Give a warm welcome to Regent’s new creative writing outlet – the Crown & Sword.
On Oct. 27, the Crown & Sword, Regent University’s brand-new literary journal, released its first issue. The fall edition includes an essay, a collection of poems, and a short story, all written by Regent students. Beyond publishing quarterly editions, the Crown & Sword encourages writers to practice their art through weekly prompts posted on their social media (@crown_and_sword on Instagram and Twitter). The publication seeks to honor Regent University’s mission of “Christian leadership to change the world” by giving students an opportunity to inspire their community through the written word.
Filling a need
Senior Amy Armstrong began this project in her last semester because she noticed the lack of a creative writing outlet on campus. “A lot of other universities have creative writing journals and Regent didn’t,” Armstrong noted. Multiple independent creative writing clubs have cropped up over the years, but none have stuck around or moved beyond groups of friends to become something official. The need for a place where students could express their ideas and views outside typical academic formats seemed clear. “A lot of people have such great ideas that can only be expressed in a fiction setting,” said Armstrong. “Even Jesus told parables. They were stories that demonstrated a greater point, and I think that’s why creative writing matters. It allows us to observe the world from a different perspective.”
Starting a university publication is easier said than done. A lot of the early planning involved gauging interest in a creative writing publication to make sure it truly filled a need. Work on the project really began in May, with Armstrong building the website and doing the groundwork for gaining traction over the summer. Months of planning and thought went into the Crown & Sword, from the website to the name to logos and production. The Crown & Sword‘s first edition is the culmination of hard work from Armstrong and many others, like animation student Rebecca Strobele who designed the logo.
Building a team
Though the Crown & Sword is a place for publication, it is also designed to be a place of growth. Armstrong, the senior editor, currently oversees most of the publication’s work, but she hopes to pass on her knowledge and skills before she graduates. “I don’t want it to just be ‘we take submissions.’ I really want it to be a teaching process,” said Armstrong. A team of editors is being assembled to head the project when Armstrong graduates in December.
This training extends not only to the Crown & Sword‘s editors, but the students who submit their work as well. “It’s important for writers to have feedback for what works and what doesn’t. Feedback is something you don’t get from a lot of publications,” Armstrong stated. When submitting pieces to other publications, the typical response is either a simple yes or no. Reasons why or chances to improve are hardly ever provided. The Crown & Sword hopes to give writers the opportunity to grow and hone skills before leaving the university by collaboratively helping them to shape and edit their work.
Leaving a legacy
As a senior, Armstrong hopes to leave a legacy of inspiration and mentorship. The idea of training up the next generation stuck with Armstrong, as iron sharpens iron. “It’s given me a purpose in my last semester,” commented Armstrong. “I want to leave behind something and know I’m leaving an impact. The writers and editors who participate are going to be the future of Regent.” She hopes that the tradition of training and encouragement in this art leads students to both write more and change the world.
The Crown & Sword looks for pieces that have the ability to inspire. Inspiring others is not mere motivation. The question isn’t about sentimentality, rather is it something that will call people to action or change their perspective? “The world can be changed in a lot of very small ways,” said Armstrong. “The written word is one of the most impactful ways to do that.” Good writing goes beyond the writer and connects with a larger community – whether that’s by relating to the human experience or providing some food for thought.
Armstrong’s final words to anyone interested in being published in the Crown & Sword? “Get busy writing; we’re ready.” Young or old, in school or out, published or unpublished, Armstrong and her team are eager to read your work. Though the deadline to be in the fall issue has passed, any work submitted before the end of the semester will be considered for the winter edition. For details on submission length and guidelines, visit their website. Between issues, check out their social media (@crown_and_sword on Instagram and Twitter) to receive weekly writing prompts.
Be inspired; go change the world with your words.
Sara Waits is the senior editor of the Daily Runner.