Portals is Cape Fear Community College’s literary and arts journal, featuring poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and two-dimensional visual art. Literary and art submissions are open to our students, faculty, and staff at CFCC. Additionally, literary submissions are now open to all NC undergraduate college students. CFCC’S English faculty and student editors work together to create and design the magazine, process and select the submissions, and practice editing and publishing.
The editors of Portals believe that the arts uplift, educate, and create meaning in our lives. We believe in the tapestry of diverse voices and visions that creates a community, and at the heart of community is sharing. We also seek to enhance North Carolinians’ lives by having free access to a quality literary and arts magazine while continuing CFCC’s reputation as a student-focused, academic institution with an emphasis on quality writing and creative expression.
Portals has long been a part of Cape Fear Community College culture, bringing together faculty, students, and staff to celebrate the arts every year as spring blossoms. Portals began as many artistic inspirations do, with a hand-stapled handout of student scribbles and in the spring of 2004, it became a printed and curated magazine featuring student work. Portals has been printed and celebrated every spring since. Over the years, it expanded its reach and opened submissions to the faculty and staff. The last printed version was circulated and mailed in the spring of 2020, as the world folded in on itself to adjust to a global pandemic. Today, we have transitioned the magazine to a digital format while inviting other North Carolina college students to submit their literary work. The English Department at CFCC enjoys coordinating with the Fine Arts department to bring fresh voices and new perspectives to North Carolina, and we are extremely proud of our students and their work yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Student Editor: Shelby Brown is a second-year student at CFCC. After transferring to UNCW, she intends to get her B.F.A. in Creative Writing and work as a novelist and author. Since childhood, she’s enjoyed reading, analyzing, and writing stories. Although limited in professional experience, she’s written countless stories and is currently working on her first novel.
Student Editor: Alyssa Caison is a dual enrolled student at Cape Fear Community and Pender Early College High School in Burgaw, NC. She plans to graduate with her high school diploma and A.A. in 2024. After graduation, she plans to transfer to UNCW to pursue her Bachelor's Degree in psychology. Alyssa has always had a passion for literature and the arts. Alyssa has no prior experience editing, but she is excited to gain experience. She enjoys baking, music, and fast cars in her free time.
Student Editor: Madeline Eckler is a dual-enrolled student at Cape Fear Community College and Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. She plans to graduate in 2022 with her high school diploma and A.A. after graduation, she will continue her education for two years at Appalachian State University, working towards her B.A. in literary studies. Her experience in writing includes her blog, and Instagram, MaeveReads. She continues to expand her portfolio, hoping to work as a creative director in the future.
Student Editor: Mia Kelly is a second-year CFCC student pursuing an Associate in Arts degree. She plans on transferring to UNCW to complete her education. Mia has always loved writing, with a focus on poetry. She enjoys learning and reading about classic literature, plays, and poetry. Mia especially appreciates all kinds of music as well. She hopes to gain experience as a first-time editor and inspire others to write creatively.
Student Editor: Kara Laymon is a dual-enrolled student at CFCC. She plans on transferring to UNCW in the Fall of 2023 to obtain a B.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies. After that, she aspires to enter the world of publishing, where she hopes to help writers and authors achieve their loftiest goals. Kara has loved reading for longer than she can remember. Like most young bookworms, she started with picture books, but her taste has evolved into a fondness for hefty fantasy novels and nail-biting thrillers. She has been writing stories since before she could use a pencil well, and now, she writes a little bit of everything: poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, and short stories.
Student Editor: Adam Pridgen is a first-year student at CFCC looking to obtain a bachelor's degree in English. He was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. When he was younger, he used to love to read epic book series such as Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Kane Chronicles, and Maximum Ride. As Adam got older, he began to develop a love for writing, as well as writing comics with stick figures. As of today, he’s experienced a rebirth within literature and wants to explore all possible writing avenues, including editing. Adam has no prior experience editing but is eager to learn and master the craft. When he’s not writing or reading, Adam is playing video games or watching his favorite show, The Walking Dead.
Student Editor: Jamie Leigh Royal is currently a sophomore at Cape Fear Community College where she plans on graduating in May 2023 with an Associate in Arts. After which, she will be transferring over to UNCW, where she will receive her Bachelor's degree in Professional Writing with a Minor in Pre-Law. Jamie plans on using her degree within the literary world as well as writing her own series of books and helping to connect with readers and the community.
Faculty Editor: Bridget Floyd holds a B.S. in Communication with a concentration in broadcast production and M.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing, both from East Carolina University. She has been a faculty member at CFCC for seventeen years and has taught a variety of courses in literature, composition, and creative writing. Bridget is currently working on multiple short fiction and nonfiction pieces, as well as a novel.
Faculty Editor: Rhonda Franklin holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has been an English instructor at CFCC for over 20 years.
Faculty Editor: Dylan Patterson holds a B.A. in literature from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.F.A. in creative writing with a concentration in fiction from Naropa University. He has been on the faculty of CFCC for over twenty years and has taught courses in creative writing, literature, and composition. He has written and directed several independent films including American Primitive and Anhedonia. He writes a regular column for WILMA magazine and is currently at work on his second novel for young readers. He is a co-founder of Theatre for All, a theatre arts program for young adult actors with disabilities.
Faculty Editor: Lesley Richardson holds an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a certificate in Multicultural and Transnational Literature from East Carolina University. Her M.F.A. thesis was awarded a Pass with Distinction, a first-time award. She taught at Coastal Carolina Community College for eight years, and she is in her eleventh year of teaching at Cape Fear Community College. Her publications are included in the following literary magazines and journals: Coal City Review, Flint Hills Review, The Asheville Poetry Review, California Quarterly, and Main Street Rag among others. She is currently working on a novel and a book of poetry.
Managing Editor: Margo Williams holds an M.F.A. in writing, literature and publishing from Emerson College. Prior to graduate school, she acquired a B.A. in English from North Carolina Central University. While living in Boston, she studied playwriting and set design at Harvard and interned at The Atlantic Monthly Magazine. She has been teaching at CFCC for twenty-four years. Her publications are included in an anthology (The Big Picture) and literary magazines: Glimmer Train, Prick of the Spindle, Moonshine Review, Southeast Review, Beacon Street Review, O: J&L and more. She is a produced playwright (2008-Snake Oil) which premiered at Brown Coat Theater. Margo has served as an artist in residence at Elsewhere Studios in Colorado and Hambidge Center in Georgia. Her poems have been created into performance pieces at Arts Poetica and Blue Sage Center. Her work has also been exhibited at the Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum during the She Tells a Story exhibition. (2016) A volume of flash fiction, “Falling in Love Like Little Girls Fall in Love,” based on Carolyn Demeritt's black and white photo series When I Was Little I Thought I Could Fly exhibited at Wilma Daniel's Art Gallery at Cape Fear Community College. (Fall 2021). Currently, she is working on a novel.