Arts & Culture

Ethan Palm and his Winning Story with Writ

By Celina Simmons
For those of who that aren’t aware, the Writ Journal is a small literary/art publication put out by SMCC. It is made up of a collection of student works such as short stories, poetry, and artwork. Ethan Palm, a former student of SMCC, found his way into Writ after taking a creative writing course with Jefferson Navicky and one of Ethan’s submissions happened to catch some people’s eyes.



Ethan sent in a couple pieces of his own to the Writ Journal in 2017 and in the following year the CCHA, or Community College Humanities Association, awarded him with second place in the 2017 Literary Magazine Competition, Short Stories – Eastern Region division. CCHA is a one of a kind national organization with a goal of “preserving and strengthening the humanities in two-year colleges.” They accept self-submissions for literary magazines and other student humanities work from community colleges across the country.
The short story he was awarded for is called “Ghost Fishing” which was inspired by the actual term, ghost fishing. Ghost fishing is when fishing equipment gets lost in the water and continues to catch fish and other creatures but Ethan saw it as a perfect metaphor for emotional baggage. Essentially, it’s about a man who has recently left something and goes on a journey to find that missing piece, carrying this sense of loss that keeps coming back.
Ethan’s career in writing began in highschool where he would create his own comic books. During this time, he took a creative writing program over the summer at a university that focused on trying new ways of writing. This program had a strong influence on Ethan and gave him that push to take his writings more seriously. Through his continuation of writing in the following years, he found his passion.
His message for students that are interested in taking writing seriously, to look into the Writ Journal here at SMCC, “It’s a great way to push yourself as a writer and there is a lot of fulfillment seeing something you’ve written printed.” You can find copies floating around on campus or within the city of Portland. If you feel nervous or anxious about getting your work out to the public, this is the perfect first step!
For more information on the Writ Journal, you can contact Gerard Zarrilli at

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