The Story Behind FishHook, USI’s award-winning and student-run art and literary journal
by Brandon Hartman '20
As USI’s third student literary journal to be produced by the English Department, FishHook is working hard to provide publishing and editing experience for a diverse body of students. In 2009, it rose from the ashes of its predecessor called The Aerie. Since then, the publication has endured struggle and strife, success and growth, to achieve the acclaim it has today.
Mr. Anthony Rintala, instructor of English, accepted the task of leading FishHook after a brief lull in publication. He boarded the ship as faculty advisor in 2014. However, due to the tragic loss of that year’s Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Dowker, the journal was again paused. It resumed publication in 2016 with an edition in which they published work previously selected by Dowker, as a tribute to her. FishHook has published every year since. Mr. Rintala’s vision is to uphold the value of student creativity by encouraging writers and artists to “submit their boldest work, and to engage with their creative community.”
Under Mr. Rintala’s advisory, FishHook has taken four issues to competition at the Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) conference, winning a respectable number of awards. In 2017, the publication won first place for “Best Cover Design,” third place for “Best Formal Poem,” and third place for “Best Artwork.” This past Spring, they won third place for “Best Hand Drawn Illustration” for USI art student Kyleigh Shearin’s piece “Fuzzy Armor.” FishHook’s awards are proof that the talents of USI’s brilliant students are not going unrecognized.
Aside from showcasing the talent and creativity of USI students, FishHook also promotes the wellbeing of the community. Through the Write-Away-Hunger charitable competition, the publication is able to donate to Archie’s Food Closet, a source of food for low-income and struggling students. For every donation of a nonperishable canned good, a student can submit a piece of writing. A select group of judges from the English department elect the best submissions based on categories like poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
FishHook’s unique contributions to our University deserves widespread recognition. Its promotion of the community’s various and distinct talents while simultaneously providing editing experience for students is part of what makes USI eagles soar. If you are considering submitting to FishHook in the future or competing in the Write-Away-Hunger competition, don’t be afraid to enter. The publication is always eager for submissions, so please send your work to email@example.com, and make sure to sign the release form.