Reflection: 2017 Launch Party

By: Anna Kay Reeves and Caroline Kinnamore

Photos by: Caroline Rock

In comparison to the bustle of nearby Guadalupe Street, the quaint Malvern Books is a haven. Yet, there is a definite high-energy hum amongst the people within, who, on the day of the 2017 launch, were all waiting on the same publication.  There’s not one author, but many; in fact they’re often seen on campus. These artists and writers of every stripe are bound not only as UT students, but also literally bound, and neatly so, in the 2017 edition of Echo Literary Magazine.

There was the expected excitement that accompanies a release party, but on that May 2nd, spirits were particularly high as the growth of Echo was clear. There was of course the aforementioned neat binding, which was a first for the magazine. Book-style binding replaced the previous staple system, giving the 2017 issue a more polished look. Then there was also growth in numbers: Echo received over 250 submissions last year, a record. This expansion trend extended to the party, as well. The turnout of contributors and staff came close to outstripping the number of chairs available.

A nervous energy was evident as a few brave published authors prepared to share their work with the audience. Contributor Titan page was among the handful to read his piece in front of the crowd.  “I was proud to see my] work published for the first time, but it was kind of nerve-racking because I couldn’t control who read my stuff anymore,” Page said.  “It was a really strong motivator for future writing….Totally worth the fear.”

The courage and emotion that went into the readings was not lost on the audience.

“It was so eye-opening to hear people read their own words. You get so much more perspective on what they actually meant when you can hear the emotion in their voice as they read,” said Emily Saunders, a member of the Echo staff and this year’s Publicity Manager. “I do remember feeling the passion and excitement in all the newly published authors’ readings, and feeling the same way about Echo going out into the world.”

Along with the passionate readings that took place, there were the college classics of pizza and dessert for all, which writer Julio Diaz quite enjoyed.

“But aside from the refreshments,” Diaz said, “my favorite part was being able to hear poets read their work. I’ve always been told that poetry has to be read aloud, because it comes alive when you do. And it did that day.”

With a successful edition of Echo on the shelves, this year’s staff (which has multiplied in numbers) is thrilled to work towards making it even better this year.