Although our staff has decided which submissions we intend to publish in our Fall 2021 Penumbra Online issue, we are just getting started with our process. We are dedicated to ensuring every piece we publish is polished and has been painstakingly prepared for our viewers. As such, we are now deep into our editing process.
For this round of editing, we have opted to divide our editors into two teams -- one dedicated to poetry and hybrid literature and one dedicated to prose publications -- to ensure that our editors have the time and capability to truly focus on individual pieces. These smaller teams are entirely responsible for their set of accepted works, reading over each piece several times and checking for any wording or punctuation that may cause readers an element of confusion. Although rarely an issue, our teams must also consider our platform, Weebly, and its limitations for formatting. In cases where certain pieces required formatting not supported by Weebly, an alternative option would need to be discussed, such as using an image of the finalized piece in place of entering the text itself. We strive to allow our platform to be a space for all authors and artists, so it is of great importance to us that we can circumvent any limitations and maintain the authors' desired formatting.
The editing process is highly collaborative for each of our editing teams. During this time, we generate a Google Doc with all of the works that particular team is assigned to. Our editing team, comprised of three members, was in charge of poetry and hybrid literature for this issue. Each of us took the time to go through the document and consider which edits we deemed necessary for publication. In order to confirm that all team members agreed on specific changes, we utilized the comments section in the document to note any changes we would like made without actually incorporating any changes. This sometimes led our team to a lengthy discussion over whether an edit was truly needed or, if it was needed, which would be the least intrusive way to introduce the edit to the work.
Such discussions aimed to clarify any unintentional ambiguity that we foresaw in a particular piece. As a rule, we try to limit the edits we do to punctuation and grammar—maintaining the integrity of each artist’s piece is our number one priority when we edit. If team members disagreed or were unsure what the artist truly meant, we also made sure to get into contact with that piece’s artist to find out what they ultimately wanted for the published work. This way we leave no room for confusion and best adhere to the artist’s wishes.
When we're satisfied with the edits, we then turn the pieces over to the design team who transports those edited pieces into the website. This process should be fairly simple, but at times formatting issues arise. Luckily our design team is quick to catch issues and makes sure that every piece looks as intended before the virtual journal is launched!
At the moment, Penumbra Online is still editing the pieces accepted into its Fall 2021 “Love for Others” edition. Soon we will be designing the latest edition and launching the journal! Look out for the day of our launch, which is scheduled for December 4th, to see Penumbra Online’s latest edition. And thank you to all who support us!
Jessica Charest and Andrea Wagner
Jessica Charest is an editor for Penumbra Online, as well as the Summer and Fall 2021 Penumbra Social Media Manager. She graduated with her M.A. in Literature from Stan State in Spring 2020.