“Remember, Recover, Restart”: a look Into the 2021 edition of Inklings

A look into the effort it took to form this year’s release of Inklings

Monica Mulhern, Student Life Editor

As school comes to a close, summer steadily approaches and school publications are finally releasing their works to help students reflect on their school experiences and end the year on a positive note. Among these works is RV’s student-edited literary magazine, Inklings. Lead by English teacher Mr. Burns, Inklings displays the written talent of several RV students, ranging from poetry to fictional writing.

The theme for this year’s edition of Inklings is the phrase “Remember, Recover, Restart.” “All the writing that came through from the poetry contest was filtered through that theme,” said Mr. Burns. “The short story contest, which was science fiction and fantasy, because we thought with 2020 being so insane, we did not want to think about politics and the election and COVID-19 and the protests, so we thought ‘What if we tried to escape?’ and have students make up worlds of their own.”

The effect COVID-19 had upon the fifteen-month period since the outbreak first began is immense, changing many people’s lives in several ways. Now that it is slowly disappearing, the best thing to do is to acknowledge it and not have it hold back on the future. 

The process through which the magazine collects the writing for is through various contests. “We have a submission time period and then we have the contests and then while the contest in the spring was happening, there were also general submissions where students were submitting their work,” said Mr. Burns. “We accepted all work for publication but not all work for the contest; there were only six winners for the contest; first, second, and third for each contest.” There were two contests held this year, the fall contest being dedicated towards poetry while the spring contest focused on science fiction writing, allowing students to be able to think outside of the pandemic in both a literal and figurative sense. Though acquiring writings was a struggle, ultimately, the dedication of RV’s writing community pulled through to help contribute to the magazine is strong.

Despite the numerous difficulties the pandemic forced onto the production of Inklings, its publication was necessary, explaining to the student body that anyone is able to be a writer.

Mr. Burns elaborated on this, stating “I want students who are published to feel special, I want them to feel like ‘Oh my god, I have my work published in Inklings!’ because the first publication is really validating for a writer… I also want students in RV to understand that poetry is not just made by some stuffy old white dude who has been dead for hundreds of years. People are writing and publishing poetry all of the time… people are reading and writing poetry all of the time, so if I can make students understand that poetry exists in their classroom and that you can be an athlete, prom king, or a part of the swim team and still be a writer, that would be awesome.”

Furthermore, students are allowed to be themselves when they are writing, allowing them to publish under their preferred name or for them to publish anonymously to prevent being questioned about what they wrote.

Overall, the dedication put forth in order to produce this year’s literary magazine is remarkable. From collecting the entries that will go into the magazine to having art, completing the magazine and spreading the works students have created is extremely important.

Additionally, Inklings is hosting a launch party at the Colonial Cafe in Mount Holly from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on June 12. The event will help spread awareness of the magazine in addition to allowing students showcase their writings. The 2021 publication of Inklings setting forth a message to remember and move forward is truly what is needed during this time, so this is a great way to support them for their efforts.