Emily Harrison: Wanderlust Launch Party


I got published! I got published! I’m just kidding, I publish every week.

BUTTTT if you are an HPU undergraduate and you would like a chance for your work to be published, and you’ve already rejected my invitation to join Kalamalama…then you should look into Wanderlust!

Wanderlust is both a class and a literary magazine published by HPU. And on Thursday March 21st, they had a launch party for this year’s issue!

Now, extra issues are available at the waterfront plaza library, if you would like to take a look at it yourself, but I’m going to give you all the details I can.

Mr. Tyler McMahon and fellow authors and artists discussing the readings at this event.

Party Time Baby

So, I hope most of you know what a launch event is, if not well it’s an event where you launch something.

I’m kidding, kinda. At this launch event the first copies of new edition of Wanderlust were released!

Everyone there was more than welcome to grab a couple copies for themselves to later distribute amongst their social circles. I grabbed like eight.

We all found our seats and shortly after my arrival, not that I was important, I just showed up late, the event began.

This began with Kianna Swingle, the hostess of the event, as well as an author, editor, and contest winner for this academic year’s Wanderlust program.

She introduced the class itself, the magazine, and then started off the event with a reading of a piece by herself.

After her reading of “If Only the Moon Could Talk” by Ms. Swingle, many other authors, including myself, read their pieces aloud to the crowd.

As an author, I can tell you without a doubt that the biggest accomplishment a piece can obtain, is making the reader have a change in emotions.

We’ve all read things online and responded “lol” when our faces had less expression than a corpse.

When a piece can sway even the smallest amount of emotion, that’s the proudest an author can be.

And let me tell you, with each piece read, hearts were swayed, and even some tears were shed.

After the event, one of the authors, a fellow undergraduate I’ve met before, told me my piece brought him to tears, and I was skipping with pride the rest of the day.

His piece also brought me to tears, and his delivery, voiced with a Morgan freeman style calmness and deepness, made the entire thing was an incredible scene.

Many other pieces brought emotion to me, there’s so many I can’t list them all, but you should definitely check them out.

And of course, what is a party without pizza.

I’m not saying this was my favorite part, because it was not, the ability to enjoy everyone’s work was the best part of the party…

Anyway, after we all were able to eat and discuss the pieces that were read, we moved on to the contest.

Ms. Aspen Pawlowski proudly showing the crowd where to find her piece in this edition of Wanderlust.
Venus Mairena laughing as they get to read their scholarship winning piece.

Ms. Swingle cheery at the appreciation of not only her work, but of her hosting ability for this event.

Be Bold, Be Brave

As many of us saw, and hopefully many will now learn about, Wanderlust holds a writing competition every spring.

This competition is called “the Great 808-writing contest.” It is a scholarship, held by Wanderlust, through HPU, that allows undergraduates to write poems, non-fiction, and fictional pieces that are under 808 words for a chance to win $808 for that piece!

This year’s winners were…drum roll… Aspen Pawlowski (poetry)…Venus Mairena(fiction)…Kianna Swingle (non-fiction)!

Congratulations again!

They also read their pieces aloud and they brought me to tears. I was in the back wiping my face trying to be cool and act like a piece of 808 words didn’t just ruin my makeup.

Each of their pieces spoke of such raw emotions, something I absolutely love. Something I strive to do every day.

I forced the winners to take a picture together, you’re welcome.

Write it Down!

Now, like I said, Wanderlust is also a class.

If you like creating pieces in these categories, or want to strengthen your ability to do so, you should check this class out.

You should also check out the class for Kalamalama, but no one seems to be doing that…you can multitask you know.

The class entails of writing workshops, and creating your own pieces and helping them reach the level of expertise that they deserve.

You will also help edit the submissions of those who are not in the class and want their piece(s) published in the next edition. This class helps strive for you to reach your editorial excellence, as well as break out of your shell and write something passionate and real.

But if the class isn’t your speed, then maybe just submitting something is enough.

In mid fall semester they hold submissions of any kind of work you’d like published. You can have pieces in those three previously mentioned categories, or you can even submit artwork, pictures.

Whatever your passion may be, try to get it published, submit it and see where it can take you!

This academic year is coming to a closing for Wanderlust, but that just means you have plenty of time to start working on your masterpieces for the fall. If I can do it, you can do it. Have a little courage and write whatever is in your heart.

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