“The literary arts magazine is a student-made publication displaying the campus’s best collection of poetry, prose, drawings, sketches, paintings, other related artwork, and photography. You do not have to be a writer or an artist in any shape or form. You don’t have to have strong opinions, or know a lot of people, or be athletic, or be a great orator. All I hope is that you possess, no matter how small the quantity, an iota of passion for the arts, a sliver of desire to help artists display their works, a fragment of will to make this world a little more beautiful,” said Chang in an email sent out to those interested in joining the club.
When it comes to getting your work into the magazine, Chang isn’t looking for the next Shakespeare or a Picasso in the making. You don’t have to be a master at your craft nor does it have to be a piece that resides in American History for centuries to come. As long as you are proud of your potential submission and, most importantly, are willing to share it with the world then it’s good enough for Chang.
“This Literary Arts Magazine relies entirely on our fellow students’ submissions. We cannot make a magazine with nothing in it, after all,” said Chang. “There are no limitations on submissions. If we like it enough, we will probably include it.”
With plans to produce a 60 page magazine, your work making the final cut is a possibility. However, in a world where money is an issue and fundraising can only do so much, there are limitations. In an effort to promote diversity both in terms who represents the campus and what pieces they use to present themselves, a single person can have up to four works published with a maximum of three written or three visual pieces.
“This encourages branching out into different media for the artists and authors, giving them an appreciation for “the other side,” so to speak,” said Chang.
These limitations also affect how many magazines can be published a year, limiting the number to just one in the spring. However, this isn’t only a matter of money. Chang is committed to delivering the best quality he can and that takes time.
“Getting the magazine formatted often takes a month or two by itself! Printing can take 3-4 weeks as well. Plus we need to gather and critique all the submissions as well. Releasing two publications would be pushing it, and releasing any more is impossible!”
The knowledge of the time it takes to put together a magazine of this size and quality and the foresight to impose a limit on how much can be published comes from experience which Chang has because this isn’t his first time tackling a project like this.
“I discovered the wonders of the Literary Magazine during my junior year in high school. After joining the club and submitting a poem, I was hooked. During senior year in high school, I was promoted to the editorial board, which finalized our magazine. The moment the magazine released was one of the proudest moments in my life. I knew I wanted to keep on making a similar publication, and starting this club seemed the best way to do it!”
Though before he can worry about putting the magazine together he has to worry about getting the club together and one of the first orders of business was recruiting Dr. Maggie Froehlich to be the adviser of the club.
“I was thrilled to be asked to serve as faculty adviser for the literary magazine. It’s an honor to be invited by students to work with their organization in such a capacity,” said Dr. Froehlich. “As someone who teaches in the Professional Writing minor at Penn State Hazleton, I’m delighted to see such a culture of writing develop on our campus.”
Since first arriving at the Hazleton campus in 2008, Dr. Froehlich hasn’t ever seen anything quite like this, but it doesn’t mean she won’t have anything to offer in terms of experience and wisdom.
“As an undergraduate, I was Arts & Entertainment Editor of The Anchor, Rhode Island College’s weekly newspaper, and as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Mississippi I served as faculty advisor to a new club, Lucien’s Library, a comics club, the founders of which have gone on to publish their own comics, zines, and websites.”
Despite having all of this experience, Dr. Froehlich has no intentions of doing all of the work as she believes it’s up to the students to make this magazine work and be successful. She is, however, more than willing to assist in making the first issue be the best it can be so that the proper precedent can be set for the magazines that follow.
“As an adviser to the literary magazine, I bring a familiarity with the campus and with University policies and can provide some continuity to the organization, as student leaders move on to other campuses or graduate from the University — and, perhaps most importantly, a deep commitment to the organization’s success,” said Dr. Froehlich.
In order to be successful this club would like members with at least a 2.0 GPA to help sift through the piles of submissions with unbiased minds, put it together and then distribute it hoping that students will bite at the tempting price of free. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “PSU Literary Arts Magazine” in the subject line, and Chang will get back to you.
Or if you’re handy with a camera, good with the written word or are proud of your visual works, then the magazine is happy to accept what you have to offer. Dr. Froehlich doesn’t believe the magazine will die as an idea, and she offers advice that Chang would be wise to follow.
“Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! Work with other student organizations to sponsor events and publicize yourselves; support other clubs and publications and they will support you!,” said Dr. Froehlich. “Talk to professors early and often so that they are aware of your publication and can encourage their students to submit relevant writing. Encourage everyone — faculty, staff, students, alumni — to submit. I think the timing is right — and I believe the literary magazine will be a huge success.”