Semester One Update, Fall 2017

BatCat Press – Semester One Update

It’s 2018 and BatCat is looking forward to another eventful spring. But first, we want to take a minute to review our fall semester. We’ve done so many things, new and old, it’s hard to keep track of it all! One thing is for sure, though: both returning and new members of BatCat have a lot to say regarding our progress so far for this year!


“I’m not new on staff anymore so this semester I’ve been able to help out the new members. I find it really cool to almost be put in a leadership position sometimes,” Henry Wahlenmayer, a junior in his second year on BatCat, says. He’s been involved in a lot of projects this year, and he plans on doing even more.  “I want get expand my abilities. I definitely want to get better at formatting [in InDesign].”

Henry, Rachel, and Cierra in a meeting

The year started off as they usually do: making books, reading submissions, and generally getting back into the swing of things. This year, BatCat upgraded to a bigger space and we took no time filling it up with all of our new equipment, including book presses and a Line-O-Scribe printing press. We also had five new members at the beginning of the year, so we spent some time teaching them all about BatCat, showing them everything from book binding to printing and more.


Sarah Bett, a senior in her third year on BatCat, said, “We’ve improved a lot over the years. It’s been difficult having a staff that’s half new members but I think we’ve come a long way this semester.”


Our first event of the semester was the Beaver Book Fest, on September 9 in Beaver Park. We had our “Design-a-Pin” station and, for the first time, a journal-making station for kids and teens alike. At the start of December, we participated in our seventh Handmade Arcade, and this was one of our most successful years yet! We had a great time participating as both a vendor and a table in the Hands-On Handmade section.

A lot of this first semester has been about learning new things and making decisions. We’ve learned new techniques and modes for printing and binding books, but talking about BatCat as a business has been just as important. We’ve been making decisions about what we want for BatCat Press, both in the next semester and far into the future. “Personally, I want to learn how to use the new press and [also] get through The Bone and the Body reprints,” Sarah said. She has personal goals but she also has goals for the press itself.  “I want BatCat to make more connections with other businesses and established authors.”


As of right now we’re finalizing our decisions for our spring publications and preparing for AWP, an annual conference held by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Our second semester is the action-packed part of the year, starting with the design process for our new titles and ending with those publications finally being released at the annual LAVA Festival at Lincoln Park! There’s a whole semester’s worth of work waiting for us, but we’re certainly looking forward to it. The new semester begins on January 22 – wish us luck!

Our staff at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year!

Written by Alexa Bocek, BatCat Staff. 


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