By Lauren Mar ’25
In 1999, the Scripps College Journal (SCJ) launched its debut issue as a collection of academic essays. The annual publication was initially run by graduate students employed by the College’s writing program, and the first six volumes were far from the comprehensive literary magazine the Journal is today. When Professor Kimberly Drake joined the writing program in 2005, the Journal was revamped and expanded to include nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and art, as well as the two essay recipients of the annual Marie McSpadden Sands Merit Awards in Writing.
During the pandemic, the journal’s publication was on hiatus. Its editorial board, which consists mainly of students in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, expressed interest in reviving its publication. The upcoming spring 2023 issue, which marks the SCJ’s 22nd volume, will be distributed in person for the first time in four years.
Editor-in-Chief Molly Yeselson ’23 says the spring 2023 issue is a nice marker of lessening pandemic restrictions. Submitted works are anonymously evaluated by the board, who then select entries for each category. The chosen authors are rewarded with a $50 gift card.
“It’s been really nice this year to meet with the editorial board and hang out and work on the journal together in person,” she explains.
In addition to the journal’s upcoming publication, the board has been in talks with other Scripps departments as well as the Motley Coffeehouse and the Benton Museum at Pomona College to host events and open mics. The editorial board is excited to use this momentous time to spread the word about the variety of creative and inspiring works that make up the SCJ and to highlight a new generation of 5C student artists and writers. The hard work and dedication of Scripps students and faculty like Yeselson and Drake has allowed the creation of the Scripps College Journal to continue as a long-standing tradition.
“When I started at Scripps, the Writing and Rhetoric major didn’t even exist yet,” Yeselson says. “So it’s fulfilling to see how the program has evolved, and this publication is a symbol of that.”
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