As many of our readers and contributors know, our Fall 2021 "Love for Others" issue launched recently for Penumbra Online and our chapbooks for Penumbra Press were added to the website, as well. Behind the scenes of these projects, our staff has been hard at work, working alongside our contributors to present these wonderful new additions to the literary world. With each issue Penumbra produces, whether for Penumbra Online and Penumbra Press or for the print journal, our staff often works closely with our contributors and readers. What many may not know, however, is how frequently, as a student-run literary journal, our staff members change.
Penumbra's staff, unlike many other publications, is entirely comprised of students, faculty, and voluntary alumni, and is therefore ever changing. Some faces remain the same for a few issues in a row as many of us fall in love with our work, enjoying the feeling of publishing new pieces alongside our wonderful authors. Some, like myself, love being a part of Penumbra so much that we stay on even after graduating, opting to continue working on a volunteer basis. However, with every new issue, some familiar faces leave and some new faces join us, especially with the Spring semester's print journal team. During the Spring, Penumbra welcomes a classroom full of new students and boasts a fairly large but new staff to create the print journal. At the same time, some of the more experienced staff from Summer and Fall move onward and no longer have time in their schedule to remain a part of Penumbra.
This year, most of the Fall 2021 staff will continue participating in Penumbra for the Spring 2022 term. However, our roles may change. For instance, I will continue my role as the social media manager and a member of the blog and Spotify teams, but my role as editor will likely be more limited. Some of our Fall and Summer projects will also be placed on hold throughout the Spring, such as our clubs. Those who sign on to be a part of the Summer and Fall staff for Penumbra Online will once again shift their roles later in 2022. As confusing as these changes may seem, the continuous evolution of Penumbra's staff not only ensures that every staff member has the chance to try out new challenges and grow as an editor and designer, but also that contributors can be assured of fresh perspectives with each issue when they submit their work to us.
With that said, one other change that bears mentioning is Penumbra's staff hiatus for the winter break, starting on December 18th and ending around January 28th. Given that the majority of our staff are students and that the staff will be changing between our Fall issue and our Spring issue, we will largely be inactive, even though our Spring call is currently open. Our email will likely be checked infrequently, so if you email us, please do not expect an immediate response. We will still be active in a limited capacity, largely in the form of less-frequent social media updates, so please follow our social media (@csustanpenumbra on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). These updates will focus on our open Spring call, including if our submissions fill up and we close the call early. As the social media manager, I will also keep an eye out for any questions or comments and will do my best to answer in a timely fashion during the hiatus.
Despite our staff's upcoming inactivity, we hope contributors will continue to submit to our Spring 2022 call, open until February 8, 2022 or 500 submissions have been reached, whichever comes first. When our Spring staff convenes at the end of January, we will begin reviewing submissions. Please continue showing us your support, as it is much appreciated. We wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and we will see you all in 2022!
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.