Editing & Publishing: A look into the course

Do you have an interest in learning how to edit written work, the publishing process, managing a website, or engaging an audience through various media platforms? Are you looking for a course that can give you real-world work experience? You may even just need to take an English 466 course for your degree but also have skills that fit into editing and publishing. English 466: Editing & Publishing a Digital Journal is offered each spring semester working alongside both interns for the Made in Millersville Journal and Made in Millersville Conference.

Dr. Kerrie Farkas is an English professor here at Millersville University and one of the instructors for the course as well as an adviser for the internship with Dr. Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol.


"Tatiana and I started the Journal because we saw the need to capture all the amazing work students were presenting and performing at the Conference not only so that people who couldn't attend could read about what students were doing but also so that students who were presenting and performing could read what students in the past have done and build on it (rather than repeat it).


I thought that offering a class would give even more students an opportunity to gain experience in editing and publishing (we typically can only hire 3-4 students for the internship), so that is why I decided to offer the class. I wanted Tatiana involved because we work so closely on the Journal, so we worked it out for her to co-teach the class. The goals are to have students immerse themselves in all aspects of editing and publishing. We divide the course into two main projects, one where students learn about the different aspects of editing and publishing and one where students get to apply what they have learned to an actual publication. The hands-on component is integral to the course and what students seem to enjoy the most and get the most out of, and there aren't many classes that are offered where students get to directly apply their learning to an authentic situation."


Additionally, student and 2020 MiMJ editor Matthew Moyer took the editing and publishing course last spring.


"In the Spring 2019 semester, I registered for ENGL 466 – Special Topics in Writing Studies: Editing & Publishing a Digital Journal. See, I’m an uber-nerd – Dungeons & Dragons, comic books, etc. – and I want to start my own online company writing, publishing, and selling D&D supplements. I took ENGL 466 in the hopes that I could learn how to manage my online presence and work with authors. Those hopes were not just realized, but exceeded.


I didn’t spend a semester sitting around, poring through books on theory, and wishing I was playing Fallout. Instead, I was researching topics, teaching the class, and seeing ideas – not just mine, but also other student’s ideas that emerged from my lessons - brought to life. And when I say brought to life, I mean actively applied to the MIMJ website for all to see. Bring up an article from the 2019 edition. Notice how it’s formatted in two columns? That was me. My idea. Love it or hate it, that edition is forever archived in the pages of internet – and Millersville - history.


The class itself is divided into four sections, each led by an intern: Web Design, Editor’s Role, Multimodal Audience and Author Engagement, and Creating a Personalized Publishing Process. As it was a career interest, I chose Editor’s Role. I now know exactly what an editor’s goals are and how to go about reaching those goals. Other groups taught me how to address a specific audience with an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly website. And that’s just the tip of the editorial iceberg.


Over the summer of 2019, I received an e-mail stating that the journal was looking for new interns. I was able to leverage my enrollment in the class into the internship and, well, here I am.


If you’re looking to work in web design or publishing, I can’t recommend this course enough. Even if you’re not, this section of ENGL 466 fills a high-level course slot AND can be leveraged into an awesome internship where you work with an awesome team. Keep an eye open for the course next Spring semester, as well as the internship email. I’m warning you, though, you’re gonna have some big shoes to fill."


If this course seems like something you'd be interested in taking in the future, feel free to reach out to Dr. Farkas or the editorial team, or even stop by the class and see it for yourself. This semester, English 466: Editing & Publishing for a Digital Journal is being held TR 1:10-2:25 in Hash 213.


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