'In the Write Mind'

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CF Citrus Campus students turn their creativity into credit

By Julie Gorham

Creativity is abuzz at the College of Central Florida Citrus Campus in Lecanto, as a handful of students work diligently to release  Volume 28, Issue 2 of “In the Write Mind.”


The college magazine defines Citrus County students, setting them apart from the Ocala campus while making a brand that defines them.

Melissa Alling, faculty adviser, said the magazine has grown quite a bit over the past 28 years. 

In 1990,  “In the Write Mind” began as a final project for a creative writing class led by Lynn Boele. Throughout the years, it has morphed into a literary and arts magazine filled with fiction, poetry, photography and mixed-media art by students at the Citrus campus. 

“Now the magazine serves as a club, with the opportunity for students to receive college credits for a course called  Journalism, Magazine and Production,” Alling said. “It is similar to the Ocala campus’ “Imprints,” but we have our own brand.” 

The club/class is comprised of roughly eight students during a school year — with each student acting as an editor, designer, writer or artist. This is the first year the club is printing a bi-annual magazine due to the in-depth study each student is experiencing while building the magazine. Students not only contribute the content for the magazine, but design every detail through Adobe InDesign, a professional program used throughout the industry. 

“We are trying to be more ambitious because now that it is a class and is an academic credit, it makes sense to have a significant capstone project at the end of the course,” Alling said. “The students also get the opportunity to stand up on stage and introduce all of the contributors and do a poetry reading while releasing their hard work.”

Antonia Yerke, editor-in-chief, said if it weren’t for this club, she wouldn’t have a creative outlet, as she is studying biology. 

“For the past two years, I haven’t written anything but college papers,” Yerke said. “I’ve always loved writing and since I’ve been part of the club, I’ve written a lot of fiction and poetry and I’m glad it got me back into it.” 

Although the club is for students with a future career in the arts, many are science majors looking for a creative outlet. 

“We get many students who are in the STEM studies, but they, like everyone, need to be creative,” Alling said. “I love when we get students who did serve on their high school yearbook, and always try and recruit students who are majoring in the arts.” 

Currently, the club has students who are artists, one who wants to be a journalist and another who seeks to become a movie producer. Each path is unique, and right now they are happy just to put their creativity on paper to share it with their campus. 

This isn’t a small feat for CF Citrus — they are one of 28 colleges that compete in the Florida College System’s Publication Association Annual Conference. 

“I’m quite proud that our school won first place in poetry a few years ago,” Alling said. “We do compete on a statewide scale with colleges who have more students participating and a bigger budget.”

The Citrus campus is releasing its spring 2017 volume with a schoolwide celebration for all contributors at 12:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, at the Lecanto campus. 

“The event gives students an audience and it’s also nice for people to know the magazine exists, so we can keep fueling younger generations and letting them know there are opportunities right here in Lecanto,” Alling said. 

For more information, visit www.cf.edu/community/arts/student-publications/in-the-write-mind/index.


 Contact Chronicle reporter Julie Gorham at 352-563-3236 or jgorham@chronicleonline.com.