Literary Journal Gives Students Inside Look at Editing

Cover of Living Waters Review, 15th editionThe University community will celebrate the best of student art and literature with the release of the “Living Waters Review” today.

The 15th edition of the literary review will be distributed after Honors Chapel. On Tuesday evening, students will share their poems, stories and songs at the 26th annual Student Literature Night. The event begins 7 p.m. in the Weyenberg Center.

The review accepts any genre of writing or art from PBA students and alumni; its pages are filled with poems, short stories, essays, photos and paintings. Editors look for words and images that convey the depths of the true, good and beautiful — attributes of God, said Professor of English David Athey, founder and faculty adviser of “Living Waters Review.” The name comes from the words of Jesus in John 7:37-38: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow words of living water.”

Athey chooses the best students from his writing classes to edit the magazine. In those classes, they’ve had practice in literary criticism and peer critiques, so the transition to magazine editing isn’t very difficult for them, Athey said.

“The editors are highly intelligent, intuitive and hard-working,” he said.

They learn to be professional in the way they make selections, judge and edit; to prioritize aesthetic objectives over subjective opinions; and to work on a project over a long period of time.

As a senior editor, Abigail Skinner ’18 read the submissions and decided with the editing staff which pieces would be included in the journal. The English major and creative writing minor also made grammatical and structural tweaks to the pieces “so that each piece is as strong as it can possibly be and reflects clearly the author’s talent.”

“‘Living Waters’ provided a great opportunity to gain firsthand experience of all that goes into the editing process,” Skinner said. “I learned how to sensitively and professionally critique and edit other people’s writing with an eye toward aesthetic beauty and truth.”

Photo: This is the 15th edition of Living Waters Review, the cover of which is pictured above.