Melvin Taylor, Brand Marketer
The Pierre Laclede Honors College is about to publish its 19th issue of Bellerive, a student run literary and artistic publication. The book began as just a small project in 1999 among students in the Honors College who wanted to experience the publication process, but it has since evolved into an Honors tradition that all University of Missouri–St. Louis students, staff and alumni can enjoy and contribute to.
In 2003, Bellerive was expanded into a college course by the Honors College Dean Robert Bliss and Honors College Associate Dean Nancy Gleason. Starting with the fourth issue, Bellerive was produced by students in the seminar course led by Gleason. She taught this course until issue 10 when former student Geri Friedline took over. Friedline was one of the first students to work on Bellerive when it started and is now a PLHC associate teaching professor. She is still teaching the course today and continues to make her mark on Bellerive by guiding the students who put the book together. According to Friedline, students in the Bellerive course gain experience in all stages of publication including submissions review and selection, editing, layout, design, public relations and promotion.
The Bellerive course is offered each fall drawing in students who are pursuing an English major, to psychology and even business. During the semester, all Bellerive students blindly evaluate each submission and then divide into committees. Then they edit the literary works, create the layout for the book and prepare the presentation of images inside the book and on its cover. A third issue staff member, Kristy Burkemper, says it’s a challenge to complete all of the work in one semester. Yet the Bellerive staff always manages to pull together a book everyone is proud of. On the other hand, JoHannah McDonald, another third issue staff member, says one of the biggest challenges is choosing which submissions to include in the book because there are so many quality submissions. But once the semester ends the work is not over. Students continue to give their time in the following months to ensure the quality of the printing when it is returned from the publisher and prepare for the launch party.
Starting with issue 17, Bellerive began accepting music submissions which are published using a QR code. Previously, only current UMSL students and staff were allowed to submit, but Bellerive expanded again by accepting submission from UMSL alumni beginning with issue 18. The addition of alumni works in the book demonstrates the creative evolution of former students and provides an opportunity for alumni to stay involved with UMSL.
The range of creative works Bellerive accepts are poetry, prose, photography, art and original music. UMSL students, faculty and staff are all free to submit unpublished work to Bellerive. Submissions are accepted from March 1 to Oct. 1 and each new issue is published in the following spring. The submission form can be found at Facebook.com/BellerivePublication or submissions can be directly emailed to email@example.com. Previous issues can be purchased at the bookstore or by contacting Friedline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some people may be hesitant to share their creative work, but Burkemper insists you have nothing to lose by submitting. Submission evaluations are blind, and Bellerive seeks to publish works from submitters of all skill levels and backgrounds.
McDonald, says even if a submission isn’t accepted, submitting “is an important first step for any writer, artist, or musician…keep submitting! Don’t let one rejection put you out.”
She thinks it is important for UMSL students, faculty and alumni to put their work out there. Bellerive encourages all writers and artists to give it a try. The staff are anxiously awaiting to see what outstanding works will be submitted this year.