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Getting Your Voice Herd: My Experience with Northern Eclecta

Writing as a process, to me, is something so deeply personal, it’s always hard to give advice as to what people “should” or “should not” do. Even in this class, during the selection period, it’s difficult to look at the way people pour their hearts out to us and nitpick their word choice, rhyme scheme, anything to see if it fits our vision.

Being in this class has been a major eye-opener for me regarding both the publication process and the writing process itself. There’s something about this class that gives you such an intimate, personal experience with both ends of the spectrum regarding writing – allowing you to recognize what makes writing publication-worthy, and what doesn’t exactly make the cut.

Literary Publications was a class recommended to me by an advisor, but just reading the class description made me realize that I wanted to take it immediately. My advisor had told me that I could take it in the spring semester either this year or next year, and I (metaphorically) ran to sign up so that I could take it as soon as possible. What writer doesn’t want to become a part of the publishing world? It would be a great achievement to put under my belt, and help me better understand the art of writing.

It was more difficult than I expected, however. The submissions we received ranged from the cream of the crop – excellent, heart-felt, glimpses of the soul that felt almost invasive to get the chance to see – to some that, while good in their own right, just simply didn’t fit. But there was always something heartbreaking about the “no” to me. Northern Eclecta offers something beautiful here, with the chance to make your voice and your work heard at no cost to yourself. It’s an artist’s biggest dream, practically. However, it’s just a chance.

It was amazing being part of the ride so far. Reading others’ works, hearing my classmates voice our opinions on it, and listening to the way our three teams worked in synergy allowed me to broaden my artistic horizons in a way that I doubt I would be able to achieve otherwise. It’s strange to think that I’ve become a better writer by just critiquing others’ writing, but I certainly have. Northern Eclecta, and Literary Publications by extension, is an important staple of the NDSU community that I can never recommend enough to the growing artistic population of Fargo. The ability to see the local community’s artforms, working with similarly talented classmates, and just seeing the passion that goes into both ends of publication (both the publishers and those being published) is something that I am thankful to have been a part of.

If you get the chance to join Literary Publications next year in 2024, I’d say take the leap. If you can get a submission into Northern Eclecta’s eighteenth volume in, I’d say there’s never any harm in doing it. It’s a guaranteed benefit to your artistic career that you won’t get anywhere else.

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