Inside Pathos

Greetings, writers and readers! We at Pathos are hard at work on the Winter 2014 issue, and we’re looking forward to a good one. Our fearless leader, Kate Marshall, has been working hard to get the word out for the call for submissions. Our designer, Ryan, has come up with a great flyer to get people interested in submitting. We’re all excited to see some of the great writing Portland State students will send our way. So what does it take to produce Pathos each term?

First of all, it takes a solid year long commitment from a few PSU students, myself included. Each week Kate, Ryan and I meet in the Pathos office in the sub-basement of Smith Memorial Student Union to discuss the progress of the issue. The biggest challenge we face each term is spreading the word to as many students as possible. We want each and every creative mind at the university to know that we want their artwork (paintings, photography, and whatever else we can showcase), poetry, short stories, and literary criticism. We do this by both spreading flyers around the campus as well as in person, visiting classrooms and spreading the word to each and every writer and student we see. It’s a tireless process, but one that completely vital to ensure a quality issue in the stands.

Once we have all the submissions, the real fun begins. With the help of a Google spreadsheet, we all read and look at what students have sent our way. Each submission is carefully read, re-read, and discussed to determine how it might fit in the magazine. We cast our votes, and slowly but surely an issue is formed. While this process might sound easy, it’s anything but. At least for me, this is the most difficult part of the entire process. I’m always amazed by the level of quality I see in the work, and oftentimes the decision is entirely subjective. While Ryan might be drawn to a particular painting, I might prefer a photograph another student sent in. Lively discussions ensues, and this is where Kate thankfully exercises her ultimate, deciding vote.

Once we have the list of pieces we’ve decided on, it’s time to design and copyedit. Kate and I divvy up the writing while Ryan decides what cover and interior design would fit well with the general theme of the pieces we’ve accepted. Kate gathers the author bios, I send in my copyedits, and Ryan makes it into a cohesive whole. Once we have a file, it goes off to the printers, and into your hands. We’re excited to get the ball rolling on this issue, so be sure to submit whatever creative content you’ve made this term or this year–we can’t do it without you!