Emerson WLP students' work spotlighted

WLP students

Carrie Sheffield
May 13, 2010

Cory Doctorow, co-editor of the popular blog Boing Boing, recently spotlighted Emerson student Jeannie Harrell's book jacket design created for his book Little Brother on the blog. Harrell (Dec) '10 is a student in Writing, Literature and Publishing Department Associate Professor Lisa Diercks's Book Design and Production class; and the jacket design was part of a class assignment.

"I really like what she came up with," Doctorow said on the blog. "Even if CC [Creative Commons] didn't sell more books for me (which it seems to be doing!), I'd still use the licenses, because this kind of thing really, really makes me happy."

Because Doctorow's novel Little Brother is available under a Creative Commons license, Harrell was able to grab the text and design a new interior, and publish her own cover. Creative Commons licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive, for the benefit of recipients.

"It's fascinating how small the world has gotten with the advent of the Internet," Harrell said. "A publishing student in Boston can show an acclaimed, prolific author living in London a design idea for his book, and the author can, through his blog, show it to millions of people worldwide. It's also reassuring to me to know that people are still excited about print design."

"I'm absolutely thrilled for Jeannie," said Dierks. "The concepts she presented during the semester showed inventiveness and a willingness to take visual risks. The elements Jeannie chose came together in a way especially appropriate to the book's subject matter. She's off to a fantastic start to her design career."

Another Writing, Literature and Publishing student, Ken Gagne, MA '11, also had work highlighted recently. His article,"Bad Economy Checks Us out of Libraries," was published in Worcester Magazine.

Gagne wrote the article, which discussed the closing of libraries around the country due to the struggling economy, in WLP Associate Professor Jeffrey Seglin's Column Writing class.

"Many writers have ideas that they don't know what to do with," said Gagne. "The column writing course [at Emerson] helped give me a framework in which to refine these ideas and get them out into the world."

WLP Associate Professor Jabari Asim explains how Emerson's program combines academic study with creative work.
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