Berks students release two new publications

Two new student publications made their editorial debut at Penn State Berks this week: Shadows of Birds and Berks Beat.

Shadows of Birds, a student literary magazine featuring creative writing and artwork, released its first print issue at an evening campus reception of readings with more than 100 people in attendance on Thursday, December 11, 2014. The issue was designed by artist and Freyberger Gallery Director Marilyn Fox and edited by Professional Writing majors Melissa Davis and Kristy Offenback. Sponsored by the Professional Writing major, Shadows of Birds also hosts monthly coffeehouse readings on campus. To learn more about Shadows of Birds or to submit work for the print issue or coffeehouse events, contact the SOB advisor, Jayne Brown, Senior Lecturer in English, at [email protected].

Berks Beat is a news and lifestyle magazine, published by Penn State Berks students. According to Keysha Whitaker, adviser for Berks Beat and Lecturer in English and Professional Writing, the monthly magazine format creates greater opportunities for students to write longer feature pieces while continuing to build the skills required for hard news writing.

Student editors and staff reporters for the magazine undergo ?Candidate School,? a model created at The Daily Collegian, an independent daily paper published by students at Penn State University Park campus. The 15-week training includes shadowing staff reporters, passing a legal unit on press law and ethics, practicing news writing, and interviewing with editors before becoming staff reporters.

In the inaugural issue of the monthly publication, editors expressed their desire to publish human-interest stories, which ?highlight individuals who are creating a buzz around campus and beyond.? The first cover story, ?The Kid with No Shoes: A Conversation with Mike Sartini? profiled a first-year student who walked the campus barefoot, shoes in hand, for several months.

Berks Beat ultimately plans to increase its distribution to the Greater Reading community and create partnerships with local organizations, businesses, and high schools. The magazine also offers business and digital media internship opportunities for students.

Open to submissions from faculty and staff, Berks Beat plans to ?hold ourselves to the highest journalistic standards and to publish stories that are both accurate and engaging.? Penn State students are known for their excellence in journalism. In June 2014, three Penn State students placed first, second, and third in Hearst National Writing Championship, an honor often described as a Pulitzer Prize for college journalism.

Published during the academic year, Berks Beat will offer Penn State Berks students opportunities to create outstanding journalism like their counterparts across the University. For more information, e-mail [email protected]. Submissions may be sent to [email protected].