Are you brave? Do you care about your community and want to make positive change? Dean College BRAVE club needs your help. We are committed to educating students and supporting survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. BRAVE meets every Tuesday at 4 pm on Teams to plan events and outreach programs. Join us! Email Brave President Mica L. Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org and make a lasting difference in your community.
A 2020 Halloween
Open to a busy neighborhood street on Halloween night. Kids in various costumes running around and approaching houses.
Medium close-up on small group of kids knocking on someone's door.
Resident opens the door dressed as the COVID virus. Kids shout and run off.
Cut to street again. Same group of kids run into teens dressed as Murder Hornets, scream louder and turn to run again.
Cut back to the street where a group of people wearing rubber Trump and Biden masks and carrying political posters are approaching the kids. Kids scream even louder and scatter in all directions.
Wide Cut to COVID, Murder Hornets, and Political Group merging into one group and slowly shuffling like zombies after the groups of kids.
SFX: sounds of kids laughing and chattering, doorbells ringing.
SFX: Door creaking open
SOT: Kids shouting
SFX: Hornets buzzing, Kids screaming
SOT: Political babble, “Make America Great Again!” “C’mon folks, vote blue!” etc.
SOT: Kids screaming louder.
VO: “Halloween looks a little different this year. Trick-or-Treat responsibly!”
Campus-Wide Scavenger Hunt to Take Place Next Semester. Prizes In Store for Several Lucky Winners.
Who: Wrote, Unquote, Dean College’s student-run literary and art magazine, is hosting a contest for students.
What: The Scavenger Hunt will consist of several colorful feathers hidden throughout the campus buildings. Complete the literary/artistic task described on the attached scroll and post it to Instagram with #WUthegreathunt. Don’t forget to tag our page @wrote_unquote_litmag. Prizes will be awarded to 3 players: The first to complete all of the tasks, the person who completes them with the most creativity, and the first to find the bonus golden feather. Prizes will consist of gift cards and boomers bucks. Winners will also be posted to our Instagram and website.
When/Where: The Hunt will take place from February 1st to February 10th and winners will be announced the following weekend. The feathers can be found in any public area in the main campus buildings. Feathers will not be hidden in dorms, bathrooms, or individual classrooms.
Mica Rich (email@example.com)
For more info on the contest see the events page on our website https://www.wroteunquotelitmag.com/.
We are always open for general submissions! If you have a poem, short story, photo/digital art piece, or short nonfiction piece, send them our way to be published on our website. Submission guidelines can be found on our website.
Wrote, Unquote to Host Literary Scavenger Hunt:
The students of Wrote, Unquote, Dean College's literary magazine, have announced a contest that has the whole school buzzing. The Great Literary Egg Hunt will take place in the first week of April 2021 and winners will be announced the following week. Players have a chance to win prizes that include Boomers Bucks and gift cards to local restaurants. Club members have already been spotted hiding their familiar colorful feathers throughout the campus center and library. Students will scour the campus to find as many feathers as they can and complete the tasks on the attached scrolls. To win, students must post a picture of their completed task to Instagram with #WUthegreathunt and tag @wrote_unquote_litmag to be seen.
Wrote, Unquote is gaining popularity on campus with other successful events, such as the Anti-Valentines day Poetry Event hosted in tandem with the library, and the Halloween Spooky Stories collaborative workshop that had attendees shaking in their boots. (Though that might have been from the sugar overload.) The magazine's interactive website hosts its first collection of poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction. The next edition of Wrote, Unquote is due to drop at the end of the spring semester and this time they hope to include a page for digital art. The team is hungrily searching for new content and submissions are always open.
For more info on the submission process or future events, check out:
Want to know how to join the team?
Contact President and Editor Mica Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coffee and Books: A Clever Combo
Bookstores and libraries have been a hub for curious, literary-minded people for generations. I used to spend hours lost in stories, lounging in bean bags in reading rooms, or crouching by shelves, so absorbed by the book in my hands that I couldn’t feel my knees aching. But this voracious need to consume stories has dropped significantly over the years. With the invention of Amazon, Kindle, and other e-readers, nudging past distracted shoppers to get to the new releases is at risk of becoming a thing of the past. Bookstores are struggling to keep up with the ease and convenience of ordering and reading books online. This is especially troublesome for smaller, locally-owned bookstores, which were already struggling to keep their place among the big box stores. According to an article in the Open Education Database, over 1000 book stores were permanently closed in the first seven years of the century. This included many locations of chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders. For independent bookstores, the problem is even more severe. The same article states that Between 2002 and 2011, the number of independent bookstores in the U.S. dropped from 2400 to 1900. Despite these startling numbers, surveyors are confident that this does not mean total annihilation of our beloved local stores.
A common denominator between the stores left standing has been adaptability. Bookstores have begun offering other experiences to draw in would-be readers and hold their interest. One of these additions that almost seems like a no-brainer is brewing coffee. What better remedy for a late-night or early morning reading session than the warm, sweet taste of caffeine? And who doesn’t love walking into a room that smells of freshly ground beans and sugar? Barnes & Noble has been on the right track for a while, their stores often containing a small, Starbucks-sponsored cafe where customers can snack while they disappear into worlds of fiction. To get an idea of how some smaller independent stores do it, I visited two Bookshop Cafes in the New England area.
If you’re from Massachusetts, you may have heard of An Unlikely Story in Plainville. If you haven’t, you’ve almost certainly heard of the hit kids book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This adorable bookstore and Cafe, founded and run by Wimpy Kid writer Jeff Kinney and his wife Julie is a community cornerstone of the town. According to their website, the building used to be the site of the Historic Faulk’s Market, which acted as the nerve center of the town. The mission of Jeff and Julie Kinney upon opening the bookstore in its place was to restore that community feeling. The space directly above the store, cleverly dubbed “The Second Story,” is a community event space that hosts readings, yoga, wine tastings, family game nights, and more. The bookstore portion itself is laid out in a way that takes the customer in a loop past the fiction and mystery, through the autobiography, around the music section and the kids’ corner, and finally towards a whole side filled with literary-themed puzzles, mugs, games, and quirky socks. It contains everything a bookworm might need for a cozy day in. The warm light from the strings of bulbs circling the ceiling and the polished wood floors creates a classic, friendly environment that begs you to come back. The adorable coffee bar fixed with old favorites and original drinks is situated perfectly beside the door for you to grab a sweet treat on your way out. The overall feeling you will leave with is a warmth and youthful excitement that can’t be duplicated.
A couple hours’ drive north, Crackskull’s Coffee and Books rests along the quirky Main Street Strip in Newmarket, N.H. The part used book store, part specialty coffee shop is a beloved staple of Newmarket and the surrounding towns. It is the only coffee shop in its area that offers a range of CBD products and extract that can be added to your drink to contribute to the soothing, casual atmosphere. The walls around the bookshelves and cafe tables are a hodgepodge of vintage collectibles, unique decorations, and local art which the owner helps the artists to sell. In addition to their fascinating collection of used books, the store also sells postcards and other kinds of artistic knick-knacks from local artists, tie-dyed sweatshirts and kitschy t-shirts, CDs, and boxes full of old vinyls you could flip through for hours. You never know what treasures you’ll stumble across. In an interview with the owner, Michelle, Lesmerises, she shared her current favorite item in the shop, Encyclopedie de la Couture, a french crafting book with beautiful vintage photography.
Crackskull’s has also become a center for a handful of educational and community outreach events, including many Black Lives Matter protests during the summer of 2020, Hemp 101 info nights, and a monthly “Poetry, Prose, and Popsicles” event where local writers come together to share and workshop their pieces. When asked what Michelle values most about running a local business she answered: “Forming and fostering community relationships are probably the most important part of owning a small coffee shop… Witnessing friendships being formed, first dates happening, making new friends constantly… these are the reasons I am still here. (Also getting to be the first person to check out incoming books is the absolute best.)” I certainly can’t argue with that. This sentiment really sums up the essential aspect of any small business: getting to know customers on a more personal level.
In order to stay ahead of the other chain retailers in the area, these independent stores have to offer something that you can’t get at any big box store. For Michelle and Crackskull’s, that unique thing is the feeling you come away with. She says “I always want people to leave feeling that they were welcome here, that they made a personal connection while they were being served, that we actually care about them as humans and not as dollar signs.” Any business can say this, and many do, but how many actually follow through? At Crackskull’s this sentiment is one you can see and feel as soon as you walk through the door. You can see it in the local art for sale on the walls, and on the table filled with CD’s and merch from local musicians. You can feel it in the way the employees greet you by name and remember your coffee order, and from the sweet and inspiring notes that they write on the lids. It is apparent from the moment you step into the room that what this cozy little shop on the corner is providing is not just coffee, it’s a community. It’s a sense of home. These are the things that retailers like Amazon, and other large chains and e-book sellers will never be able to accomplish and is the reason these independent stores and their marvelous communities can never be allowed to die.
Theater Review: Romeo and Juliet at The Globe
February 13, 2021
I wanted to hate this play. How many times has this over-dramatic tragedy been done, and overdone, and re-done, and parodied? As an adult, one can take issues with the story for reasons such as glorifying suicide or encouraging the immature notion of love at first sight and taking unnecessary risks for someone you barely know. But, as it turns out, I have very few negative things to say about this performance at all.
This play, directed by Michael Oakley, premiered on youtube in September of 2020 and is free to watch until March of 2021. The description beneath the video describes it as a “Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production created especially for young people,” and in the best possible way, this is exactly what it was.
Scholars often hold Shakespeare’s work in high regard, considering it a literary feat, the poetic lines to be analyzed by only the most intellectual among us. But true fans know this was never the Bard’s intent. The lofty language can be off-putting to today’s youth, feeling a bit like a tongue twister to read, but Nathan Welsh and Charlotte Beaumont play an energetic, captivating, and relatable pair as the leading couple that draws an audience of all ages into the show and leaves no question about what is going on. The wonderful acting, accompanied by modern costuming and props, also helped bring the story into the “now,” giving it a comfortable, familiar feel. I was particularly impressed by the stage direction. While the set was minimal, which is traditional of The Globe, the cast acted with their whole bodies and made use of the entire stage in each scene. It was nearly impossible to tear my eyes away. The most notable performances came from Juliet’s Nurse, played by Debbie Chazen, and Mercutio, played by Ned Darrington. The frenetic energy of these two actors added so much life to the show. Chazen’s performance made us laugh with her larger-than-life facial expressions and inflection. She endeared us with how much she cared for Juliet’s happiness and the encouragement of her wild whims. Darrington made us shake our heads and chuckle with his quick tongue and his running about, touching every piece of set and most of the other actors as he played the upbeat counter to Romeo’s dramatic teen angst. I particularly enjoyed his use of the drumsticks as props. Though we never see them used on an actual drum, it hints at more depth to his character, giving him a quirk relatable to the wild boys in today’s beloved teen movies and adding to the visual excitement of his acting.
As I said at the beginning of this review, I wanted to hate the play. I came into it with a bias as an adult who has both seen and been through enough dramatic love stories to find this kind of plot trite, lackluster, and unrealistic. But instead, I was completely enthralled. Instead, the actors made me feel like a teen again myself, remembering just how intense and all-consuming that kind of new attraction was. This cast and crew managed to take an overplayed tragedy and turn it into a fresh, poignant, almost-comedy celebrating the rollercoaster of emotion that is young love.
Though it is not and can never truly be made a comedy, as the play’s ending reminds us. One emotional line in the final act sums up why. In response to the two families grieving over their children, the Prince says to them: “See what a scourge is laid upon your hate, that heaven finds means to kill your joys with love! And I, for winking at you, discords too, have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punish'd,” People have often assumed bitterly (myself included) that the lesson this play means to teach is about the foolishness of “love at first sight,” or teenagers taking it too far. But this line goes to show that that isn’t entirely true. More importantly, this play outlines the dangers of blind hatred and pride. The Capulets and Montagues hate each other so much, for reasons that are never entirely clear, and because of that two innocent teenagers behaving the way many lovesick teenagers do, felt that they had to go to the extreme of death just to be together. The consequences of being led by hate and pride only result in pain and loss. The true tragedy of this play is that the Montagues and Capulets aren’t able to see that until it’s too late. For this reason, I have left this performance with a newfound respect for the story that I did not have before.