There aren’t many publications out there where a submission with the word “BRICK” written 74 times and the word “gum” smacked in the middle would be considered a deep, insightful piece.
But entries like that are just what Lorien Mattiacci was looking for when she spearheaded her book project, “75 On 75”.
The book is more or less what it sounds like, featuring short stories, poems and artwork from 75 UT students, staff and professors, focusing on the unique experiences they’ve had during their time at UT.
The only guideline? The writer’s submission must be 75 words – no more, no less and not counting the title and the author’s name.
“I was originally looking for something to do to for a tutorial for my Journalism II class … we thought there should be something for the 75th, but there are too many ‘some-things’ to make just one project,” Mattiacci recalled. “Initially, Professor McKenzie wanted us to describe a place in 150 words. Then we got the idea that since it was the 75th, it should be 75 words. Then we thought why not 75 written pieces?”
Thus “75 On 75” was conceptualized.
According to Mattiacci, the 75 writings have ranged from what inspired them to come to UT, connections and friends to favorite staff members and teachers.
Some even compared laundry room vending machines to giants.
“I like the poetic ones,” Mattiacci said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a vivid description of a person, a place or an idea.”
Of course, not every submission made the cut.
According to the informational e-mail, submissions needed to capture “a University past moment that will never die,” as the writers saw it, and which also illustrated an individual experience.
In between reading and selecting submissions, Mattiacci and her group had to deal with some bumps.
“Time was our biggest obstacle. To get the price we wanted for production, we had to get the book out this semester,” Mattiacci reflected. “We would have really liked to do it after break, when we could have gotten more help and dealt with fewer finals.”
The book itself will be soft cover and will be available April 14, 2007 with each of the 4,000 copies slated for production will sell for $14.75.
Contributors whose work was published in the book will be notified by Feb. 14, 2007 and will also receive a free copy of the book.