Most seasoned veterans of CFCC are aware of Portals Annual Literary andÂ Arts Magazine.Â But for newbies like me, I began to wonder why I kept seeing red rockets (see below) in flight on inconspicuous walls and bulletin boards around campus.Â Curiosity led me to the English Department’s webpage and… “voila!”Â Suddenly, I was immersed in beautiful works of art and literature created by Cape Fear Community College’s pride and joy – the students. With an online archive dating back to 2004, anyone can get their fill of poetry, fiction,Â essays, artÂ and photography.
In The Beginning
The origins of Portals began in the late 1990’s as a small xeroxed “handout”, if you will, of student pieces.Â A collection of their hard work throughout the semester, a keepsake.
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In comes Margo Williams, English instructor, who gave new life to Portals.Â Margo, with the help of another instructor and a coupleÂ of student interns publishedÂ an online versionÂ of PortalsÂ in 2003.Â Â With a vision and a school grant from the CFCC Foundation, Margo brought the magazine (in classy black n’ white fashion) to print in 2004.
It Takes a Village…
As theÂ revitalized literary and arts magazine gained popularity and status, Williams recruited fellow English Department members to the Portals team. One can imagine that publishing a magazine is no easy task.Â The 2010Â issue, headed by Meredith Merrill,Â had a grand total of 32 members of faculty and staffÂ (12 English department and 20 CFCC faculty/staff recruits) who collaborated to getÂ 1000Â copies into print.Â Editors, editorial assistants, judges, art and photography editors,Â layout and design.Â Merrill lead the committee from 2005-2010 andÂ is due some serious credit for securing additional funding and increasing readership of the magazine. Â HeadingÂ up the 2011Â Portals CommitteeÂ is the beautiful, talented writer/instructor, Jada Ach.Â SheÂ has what it takes to coordinate something of this magnitude, passion and youth.
…AndÂ an Artist
Does the imageÂ below Â look familiar?Â It should,Â it’s everywhere–and catchy. You can’t help but stop and admire the eloquentÂ selection of font type, object placementÂ and color scheme. Â Â This year’sÂ flyer was designed byÂ one of CFCC’s most talented artists (who just happens to be on our payroll), web designer, Justin Floyd. Justin has designed the Portals flyer for the past 3 years. Fan-tas-tic design? Yes.
The Good Stuff
To publish a magazine you need content.Â The English Department has done an unbelievable job of encouraging students to submit a piece of their work.Â As added incentive to “get published”, cash prizes are awarded forÂ 1st, 2nd and 3rd place writing pieces and if your photograph gets selectedÂ for the cover art…100 bucks. And if that isn’t enough to entice the students, new this year is the Louise McColl Award for Literary Excellence (350 smackers!)
Faculty and staff, feeling left out? There’s even a separate category for us! $100 award for a writing piece. Sorry Charlie, we’re too late for this year’s entries, the deadline was in November 2010.
Over 300 pieces of literature and art were submitted for entry this year.Â Â Entries must adhere to strict guidelines and are onlyÂ accepted through anÂ online submission form. All submissions are directed to a special PortalsÂ Groupwise email account.Â The entire process is cyclical in nature.
This April, the awardsÂ ceremony for PortalsÂ will be held in Tabitha’s courtyard.Â The ceremony includesÂ readings from winners, a performance from CFCC’s orchestra, light refreshments and a jolly good time.Â Bring yourself and a friend and support CFCC’s most talented writers and artists. I know I’ll be there on a lovely spring day.