In the middle of the Spring 2020 semester, a select group of students felt the thrill of competing and winning a creative writing competition disappear under the leading edge of a virus that cast its long shadow over the GCC campus and the world. On March 12, 2020, GCC President Dr. Ruiz sent an email that canceled all student activities through March 20, 2020. The recognition ceremony, slated for March 18, 2020, could not compete with the virus, and fell prey to COVID-19 restrictions. Another email from Dr. Ruiz on April 3, 2020 closed the campus until the summer. The recognition dinner planned for April 8, 2020, disappeared under the shadow of the pandemic too. 

Connie Greenwell, Director GCC Student Life & Leadership, organized a student recognition virtual celebration presentation to acknowledge the winners and awardees. Each slide contained the winner’s name, the nominating department, and the award. 

There will be no notifications in February 2021 or ceremonies or dinners on campus. The coronavirus and mandated health restrictions on indoor gatherings that closed in-person classes and school events are the culprits. The annual writing competition and the publication of the Traveler magazine are on hold until Fall 2021.

Jeff Baker, the faculty advisor for the publication and a professor at GCC, said, “the magazine is a collaboration between multiple departments and the layout/production is handled by our art students. In light of the pandemic, there were going to be too many difficulties when handling production–especially from the art side of things.” The Traveler magazine, a creation of Glendale Community College, has published student writing and artistic endeavors since 1968.

When asked about the immediate future of creative writing competition at GCC, Jeff Baker said, “I’m planning two poetry contests as well, both with monetary rewards, but we’ve not decided if there will be any virtual meeting component yet.”

A hi-res PDF version of the 2019-2020 issue of the Traveler, Volume 53 is available on the GCC website.