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'Soundings' Publication wins Conference honor

Monday, April 7, 2008  
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By Kimberlee Rhodes

"Soundings," a publication by Oklahoma Christian students, won Best Literary Journal at the Sigma Tau Delta Conference in Louisville, Ky. recently.

"Soundings" competed with many other literary journals from across the country and around the world.

"The competition was open to every university in the nation with a Sigma Tau Delta chapter," co-editor of "Soundings" Kate Long said.

Three months of work went into the book, including gathering and editing submissions, working on visual theme, consistency and layout.

"Soundings" takes up a lot of time, but it's well worth it," co-editor of "Soundings" Amy Hardin said. "We began working on the 2007 issue last January, and it was ready to go to press by the beginning of April."

After the successful unveiling of the book, the editors decided to submit last year's edition to the competition.

"We were really proud of our production, but there was a tremendous amount of positive feedback from both the OC faculty and staff as well as the student body," Long said. "We had a student tell us that she was proud to have her work displayed in our book and she hadn't always felt that way with previous editions of 'Soundings.'"

Both editors wanted to create something that would show the campus's literary and artistic talent.

Hardin's first experience with the journal was as a writer.

"I wanted the journal to reflect the quality of writing students on OC's campus are doing," Hardin said. "Kate had this same vision, and together we've worked to give 'Soundings' a professional look because the writing in it is good and deserves to be taken seriously."

Long and Hardin hoped to create a book they could be proud to submit while they were still working.

"I'm not sure when exactly we decided collectively that we would [submit it]," Long said. "I think once we saw them in print and got such positive feedback we knew we had to."

Hardin feels that "Soundings" is an outlet for writers on campus.

"For anyone looking to go into publishing, 'Soundings' is your education," Hardin said.

Both considered it a huge honor and a wonderful surprise to win.
"Winning was amazing," Hardin said. "Kate and I just froze--it definitely took a minute for it to sink in that they actually said 'Soundings.'"

Hardin is proud to have been a part of the project.

"Everyone who was published last year should be proud to have contributed to a nationally recognized journal," Hardin said. "The really exciting part for me is knowing this year's book is going to be just as good."

Long also shared her thoughts on winning the prestigious award.

"It was an honor to have a panel of professional readers select our book as best literary journal," Long said.

Long considers winning a double blessing.

"It means that our book was a success for not only the layout and design, but also for content – and that is a great feeling," Long said.

Started in 1972, "Soundings" is comprised of original work by current students and alumni of Oklahoma Christian.

It is published annually under the direction of the OC Department of Language and Literature and in association with the Rho Mu chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. 

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