SCC literary magazine “Illuminations” captures first place in competition

Volume 15 of Southeast Community College’s literary magazine “Illuminations” won first place in the Small College Central Division in the Community College Humanities Association’s 2014 Literary Magazine Competition. 

This is the third time “Illuminations” has won a prestigious award from this organization. It placed first in 2011 and third in 2010.

Kimberly A. Fangman, English instructor and editor of “Illuminations,” said she was pleased with the quality of submissions that went into the magazine.

“This volume contains twice the number of pages and contributors as our last first-place in 2011,” Fangman said. “And the quality of student work, in particular, is remarkable. I am astounded at the artistic and literary talent in the SCC community.”

Several SCC students won awards for their submissions.

Mystery Harwood, an Academic Transfer student, won first place in the Poetry category for her “Nebraska in My 30s.” Alanna Johnson, an Academic Transfer student from Weston, placed second with her poem titled “Descendants.” Cameron Maxwell, an Academic Transfer student from Lincoln, placed third with the poem “The City’s Outstretched Hand.”

Thomas Joyce, a Business Administration student from Lincoln, placed second in the Nonfiction/Essay category for his piece titled “The Hovel.” Stephen Kaminski, a Business Administration student from Ashland, placed third in the category for his work titled “Number 9.”

Shannon White, an Academic Transfer student from Omaha, placed third in the Script/Story category for his work titled “Black Violas.” Ashley Cornelsen, an Academic Transfer student from Lincoln, received Honorable Mention honors for her work titled “Homeless Dreams.”

Casey Lowe, a Visual Publications student from Cortland, placed third in the Art category for her work titled “Eyes of Innocence.”

In the Song/Performance category, Derrick Brinkmeier, an Academic Transfer student from Freeport, Ill., received Honorable Mention honors for his “Not on This Night.”

Fangman said she enjoys notifying students when their work has been accepted for publication.

“When they email back with such surprise, excitement and gratitude, I want to write back, ‘No, thank YOU,’ ” Fangman said. “ ‘Don’t you know how good you are?’ I feel honored when they choose Illuminations as a forum for publishing their work, often for the first time.”

Fangman said “Illuminations” matters because creativity matters.

“Our world often conspires against creativity, individuality and diversity,” she said. “Illuminations offers students the opportunity to publish in an environment that welcomes diverse thought and creative risk-taking. The SCC community is a warm and receptive audience.”

“Illuminations” is the only creative activity at SCC that is college wide, meaning anyone can participate: students from any campus or program (including Continuing Education and dual-credit programs), staff and faculty members. A student’s photo or short story is presented on the same level as an instructor’s work, and all of it is celebrated, Fangman said.

“The diversity of contributors alone should coax readers to pick up the book, and that makes Illuminations worth producing,” she said. “One of my favorite poems from the upcoming volume was written by a student in the Welding Technology program. Illuminations helps bust the notion that community colleges and technical programs don’t nurture creativity. The fact is, creativity lives here, and we’re eager to share it.”

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For more information contact:
Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing
402-323-3401
sosterthun@southeast.edu