English Society came to call it quits, The Platypus Journal did too. 

As Bowers and Beth Devore, another instructor at KSU at Ashtabula, came up with the idea to reform the English Society, the students decided that they wanted to have a journal, again. 

The Plow, however, will be different from the print version The Platypus.  “We’ve moved to an online format because its cheaper, more students can contribute and more students can access it,” said Bowers.The English Society is anticipating on launching The Plow’s first issue at the end of Spring Semester 2014, according to Bowers.  This literary and visual arts magazine will be available to everyone online from it’s website: http://www.ashtabula.kent.edu/student/theplow.cfm.

“Experiment a little, plant an idea and see what grows!” says The Plow in efforts to encourage the students to participate its mission statement.

Contact Julia Adkins at [email protected].