For 15 years, the Honors Program at the University of Maine System (UMS) has published a writing journal called The Maine Scholar. Recently the UMS administration turned the journal exclusively over to USM. The journal incorporates the academic writings of professors and students throughout UMS. It is an opportunity for both students and professors, as well as outside scholars and community members, to get their work published.
“It is the only academic journal throughout the UMaine System,” said Wanda Whitten, managing editor for The Maine Scholar.
Budget cuts threaten The Maine Scholar and it might not have enough money to print. At least one fifth of the journal’s budget has been cut and without this funding, the journal could cease to exist, Whitten said.
The Maine Scholar has published nationally recognized scholars, such as Alasdair MacIntyre, Noam Chomsky and Charles Sykes, and provides publicity for the UMS.
Whitten recognizes these benefits and encourages students to submit their work.
“It challenges people to think outside of the box,” Whitten said. “A student’s entry can tilt the scales in terms of graduate school.”
Many students who were published discuss the great opportunities they receive simply because of their entries, leading to a better possibility for a master’s degree, she said.
Since 1987, the journal has been published annually and has been available throughout all campuses within UMS.
The Maine Scholar is known for the awards that some of its writers have received. Writers who get published through The Maine Scholar are eligible for a possible scholarship or grant for writing. This includes The Richard Carbonneau Poetry Prize, which is a grant of $500 to any undergraduate poet who has been published. It also includes The Edward Willard, Jr. Undergraduate Writing Award, also in the amount of $500. Entry will be available for both awards for the next publication.
This year’s journal theme is Peace and War. The journal is still accepting entries for its next issue and will continue to do so until February of 2003. Most people who read the journal hope this publication will not be the last.
The people in the program will keep plugging until the very end, Whitten said.