MCCC’s Transitions Art-Literature Magazine Wins Award

POTTSTOWN PA – The 2019-2020 edition of Montgomery County Community College’s art and literature magazine, “Transitions,” recently earned a first-place award with special merit in the American Scholastic Press Association annual contest.

The association presents its award to publications that are outstanding examples of scholastic publications in format, content, and presentation.

MCCC student Francesca Santini (at top, imposed on the magazine cover), who was Transitions editor-in-chief, oversaw the production of the 96-page magazine. She was assisted by Rose Cushwa, Nakiha McCreath and Michael Sowa, art and graphic editors; Russell Magee, literary editor; and faculty co-advisors English Instructor Dr. Tom Powers and Art Associate Professor and Galleries Liaison Dianne Zotter-Mill.

“It seemed appropriate to name this 49th edition of the art and literature magazine ‘Transitions’ as it reflects the spirit of our times,” Santini wrote in her “Letter from the Editor-in-Chief” in the publication.

She selected a photograph she took of colorful bricks for the magazine’s cover. “I stepped out of the Fine Arts Center one day and saw the bricks decorated with chalk and thought they represented the transition from the outside to this colorful, rich environment,” Santini said.

This year, students decided to expand the size to 9×9 inches from 8×8 inches and to increase the number of pages to 96 pages to include more entries and incorporate brief biographical information for the contributors.

The planning process for the magazine starts when students meet in early September. Their first task is to publicly call for literary and art entries by making and posting flyers and sending emails. Literary submissions may include poetry, short stories, fiction, essays, comics, novel excerpts and song lyrics. Art submissions may include any two- or three-dimensional works of any medium.

During winter break, the student staff reviews entries and collaboratively makes selections. For the 2019-2020 magazine, they selected 76 works by 45 contributors, from among 190 submissions by 79 artists and authors. The next step, Santini said, was the layout and design of the magazine and the overall presentation of the entries, working with some contributors to adjust fonts or add colors to the literary work.

“After we received the final magazine from the printer, we had to figure out how to distribute it,” said Santini. “We met Tyler Steffy (Director of Student Life) and Sarah Schenk (Coordinator of Student Life) in the parking lot to drop off the magazines, which they handed out during the drive-in events during Weeks of Welcome.”

The entire process from promotion to selection, design, production and printing is a valuable learning experience for Santini and fellow students. “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done, and I’m glad it was well-received,” she said. “This was a first for me, and it’s been a great opportunity.”

Photos supplied by Montgomery County Community College