Students gain publishing opportunities with ‘The Odyssey’

By Natasha Muhametzyanova, Contributing Writer

Have you heard of The Odyssey? Chances are you shared few articles from this online publication on social media. The good news is that now you can also write for it.

The Odyssey online, not to be confused with Homer’s Odyssey, is a rather young student news source. Launched in 2014, The Odyssey currently has more than 700 communities, and West Liberty University is now one of them.

Megan Jones, who is a junior majoring in advertising and two journalism students, Josh Smith and Maria Kimble brought The Odyssey to WLU in April 2016.

“I got very interested in bringing this publication to our campus because I like the content that Odyssey produces. I think it’s a really good way to get your voice heard,” said co-editor for WLU Odyssey Kimble. 

“It’s weird but I didn’t know a lot about Odyssey because I don’t use social media much. Several weeks ago Megan reached out to me on Facebook and asked if I was interested in coordinating the Odyssey at WLU,” said Smith who is now an editor-in-chief for WLU Odyssey.

“At first I was a little concerned that I will not have time to manage the publication. I applied just to be a writer, not an editor, but it turned out really well. We already have 20 writers, and I’m sure we will have even more next semester,” added Smith.  

Smith’s first week as the editor-in-chief was rough. To get things started he had to find 12 writers who could provide the content for publishing in less than a week. The launch day was set for April 4. By March 30 only four students were accepted as writers. The editor team needed to find eight more writers in two days.

“That first week was horrible. I kept asking myself how it’s all going to work out,” said Smith. “I was afraid that I would have to push the publishing date to another week, and eventually writers could just lose their interest,” added he.

Call it luck or Smith’s effective social media skills but within that first crucial weekend The Odyssey at WLU welcomed eight new writers and continued to grow. According to Smith, WLU Chapter is currently one of the biggest Odyssey communities across the U.S. competing in numbers with colleges ten times bigger than WLU.

After all the challenges were behind, The Odyssey at WLU surprised everyone with the high readership. By the end of the first week an article 10 Struggles of a West Liberty Student written by Katherine Mallory had over 2000 shares.  

Just few weeks after the first publication, WLU chapter of The Odyssey covered an immense number of topics from current events and politics to relationships and college life.

Smith is looking forward to the next semester as he expects The Odyssey to become a more permanent fixture on cmapus. “In the fall The Odyssey at WLU will become an official on campus organization. We are going to have meetings once or twice a month. I am also planning to organize some fun events open for everyone on our campus,” said Smith.

Though this semester is almost over The Odyssey continues to recruit content creators. Regardless of major, any WLU student can become a writer. If you want to share your ideas with the world, consider writing for The Odyssey. To apply, simply go here