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VSCC literary arts magazine now available to students and staff

By Bailey Guy

The 2021 edition of Pioneer Pen, Volunteer State Community College’s student-led literary arts magazine, is available to be picked up for free in the Humanities division office, the Thigpen Library, the Writing Center and Student Services.

Editors for this edition are students Carolina Cardona and Victoria Long, along with graduate Evie Herndon. English professor Emily Andrews serves as the publication advisor.

According to the Vol State publications webpage, “Pioneer Pen is published annually each spring. Students interested in being featured in the newest edition of Pioneer Pen should submit art, photography, poetry, fiction, song lyrics, plays, monologues, excerpts from longer creative works, cartoons, short films, recordings of original songs to”

The 2021 edition of Pioneer Pen was created during the spring semester, so many of the submissions reflect the hardships of the pandemic. 

“The art and written pieces within the magazine are a picture of the beauty that can surface even in the hardest of times,” said Cardona.

“​​Working for the Pioneer Pen was an amazing experience. I truly enjoyed all the creativity and freedom we (the editors) had while putting it together. I truly was so proud of us for creating something that I felt was really well put together and unique,” said Herndon, who also has photography featured in the magazine.

“As far as my favorite piece included in the edition, I truly had a hard time choosing. All of the writers and artists did such a wonderful job. However, I was especially moved by our John MacDougall Literary Award-winning piece, ‘Sing Me a Song of a Better Us.’ The depth and emotion in this work truly stood out to me,” said Herndon.

“I will always admire the uniqueness of this edition’s design. Unlike previous editions, we included dramatic photos from Evie’s portfolio to accommodate the poetry. We also broke the submissions into sections that were meant to represent the different phases of the pandemic. We were able to bring something different to Pioneer Pen all thanks to the bravery of the editorial team. We didn’t know how it would turn out, so we were all taking a leap of faith,” said Long.

There will be a publication reception in late November. All are welcome, including the students featured in the magazine, the editors, Vol State faculty and any other students who want to attend, Andrews said.

“In the past… there’s been refreshments and people can hang out. We usually have it in the black box theater and we have a little slide show going in the background showing some of the art and photography from the magazine,” she said.

For information about the 2022 edition of the Pioneer Pen, contact .

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