Influx boldly goes sci-fi; AB literary mag explores new territory

By Lora Owston

Literary magazine Influx has been an annual staple for Alderson Broaddus’ English department for many years – but this year, the publication comes with a twist.

The 2018 edition of Influx will focus on a science-fiction theme instead of the generalized format used in the past. Daniel Propst, associate professor of English and the faculty member in charge of this year’s edition, decided on this change early in the planning process.

“As I started classes this fall, I thought what if I took a step away from the traditional literature magazine and took it in the science-fiction direction?” Propst said.

Response to the theme has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We have a lot of submissions,” Propst said. “We may not have room for all of them in the magazine.”

Although Influx has enough content to fill the magazine, submissions remain open until March 2 to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Student submissions are also entered into a contest, where the top three winners will receive a cash prize.

Influx began its annual publication in 1991, and was the first sustained literature publication of its kind in Alderson Broaddus’ history. Former English faculty members Jeff Del Col and Carol Del Col originally started the publication as a part of their creative writing classes.

“We wanted to give students an opportunity to have an outlet for their creative writing, but also to learn how to put together publications,” Carol Del Col said.

A one credit class was eventually developed within the English major in order to facilitate the student run portion of the publication. However, the closure of the English major at Alderson Broaddus has led to some changes in recent years.

“It’s a lot tougher. Now we ask for student volunteers to do it,” Propst said.

The Influx publication class is open to students of all majors. Students with an interest in the area are encouraged to contact the English department about assisting with future publications.

This year’s edition of Influx will be released on April 20.

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