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A Term of Writing: Amanda Akers ’20

This term is my first official co-op at Antioch. During it, I have self-designed my experience to be focused on my writing. I decided to spend this time working on my own fiction, because it is something that I struggle to do throughout the normal school term.

One of my goals is to submit at least two short pieces to either literary magazines or competitions. Even though it would be great if my pieces were accepted for publication, or placed within the finals, it is the exposure to the submission process that I hope to gain. So far, I have sent one short, approximately 400-word piece to Glimmer Train’s writing competition. I hope to hear back from them in July. Fingers crossed!

Another goal for this term is to complete a 40,000-50,000 word manuscript for a novel/novella. Told through magical realism and a little bit of science-fiction, the story spins the idea of what stars are made of. It centers around a character named Astro who is constantly pushing himself to gain recognition and to reach his goal of becoming an “Honorary Planetary Explorer.” But, after his last trip to Mars when the sun crashed into the sky, he hasn’t felt like himself. His skin is covered in large, lavender blotches that are spreading over his entire body and he can’t shake the feeling that something is changing him from the inside out. Soon after, he realizes that he has a limited amount of time to see his name in the stars before he becomes one himself. Although I have encountered some writer’s block, it is still a piece that I enjoy and look forward to finishing.

I have also been running at night with my sister and dog. I take the time to do this because it forces me to get out of the house to do something that doesn’t involve school and work. We do it in the evenings on Monday through Thursday and have kept up with it since the beginning of the term. I think it’s important for me to set physical goals for myself because, if I focus too much on my creativity, it won’t feel fun anymore. I will get stressed about it and it will turn into more of a chore and something to dread rather than something that I look forward to and enjoy.

My last goal is to prepare for the summer term. In just over a month, I will be spending seven weeks in Japan studying in both Kyoto and Aichi while also traveling and immersing myself in the culture as much as possible. Before I go, I have several loose ends to tie up, such as turning my car in, double-checking that my dog has enough medication while I’m away, and going to the doctor myself. I’ve also been doing my best to keep up with my Japanese class on campus to ensure that I will be as prepared as I possibly can be before I go.

All in all, this term has been enjoyable for me so far. I have done a lot creatively as well as physically. I look forward to the rest of my time here at Antioch.

Photo credit: https://www.vox.com

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Amanda is a currently a part of the Class of 2019 at Antioch College, studying under a self-designed major with a focus in Creative Writing. She has recently earned a certificate in Professional Writing at Sinclair Community College that accompanies her Associates Degree in Creative Writing and her Associates Degree in Biology.

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