The Belletrist: A publication of literature and art by members of BC

Belletrist is a yearly Internet publication of prose, poetry and art produced by BC students and teachers. Its editorial staff consists of Laura Burns, a BC English professor of 24 years and the students enrolled in her winter elective class, English 299: Literary Magazine. Submissions for the magazine are accepted all year and can range from poetry, prose and photography to music and video. The deadline for submission has been extended to Monday, Feb. 17. Any students interested in having their work published by the school and receiving the associated accolades should contact Laura Burns  as soon as possible, as well as visit the Bellevue College Belletrist’s website for instructions on how to submit their work.

Belletrist is the spiritual successor to BCC’s literary magazine, Arnazella, which was produced in print and sold at the college bookstore, as well as through consignment in unaffiliated shops such as Barnes and Noble. Conceived in the ‘70s as an outlet for the college’s many writers, poets and artists, Arnazella was moderately successful through the ‘90s as it was picked up by readers and its contents were consumed. However, revenue from sales only served to curb the cost of printing, which averaged $7,000. The remaining deficit was covered by the Student Association.

The ‘90s were a time of change for the college, and as the student population became more transitory, Arnazella began to have issues keeping year-round dedicated staff. Its problems were later compounded when many bookstores ceased accepting books on consignment, meaning the magazine’s distribution became confined to the college bookstore.

After an extended period of decline, Arnazella went dormant in 2007. Eventually the idea to produce an online publication was conceived, and the magazine was reborn in 2010 as Belletrist, meaning “beautiful words.” Now an online production, Belletrist has expanded in scope, both through its ability to publish new mediums as well as becoming freely and publicly accessible. Now a greater variety of artists can find an outlet and an addition to their resume through Belletrist Music and film is featured along with literature, photographs and other more classical forms of art.

Like the rest of the student web, Belletrist is published through WordPress, a blog site providing a variety of templates for the easy creation of websites. This approach to publication is affordable and effective. Laura expressed excitement for this year’s edition, commenting, “We have two artists on the staff, and we have a gal who’s been around design and HTML for a while.” The new website is being redesigned by its staff to appear “more like an online book” and will be on the student web by Mar. 14, along with the new student submissions.

Those who have their work published will be invited to a literary reading in April, a publication celebration which features art displays, spoken word performances and closes with an open mic.

Belletrist is a growing and engaging publication offering students as well as staff the opportunity to see their work officially published by Bellevue College.