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A New Course Joins the English Department

DIY Publishing, with the help of Dr. Jon Volkmer, has entered the English Department’s family and is creating a helpful path to self-publication for students.

DIY Publishing is a newly implemented class at Ursinus, which combines cutting-edge publishing technology and media with students’ literature. Dr. Jon Volkmer, a professor in the English Department, is teaching the course and started the first day off with an intriguing introduction. Dr. Volkmer brought in a few cookbooks, one hardback and two paperbacks, and asked the students how much they thought each book costs depending on the books’ layouts, pictures, and overall quality. The students had some laughs, especially when reading one cover that had a spelling error that said, “Low Crab Diet” instead of “Low Carb Diet.”

Dr. Volkmer continued with explaining the significance of self-publishing and its growth in the technological age we live in. He stated how there are modes of publication everywhere and does not have to specifically revolve around selling tangible books. The first half of the course will focus on key aspects of publishing: blogs, short fiction and poetry online, writer communities, fanfiction, indie publishers, and scams. The next half of the year will be about posting and publishing student works and maneuvering the tools of Zines and Duotrope. Both Dr. Volkmer and his students are looking forward to sending their literary work into the real world and to make DIY Publishing a success.

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