Students who took part in Cornerstone Press with the book “The Appointed Hour” celebrated the book’s official launch Thursday, Dec. 7.
“We were not expecting what we stepped into,” Travis Leopfe, book designer, said in his speech.
Leopfe and the rest of the student’s in the fall 2017 section of English 349: Editing and Publishing worked as a class to take “The Appointed Hour” from manuscript to published book.
Jeffrey Snowbarger, English professor, explained that the word “fiction” comes from the Latin word “Fictus,” which translates to “to form” and that’s what the students have done with this book.
“Tonight, you are here to enrich your intellect and deepen your sense of the world,” Snowbarger said.
Dr. Ross K. Tangedal, project director and publisher-in-chief of Cornerstone Press, read passages that were descriptively written and full of emotion. The book itself was written by author Susanne Davis who traveled from Connecticut to see the launch and speak at the event.
“I’m overwhelmed by your warmth. As someone who spends a lot of time with words I should be able to say it better,” Davis said.
Davis teaches at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and at the University of Connecticut. “The Appointed Hour” is her first published book.
“I love the levels of enthusiasm the students have. It truly has given the book its emotion. To see how much effort, they have put into this project,” said Davis. “It’s my greatest hope that people’s hearts will be moved by this book.”
The book is one of the few in the country to be published by a staff of students. Cornerstone Press is the only such press in the University of Wisconsin system, giving the students involved a uniquely hands-on publishing experience.
“It’s not easy getting a whole book published in four months with a staff that changes every year,” Tangedal said. “The learning curve for the staff is always a challenge as well.”
Cornerstone Press has published 39 books since the press was founded in 1984.
“And we are not slowing down anytime soon,” Tangedal said.
Hannah Wiedmeyer, associate designer, said, ”I went to Worzalla when the book was in the process of being made, and it was pretty exciting to see it getting created.”
Wiedmeyer also explained that it can be a challenge getting the word out about the book as well as coordinating events with non-press people. It can also be challenging for people with busy lives and full-time college students.
“The Appointed Hour” is a collection of twelve interconnected short stories that looks into the roots of small-town life in rural America.
The book is available for order on the Cornerstone Press website.