A literary journal designed to give undergraduates a chance to publish their work is blossoming, according to founder, publisher and Clovis Community College English instructor Gina Hochhalter.
Started in the fall of 2002, Palabras contains a range of works such as poems, lyrics, essays, research papers, and art.
It is published online twice a year.
“Many publications out there are elitist in a certain way,” Hochhalter said. “And that’s just not this journal.”
In fact, the only requirement is that a submissions is no longer than five double-spaced pages. And even then, the editor, Hochhalter will work with the writer to publish excerpts.
Though Palabras began by publishing the work of CCC undergraduates, it has expanded to the general public.
“Now it’s for anyone who wants to express themselves,” Hochhalter said.
Palabras — which means words in Spanish — started as a print publication but the cost became too great and demands weren’t being met.
Hochhalter said publishing on the Web gives Palabras an unlimited reach.
Another thing that makes Palabras unique is that they strive to publish material that some may consider controversial, Hochhalter said.
“I always want to light the fire under Palabras. We like extremes,” she said. “We want unique perspectives of life. For Palabras, it’s not how it’s written, but what it says.”
And that continuous search for unique perspectives opened the door to Palabras for inmates in the Curry County Detention Center. The most recent issue in the fall 2007 was the first to publish work from the inmates, and Hochhalter said it won’t be the last.
The publication, which is edited by Hochhalter and a team of six volunteers, receives 15-20 submissions for each edition. Hochhalter said she hopes to receive enough submissions to put out a third edition during the summer.
Jan Lloyd, division chair of CCC’s fine arts and communications department, said Palabras is a wonderful way for student writers and artists to come together and showcase their work.
“Students feel proud and excited when their work comes out,” Lloyd said. “It gives them a little pride in their writing.
“Art and writing is about creativity. You put too much structure around it and the creativity is lost. We like to open the doors to lots of thoughts and ideas.”