Kicking off Driftwood’s Creative Arts Series

Denise Magloire, winner of this year's fiction and poetry categories, shares at open mic night. Photo courtesy of Reyna Huff.

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, Driftwood launched this semester’s Creative Arts Series with an open mic night in celebration of this year’s literary journal. 

Driftwood is a student-run literary journal where students and faculty from Point Loma Nazarene University can submit their work every fall semester in hopes of getting published.

Driftwood publishes poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, photography, music and film. Each spring, Driftwood sells copies of a print journal that showcases the PLNU-affiliated creatives’ work who made it through the application process.

Aliah Fabros, second-year writing major, is the assistant editor of Driftwood. As a member of the staff, she is a part of the group that decides which submissions will make it into the journal. 

“Our staff, which is about 10 to 12 people, breaks up into groups and over the course of about a month we read over the submissions,” Fabros said. “Then we individually score it, talk about it as a group, then we send our scores and our thoughts to the editors and they make the final decision.” 

Fabros said that anyone can enroll to take the Driftwood workshop as a class, have a chance to read creative work from their peers, and give input on what makes it into the journal sold in the spring. 

Events like the open mic night exist to sell copies of Driftwood but also to celebrate the creativity and work of contributors. The winners of different categories are often invited to share first, before the floor is opened to anyone in the audience. 

Meghan Coley, fourth-year writing major and second-place winner of this year’s fiction category, was one of the students who shared at open mic night. 

“I think that open mics are a safe space for creative people and non-creative people who just come to listen and enjoy art,” Coley said.

Coley was on the Driftwood staff during her first three years at PLNU. Yet this year, she decided to be on the university’s yearbook staff to try something new. 

“I heard that it was a writing publication before I even got here, and that it was all student submissions, which I thought was fantastic,” Coley said. “I knew I wanted to eventually put my own stuff in it. Then I heard you could literally be on the staff that makes Driftwood, and I immediately wanted to be a part of that.” 

Coley is a fan of open mic nights; she is also the president of Point Poets Society, a club for poetry lovers on campus that hosts open mic nights of their own every month. She shared some advice for students who might feel nervous about going up to share in front of peers.  

“They don’t have to read something of their own; they could start by getting up and reading something from a favorite book or favorite poem, something that isn’t theirs but they just want to share because it means something to them,” Coley said. 

Emma McCoy, fourth-year literature and English education major, is the co-editor in chief of Driftwood. She agreed that the Driftwood open mic nights are a low-stakes and welcoming environment for sharing creative work among peers. 

“The main purpose of the creative arts series is to give people a chance to share their work, celebrate the journal and have a really good time hanging out while selling the journal at the same time,” McCoy said.

McCoy encourages students who have creative work they want to share to submit to next year’s journal. 

“Driftwood is a great journal to submit to if it’s your first time because the submission process is really easy and you can get feedback at almost every level,” McCoy said. 

To learn more about Driftwood and the Creative Arts Series, visit https://www.ljwladvising.com/driftwood

Written By: Reyna Huff