Bateau Press Editor-in-Chief Dan Mahoney, left, with Danylo Shuvalov '22, Gaby Gordon-Fox '22, Jack "Aspen" Budd '19, Kiera O'Brien '18, and Eloise Schulz '16 at the Associated Writing Program's annual conference in Portland, OR.Bateau Press Editor-in-Chief Dan Mahoney, left, with Danylo Shuvalov '22, Gaby Gordon-Fox '22, Jack "Aspen" Budd '19, Kiera O'Brien '18, and Eloise Schulz '16 at the Associated Writing Program's annual conference in Portland, OR.

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) holds the largest annual North American conference for “writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers.” The conference consists of four days of networking and unparalleled access to various writing resources. AWP includes readings, panels, and craft workshops as well as a large book fair where Bateau members sold their goods.

“We’re really happy to foster a literary community in and around COA,” said Aspen Budd, managing editor, “and we’re excited to bring that outward, and be among big publishers like Penguin and Scholastic.”

Bateau focuses on creating environmentally minded, well-designed products. Its literary magazine includes prose, poetry, sketches, translations, and other unique works. Budd, along COA Bateau Press publishes literary magazines and chapbooks.COA Bateau Press publishes literary magazines and chapbooks.with a team of COA students and writing lecturer Dan Mahoney, compose and design the magazine and pick the winner of an annual chapbook contest, a contest that culminates with a stitching workshop, where around 500 chapbook covers and innards are sewn together to create a final product. In 2018, “Kola Superdeep Borehole” by Joe Fletcher won the chapbook contest. The 2017 winner, “Grief is the Only Thing that Flies,” by Laura Wetherington has been nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize.

“No one starts a literary magazine because of the glamour, we do it because we like hearing things we’ve never heard before,” Mahoney said. “Students get to encounter stuff unfiltered: the good, the bad, and the ugly of what folks are creating around the world. We get about 2,500 submissions from the famous, the not so famous, students, cooks, artists, and felons. For students this is a valuable experience—they are deciding if a piece of writing is good.”

Bateau was created to center the arts community, and its vitality stems from student involvement. Multiple students participate each term, and they bring unique sets of skills that distinguish each edition of Bateau, Mahoney said. Though Bateau could realistically run with only Mahoney and a managing editor, a diverse editing team creates a diverse magazine, something Bateau prides itself on.

While at the AWP conference, the Bateau team sells the 2018 winner of Bateau Press' chapbook contest, “Kola Superdeep Borehole” by Joe Fletcher. While at the AWP conference, the Bateau team sells the 2018 winner of Bateau Press' chapbook contest, “Kola Superdeep Borehole” by Joe Fletcher. “We’re really proud of finding weird, new and innovative voices. They are really in demand,” Budd said. “We often aren’t sure if its good or bad until we look back. We’re on the leading edge sometimes without even knowing it”

One of Bateau’s core values, editing, teaches writers to organize, market and publish their own creations, and it thrives on fresh perspective and student voice. Bateau meets every other Saturday in Deering Common to sew chapbooks and make editorial decisions.

“Bateau is an outlet for those who enjoy creative writing. As a reader and a writer, students can get involved in Bateau to explore and learn about editing creative pieces,” Budd said.

Budd appreciates the lessons Bateau teaches him, he said.

“Working on Bateau keeps me on my toes and always guessing. I get to use skills I can’t necessarily use in class and work within a nonacademic space for creative writing,” Mahoney said.

Bateau members enjoyed selling their wares at the conference, as well as meeting many authors and DIY publishers. The students made some great connections and experienced an environment fed by writing and ambition, Mahoney said.

“The students have a really great, intellectually stimulating, and gastronomically enriching time,” Mahoney said. “In the end, very few people are going to get rich being a writer, but making those connections, finding your tribe of people who are active and creating stuff—that is life sustaining.”

Bateau Press is a letterpress publisher of chapbooks and an annual magazine housed within College of the Atlantic. Find them online at BateauPress.org.