Student org spotlight: Prometheus

By Grace Arneberg —

Prometheus is one of University of Wisconsin–Stout’s oldest groups, with years of archived anthologies of the creative arts journal that won “Best in Show” at the 2012-2013 Gutenberg Awards competition. With a small staff, an advisor and a team of graphic and communication students, the book is designed, edited, printed and compiled with art and writing pieces, all by UW–Stout students.

“It’s a juried show,” said Michelle Johnsen, UW–Stout senior and former vice president of Prometheus. “About three to five faculty members in the English department go through the submissions and pick out the best. For artwork, a professional artist or designer is brought in from the local area to judge.”

A selection of favorite pieces are published with top pieces from each category winning a monetary prize— $100 for first place and $50 for second place.

The only requirement for students to enter is that work be original and preferably not already published elsewhere. The book is divided into a variety of literary and visual arts categories: poetry, fiction, non-fiction and creative/free verse writing; two-dimensional or three-dimensional pieces; and photography, video or installation.

“Pieces are judged based on quality, not the person submitting it,” said Johnsen. “For that reason, there isn’t really a submission limit.” Approximately 20 pieces will be chosen to be published in both the literary and art category.

“We absolutely would like more literary submissions,” said Johnsen. “When it comes to art, we tend to have a lot more submissions to choose from.”

“We love poetry. People will submit five to 10 poems,” added Johnsen. “But what we’re really looking for is short, non-fiction pieces as well as prose. We don’t get a lot of non-fiction. There’s a lot of competition for poetry but not so much in the other categories.”

Submissions are accepted throughout the fall semester: literary pieces will be due on Dec. 5 and art will be accepted until late January. Winning pieces will be revealed when the book is published in April. It’s printed as a journal, with free copies available for all students, and comes out once a year during family weekend— with an awards ceremony and a show in the Furlong gallery.

Each year, Prometheus has a different theme. Past themes have included root, generation and error, among others.

“The theme is open-ended— we try not to constrain the artists,” said Johnsen. “We encourage people to use it as inspiration, but submissions don’t have to be based on the chosen theme.”

This year’s theme will be decided next week, so keep an eye out for informational posters hanging up around mid-October.

For more information about Prometheus, search for it on OrgSync, where submission information and updates will be posted.

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