Book lovers unite

Justina Johnson

Photo By shannon rooney

“Reading is cool! A lot of people forget that,” said Justina Johnson, president of CSU, Chico’s new Literary Arts Club. Formerly the Editing Club, the new and improved group has expanded to include any student who loves literature, writing, poetry, journalism, theater, or anything else affiliated with English. Johnson came to Chico as a transfer student a year and a half ago and will graduate in the spring. In addition to heading up the Literary Arts Club, she is student director of EARC (Environmental Action and Resource Center), where she interned last spring, and she’s active in the English Honors Society. An English major who is also completing the Literary Editing and Publishing certificate program, Johnson plans a career in editing or grant-writing. The Literary Arts Club meets Thursday evenings at 5 p.m. in Taylor Hall 107. Johnson can be reached at

Why the name change?

We wanted to do something that would offer a lot of nurturing for all English majors—poets, writers, people interested in theater and writing plays, or really any student. The club was not as appealing as solely an editing club.

Why did you want to become president?

I had some ideas for what I wanted to see happen, and I wanted to connect and network more with my peers.

What are some of the challenges?

It’s interesting trying to find the best way to appeal to the students I’m trying to reach out to. With the name change and the upcoming trips that we’re planning, a lot of students are getting involved and are interested in being a part of the club. Another challenge is finding the time to organize all the ideas I have!

What is the club’s next event?

We’re hosting a fundraising reception on Dec. 17 where people will come dressed as their favorite literary character. That will be our “coming out” party! We’ll have fun and raise money so we can take a trip to the Bay Area where we’ll visit a large publishing house.

What literary character will you go as?

I haven’t decided yet—but I’m considering going as the Witch of Portabello from Paulo Coehlo’s novel.

What else are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to doing events such as book clubs during the extended breaks. I think that will be a fun way to stay connected while everyone is on break. And we hope to take a trip to Ashland to attend the Shakespeare Festival during spring break.