During the Vietnam War, thousands of war dogs assisted American soldiers in carrying out their duties.
Unfortunately, the majority of dogs sent overseas never returned to the United States.
This semester Cornerstone Press will be publishing the manuscript “Stay!” the story of a Vietnam war dog named Ike and his accompanying serviceman, Ray.
“Stay!” was written by D. K. Wells, a communication adjunct faculty member at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. Although Wells has composed nonfiction pieces for the justice department, “Stay!” will be her first fiction novel.
Cornerstone Press is a student-run publishing company and course offered through the English Department every fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Beginning in September, students in the class read through several manuscripts submitted to the company and decide as a group which one they will publish.
Throughout the semester, the class functions like a commercial publisher by choosing a manuscript to edit, market, print and sell and is taught by English professor Dan Dieterich.
“They all have to rely on one another. They all have to work together. The main thing they learn is collaboration, and they learn how to work on a very difficult project within a very short time line,” Dieterich said.
Officially retired as of 2010, Professor Dieterich taught English at UWSP for 34 years. Since then he has returned to the university to teach individual courses in business writing and to run Cornerstone Press.
“With this opportunity that I have had to be in this class, just having that hands-on experience and getting to know the inner-workings of what it would be like being in the editing and publishing field is really amazing,” said Lhea Owens, editor-in-chief for Cornerstone Press. Owens is a junior secondary English education major and creative writing minor.
Danielle McCarthy, a senior English major with a creative writing minor, is the production director and heads the design team. She communicates directly with Worzalla, the Stevens-Point based company printing the manuscript.
“I love learning about the publishing industry and getting real world experience. It has been so crazy and stressful but also incredibly fun. Our team this year is amazing, and we have the best author we could ever hope for,” McCarthy said.
According to Dieterich, all of the students involved in the project will have their names printed in the book and the experience helps to build resumes for those who plan to work in publishing after graduation.
“This experience is pretty much preparing me for what I want to do with my future. My dream has always been to work in the publishing industry, and I was so excited when I got into this course,” McCarthy said.
Founded in 1984 by Mary Croft, Cornerstone Press has published over thirty books including memoirs, cookbooks and historical novels. The publisher receives manuscripts from around the the world.
The release party for “Stay!” will be Nov. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Dreyfus University Center Laird Room. At the party, D. K. Wells will be reading excerpts from the finished book. The event is open to the public, and copies of “Stay!” will be available for purchase.
“Stay!” is available at the University Store and Text Rental and can be purchased online through its website. The book is available at Book World in Stevens Point, Janke Book Store in Wausau and several other bookstores throughout the state.