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Inside The Inkwell

Poetry Editor Aarti Mukhedkar, a second year English Literature and History student, tells us what it's like to be involved in the PublishED society.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of student life, but not the output of creative writing and arts magazine The Inkwell.

Photo of Aarti
Aarti is a second year student of English Literature and History and Poetry Editor at The Inkwell

Founded in 2009, the bi-annual magazine is produced by PublishED, the society for publishing at the University of Edinburgh which showcases the literary talent of our students.

Over the course of 2020, PublishED released two new editions of The Inkwell, as well as hosting online readings, open mic nights, and writing workshops.

In advance of the next edition of The Inkwell on the theme of liminality (submissions for which are invited up to 15th February), we spoke to Aarti Mukhedkar, a second year English Literature and History student and the magazine's current Poetry Editor.

Keeping a society alive

Asked about editing a magazine in a pandemic, Aarti says “The last year has been a year of challenges. As a team, we’ve really pushed ourselves to create not only a magazine we and our contributors are proud of, but also to keep the environment of an interactive and passionate society alive”.  

“We typically receive a large amount of brilliant submissions and it is challenging to select a few pieces for The Inkwell. Through the editorial process, I have learnt about how versatile literature can be, and just how creative writers can get”. 

“Our writers take a single word, and create art out of it, and it is truly a privilege to be able to read the work from such a diverse student community; each writer expressing themselves with their own unique literary or artistic identity.”

“Teamwork and organisation have been important skills I have learnt in terms of productivity, but I have also learnt a lot about the creative side of literature, the fun that comes with it and the importance of innovation that The Inkwell demands.” 

Staying inspired and curious

Aarti was drawn to Edinburgh by its status as a UNESCO World City of Literature, but says that “more than that, it is a place where culture, literature and history coalesce and students at the University have the privilege of being surrounded by this rich coexistence”.  

“One of the best things about studying English Literature here is that academic study is only part of the whole experience. The extracurriculars, such as my position at The Inkwell, add so much.” 

“Learning about writing, editing, and the process of publishing has given me the chance to interact with literature outside of the rigour of academia. It has given me a taste of what the publishing industry is like, and a feel of what it is to work as a team to achieve something great.” 

“Finally, to be part of a society with people from all over the world, studying different things, all coming together for their love for literature and art has been an inspiring environment for me to grow and learn as a student at Edinburgh.” 

The city, apart from its obvious beauty, is rich with landmarks that symbolise the abundance of culture and history present in Edinburgh. Both disciplines [of my joint degree] interact with each other in curious ways. This interaction is something that always keeps you thinking and asking questions

Aarti Mukhedkar, Year 2, English Literature and History MA (Hons)Poetry Editor, The Inkwell, 2020-2021

PublishED is accepting submissions of poetry, prose and art work (including photography) on the theme of liminality for the Semester Two issue of The Inkwell until midnight on Monday 15th February 2021. 

Find out more about submitting to The Inkwell on PublishED's Facebook page

Are you interested in studying literature at Edinburgh?

You can take a single honours MA programme in either English Literature or Scottish Literature, combine both in a joint honours programme, or take either with one of a wide range of other subjects, including History, English Language, and a number of European languages. We also offer taught and research-led postgraduate programmes in Scottish Literature, English Literature and Creative Writing.

Find out more about undergraduate study in English and Scottish Literature

Find out more about postgraduate study in English and Scottish Literature

Related links

University of Edinburgh Writing Prizes │ deadline 31st March 2021