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MSCS Creative Writing program publishes literary journal

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MSC Southeast Creative Writing program publishes first edition of literary journal, Highway 61, Revised

Special event on Feb. 28 at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing will celebrate book release

Highway 61, Revised Book CoverMinnesota State College Southeast's Creative Writing Certificate faculty have been inspired by the quality of their students' work - so much so that they decided to launch a new literary journal featuring student poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. 

Highway 61, Revised went to press in January. The book release will be celebrated at a special event, open to the public, at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing on February 28 in Red Wing. 

Highway 61, Revised Book Release Celebration
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Fair Trade Books, 320 Bush Street, Red Wing, Minnesota
Light Refreshments, Live Music, and Readings by the Authors

The public and members of the media are invited to join MSC Southeast students, faculty, staff and administration at the celebration.

Highway 61, Revised includes works written over the past year by students enrolled in creative writing classes at the college. The 100-page journal is published in a softcover paperback edition.

The entire book is also published online at publizr.com/mscsoutheast/mscs-highway61-january-2020

Pete BeurskensEnglish instructor Pete Beurskens served as the editor of the publication, which highlights writing by his own students as well as students of MSC Southeast English instructors Mike Larson and Dan Bernstrom. Pete said the instructors have been surprised and pleased with the quality of the work the students have produced in the online Creative Writing Certificate program. 

"Really, I think it is better in many respects than much of the work we published when I worked on university literary magazines. When I read a student piece and think, 'I wish I had written that line,' that's a good sign," he said. "In any case, I would simply invite people to read Highway 61, Revised and judge the quality for themselves!"

There are 37 different works in the book, by a total of 14 authors, ranging from nontraditional students age 60 and above to PSEO (current high school) students. "We have folks who already have a degree or two, and ones just starting their educational journey; those who have already published, and those who have never even tried their hand at creative writing."

Pete added that balancing the journal's content as to theme, tone, style, genre, and subject matter was a challenge. "In the end, I think there is something for every reader: poetry, fiction, literary essays; nature, work, travel, philosophy, spirituality, adventure, relationships --even leopard geckos! Highway 61, Revised is the kind of publication you can pick up and dip into many times and encounter something new and delightful or thoughtful or inspiring."

Since the Creative Writing Certificate is taught online, many of the students have never met each other or their instructors in person. The book release event will be an opportunity for them to celebrate the publication as well as connect with each other for the first time. There will be light refreshments, live music, and readings by several of the authors.

After the book launch on February 28, Highway 61, Revised will be available for sale in Minnesota State College Southeast's bookstores in Red Wing and Winona, and at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing.

Photo above: Pete Beurskens


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