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Fountains Publication 2024: A Showcase of Talent

  • Momentum 2024 PCC student Fountains Publication
  • Momentum 2024 PCC student Fountains Publication
  • PCC students work together in class to design the cover of the 2024 Fountains Publication
  • PCC students in Copy-Editing class work together to review content for the 2024 Fountains Publication
  • PCC student visits the 2024 Fountains Publication book table at the Fountains book sale
  • A PCC girl looks through the new 2024 Fountains Publication at the Fountains book sale
  • PCC student visits the 2024 Fountains Publication book table at the Fountains book sale
  • PCC student visits the 2024 Fountains Publication book table at the Fountains book sale

On a Monday night in April, Pensacola Christian College students waited in the Common Grounds Café near two tables decorated with colorful balloons. Behind the tables, student editors and authors unpacked pens, buttons, and boxes of the thirty-fifth edition of Fountains as part of the annual book launch. For many students and some staff, coming to the literary publication’s launch is a tradition.

“Over the decades, the format and design of Fountains has changed dramatically. And yet, it remains consistent in its desire to tell engaging and inspiring stories that point people to Christ,” said Humanities faculty member Mr. Mark Wainwright, the faculty editor.

This year’s edition has the theme of momentum. Mr. Wainwright explained, “In Momentum: Fountains 2024, students will read stories of triumph and transformation—stories that will motivate them to keep going, one mile at a time, until they reach the finish line.”

The Hard Work of Students

Students from both Advanced Copy Editing (PW 404) and Publication Practicum (AR 326) combined efforts over the course of two spring semesters to prepare the publication.

In the first spring semester, PW 404 students selected fiction, nonfiction, and poetry pieces to edit, then worked with the authors, many of whom are current PCC students, to improve the pieces. “Through developmental and copyediting techniques, student editors help writers make their story drafts as strong as possible,” said Mr. Wainwright. Each semester, students hold various positions such as senior editor, editor, and fact checker in addition to helping with proofing and marketing activities.

PCC student purchases the new 2024 Fountains Publication at the Fountains book sale

This semester, students in AR 326 worked in teams to illustrate and typeset the manuscript. The names of several designers and illustrators are showcased in the back of the printed copy.

Joanna Daniels (Sr., NY), an illustrator for Fountains, challenged herself to incorporate storytelling techniques into her illustrations. “My personal goal for the Fountains illustrations was to present work that was heavily influenced by storytelling,” Joanna explained. “Storytelling keeps the reader engaged and opens the door for imagination—no matter the age.”

The illustrations complement this year’s Fountains design, which is based on the concept of progression. “Momentum is a powerful force exhibiting motion and speed, but to reach the point of momentum there must be progression,” said Leah Dahnke (Jr., OH), design lead for this year’s winning team. “With this in mind, I began experimenting with the progression of shapes, color, and size. Rectangles start small on one side and progressively get larger as they wrap around the circle and gradually turn from flat rectangles into buildings, showing form and depth.”

“Storytelling keeps the reader engaged and opens the door for imagination.”

Through her class role, Leah assigned her team responsibilities and oversaw the completion of that work. She also made final decisions concerning design and layout and compiled the team members’ work once it was ready. “I am very thankful to have had a team that worked so hard to ensure that the final book came together as one coherent piece. It was through much communication, many late nights, and meetings that everyone was able to keep the design consistent and unified,” Leah said.

Long-Lasting Benefits

Working with Fountains gives students helpful insight into what the publication process looks like. “Those who go on to work in any kind of publication job (books, magazines, etc.) will have had some idea what kind of process and time goes into working with editors and illustrators to complete a publication,” explained Visual Arts faculty member Mr. Caleb Sill, the production staff’s faculty project supervisor.

At the beginning of the semester, students took on assigned roles and began gaining practical experience in their field—whether editing, designing, or illustrating. Through their roles as illustrators, students learn to speed their workflow and gain a better understanding of what book illustrators can do. “I was able to take the fundamentals of art that I have learned from previous classes and apply them independently in a creative way,” Joanna said. “I was given the liberty to experiment with a different style and come up with my own ideas for each illustration—​which allowed me to get a taste of what illustrating in this profession would be like.”

PCC students work together in class to design the cover of the 2024 Fountains Publication

“The class has taught me a lot about leadership and communication.”

Leah also noticed several benefits such as learning “how to prepare and execute designs that would potentially be published” and “specific ways to create and lay out designs for print, as well as prepping the files and setting them up correctly for printing.” But the biggest takeaway for many of the students is the collaboration and team-building experience. Leah added, “This class also pushes everyone to work together as a team.”

“When reaching the class, students have a basic handle on the design principles, rendering, and software; so while they’re growing in those as well, the big new challenge is coordinating with the team,” said Miss Abigail Emtage, an instructor for AR 326. “They’re reminded that a good portfolio can get them in the door, but it’s their soft skills—teamwork, communication, planning—that will matter more in the long run.” Another key takeaway for students is learning to stay organized and clear in their file setup to make coordinating between artists and designers as seamless as possible.

Like those in AR 326, Regina Massey (Sr., FL), one of two senior editors in this year’s PW 404 class, saw her skills improve over the semester as well. These skills included both editing and building interpersonal relationships. “Editing pieces for Fountains has helped me spot wordiness in other writers’ works, helping me to spot wordiness in my own writing as well,” she said, adding that “the class has taught me a lot about leadership and communication.”

A Showcase of Talent

As usual, this year’s Fountains launch lasted two nights. While editors helped sell the book, some authors signed copies. For Paige Romig (Sr., PA), the other Fountains senior editor, seeing her pieces in this publication has encouraged her as a writer.

Paige began reading Fountains as a senior in high school and considered it integral in her own writing and editing journey. “I knew I wanted to major in professional writing, so I asked my older sister to bring a copy of Fountains back from college,” said Paige. “After reading through the book, I thought, ‘Students wrote these?’ I was blown away. The writing was literary, and each story had a succinct idea. I used that book as a building block.”

PCC girls look at the new 2024 Fountains Publication at the Fountains book sale

With this background, Paige recognizes the role authors have in making the student publication great. “Each student author brings something fresh and new to Fountains,” she explained. “Many of the stories rise out of personal experience, giving the reader something to connect to—like living through high school drama, dealing with a less-than-favorite sibling, or learning how to witness to a new friend or neighbor.”

Regina has also had pieces appear in Fountains, including a poem in the thirty-fourth edition and a story in this year’s publication. “It’s inspiring to see my pieces published in Fountains and seeing my friends’ pieces get published,” she said. “I’m glad that when I graduate college, I’ll already have several poems and stories published by a literary publication.”

For those who were not able to attend the Fountains launch, remaining copies can be purchased in the Campus Store during the next couple weeks. The Fountains staff hopes that those who read this edition will thoroughly enjoy it and be pointed to Christ.