Spindrift Sees Publication Despite COVID-19 Setbacks

Literary Editor Tim Holsopple discusses changes, challenges and the future.


(Courtesy Photo)

Spindrift’s cover was designed by incoming Ebbtide Visual Director Erin Krogh.

Larissa Odabai, Staff writer

Since 1966, SCC’s annual art and literary journal, Spindrift, has served as a creative outlet for students and well-established artists from all over the world.

This year, its 148 pages held artistic content such as poetry, short stories and photography from 78 contributors of various backgrounds. However, the production process faced a unique set of obstacles due to COVID-19. Traditionally published in May, the staff was forced to release their 54th issue in September.

The Ebbtide sat down with Spindrift Literary Editor Tim Holsopple to discuss these challenges and how the team adapted to produce this year’s edition.

The following interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity and style.

The Ebbtide: How long have you been working at Spindrift?

Tim Holsopple: I started in March, maybe February, somewhere in there… which is late in the year.

[Usually,] staff is hired in the fall quarter, but I came in to replace the previous Literary Editor. And as soon as I came in, that’s when all the heavy stuff started happening.

Q: That sounds quite overwhelming.

TH: I didn’t know any better, so it was kind of exciting to just jump right into it. 

Q: So, you get hundreds of submissions — from well-established artists to students in the Pacific Northwest — and then go through it all before deciding what makes it into the book?

TH: Yes, we get all kinds of arts: paintings, photographs, sculptures, essays, poetry, music, videos…

I was responsible for collecting the literature pieces. We actually had our entire staff read all of the pieces and then we all discussed them. It was a democratic process.

Q: How did this process change during the pandemic?

TH: It was challenging because we were all trying to meet remotely and our availability was a little bit different than it was when we would meet in person. It got a little tricky.

We were just pushing forward getting the files ready and then hoping that it would be printed and bound and at that point we didn’t even know when we would get that, if it would be printed. So we were kind of hoping for the best. That was one thing that was strange.

Another thing that happened was that normally we submit for contests every year — for college internals and we do a regional and international one. Both of those were either postponed or canceled altogether. It’s unclear whether we will be able to submit this journal next year. Spindrift has reliably won awards over the years, so not being able to submit this one was a disappointment.

And the Art Editor this year did something a little different where she set up a template and brought in other people from staff to help design layouts … I got to do some of that this year. So, she at once was making it easier and harder on ourselves. Tara Matthews, she did an amazing job; she’s the lone holdover from last year’s issues so she kind of ran the ship.

Q: I have seen that Spindrift is available at Third Place Books now.

TH: We have never had distribution outside of the school before, so the arrangement that we have with Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, that’s new. We finally got set up with an online storefront as well, which is also brand new.

Q: It seems like a lot of the changes and how you’ve adapted to the pandemic situation turned out to be for the best.

We had to branch out. Before, it was only available in the Shoreline bookstore and then last year a company called Follett took over that store — they actually took our books out of their system. So we had no way at all to sell.

We were kind of nervous about launching this book, because we couldn’t do a launch party like we normally would in person and we didn’t know how to get copies into people’s hands. So it drove all of these things to happen that really needed to happen anyway. 

Q: How do you think your process will change throughout this year?

TH: In some ways it’s going to be more challenging. I’m the only holdover from last year. I think trying to assemble a team will be a little more difficult. We are starting that process right away.

We want to hire a marketing manager first — as soon as possible — and then in late fall quarter/early winter, we’ll be hiring an Art/Layout Editor and a Literary Editor.

DISCLOSURE: Ebbtide Editor-in-Chief Nova Clark and Visuals Editor Erin Krogh have made creative contributions to Spindrift.