On Making Chapbooks, by Frances

Every year, creative writing seniors complete their senior theses—long, personal writing projects of any genre that seniors have several months to write, edit, and turn in. This year, unlike other years, most of my senior class bound our theses into self-designed chapbooks.
This meant that after we had finished the long and painful process of writing and editing our manuscripts, we all began a new process; that of imagining and creating what the text would actually look like. Though this was daunting at first, I finally found it comforting; there was something nice about taking care of text that was so worked-on and precious, like building a nest for hatching eggs.
After having bound my books, I find it strange to me that bookbinding is not a regular part of the writing process. There are no words involved, but binding is similarly creative, and has the similar goals of attempting to tell a story in the best and most fitting way possible.
Hand-bound chapbooks are valuable because they are personal. Also, because they tell no other stories; there is no prestige in this kind of self-publishing, only care. When I bound my chapbooks, I felt like I was telling the world, and myself, that I was proud of my work. I hope future seniors find similar comfort in creating their final theses.

One thought on “On Making Chapbooks, by Frances

  1. Kathy Barr says:


    How wonderful to know how much you enjoyed the binding process and its integral part in the completion of your senior writing thesis.

    Kathy Barr

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