By Emma Billig
It was during the spring semester of 2015, while taking an honors class with Dr. Robert Reynolds, that I first heard about Arcadia Publishing. Dr. Reynolds’ Local and Community Studies class consisted of just seven students, including co-author of the book, Kayla, and myself.
The object of the class was to create a final project that was related to KU’s history. Following the suggestion of Dr. Reynolds, Kayla and I decided to get in contact with Arcadia about writing a book on KU for their campus history series. We wrote and sent a proposal to Arcadia, along with 20 sample images and captions. It was not long before we received the OK to complete the book.
It took two more consecutive semesters of independent studies with Dr. Reynolds in the fall semester of 2015 and the spring semester of 2016, and most of our winter break for the “Kutztown University” book to come to fruition.
During that time, we spent long hours in the archives of KU gathering photos and information, writing captions, emailing professors and watching the days count down to the book’s due date. A critical portion
of our success was in part to Jason Graver, KU alumnus, who provided us with ample photographs and information.
This February, we sent the final manuscript to Arcadia and our book “Kutztown University” was released August 29.
“Kutztown University” is my first professionally published work, but it is definitely not my first work of writing. I grew to love writing while being homeschooled by my mom. Every week, one of my favorite activities was responding to prompts that I was given.
My first official story was a half page story that I wrote with my cousin, and then in eighth grade, my English teacher, Ms. Evans, encouraged me to pursue my writing after she read my short story, “The Healer.”
Good friends of mine have also supported my writing by requesting me to send them other short stories of mine, and one of them have even gone to the extent of illustrating a story.
Now that “Kutztown University” has officially been published, Kayla and I have plans to work on a children’s book together as well, which we we’d love to see in print one day.