Literary Magazine offers unique literary opportunity


Photo by Benjamin McHenry.

Junior Jackson Baumgartner reads a poem from last year’s Literary Magazine during study hall on March 14.

Literary Magazine allows students to work behind the scenes of the writing process. Rather than writing pieces themselves, they accept submissions from creative writing classes and edit them; then publish the best pieces at the end of the year in the Literary Magazine. President junior Tori Kalman found that Literary Magazine offered a unique experience that went beyond just writing her own pieces.

“I like writing, but I did not necessarily want to be in a creative writing club where you write all of the pieces,” Kalman said. “Lit Mag is a good way to see great writing get published and writing actually going places, and it provides exposure to students that they otherwise may not get.”

Literary Magazine specializes in memoirs, short stories, poems and photography created by students, all of which are presented in the magazine at the end of the year. Pieces are often presented with the author’s name, but some of them are presented anonymously, as they delve into a multitude of emotional topics such as personal struggles or someone they care for.

One anonymously written poem, titled “Swirls on Math Notes,” describes their confusing feelings for someone they like, and how this person leaves their “mouth hurt from smiling” and drawing “swirls over and over again on my math notes.”

Students with any number of interests may feel at home as part of the Literary Magazine, according to advisor Christina Oehler.

“If you are interested in publications, communications, writing and editing, then you gain a lot of skills in those areas that can be really helpful beyond just this club,” Oehler said.

Furthermore, helping these students get their pieces published for the rest of the school to see is something that the staff takes great pride in, according to Oehler.

“Being able to help get student voices out there is really cool because it means a lot more to these kids, rather than just turning it in, getting a grade and having it disappear,” Oehler said.

Submitting pieces to the literary magazine can be an effective way to sharpen one’s writing skills and gain greater insight into what makes writing noteworthy. When pieces are submitted they undergo multiple stages of editing and may be sent back to the student with advice on what the staff feels should be changed to improve the piece. This can expand the writing capabilities of the magazine staff as well.

“I see a lot of writing, and I learn a lot from it, both the good and the bad,” Kalman said. “Also, having learned how to edit stuff properly has really helped with my own writing.”

In previous years, the works have been published as a physical magazine at the end of the year. The problem with this, according to Kalman, is that without ordering the book, there is really no way to see these pieces. To combat this, they are switching to a digital format that will ideally be available through Canvas, so this way any student who wants to can view the magazine. Furthermore, according to Kalman, the staff is focused on making people more aware of the Literary Magazine, because it is not something many students are aware of.

For those interested in Literary Magazine or who want more information, they meet every Wednesday in room B210.