Have you recently added Creative Writing Workshop to your schedule, perhaps you’ve been writing on your own for some time, or maybe you recently decided that you want to become a maestro of poetry? Well, no matter which of these applies to you, you probably have quite a few short stories, poems, or even works of creative nonfiction that are simply laying around within your files, collecting cyber-dust. To save them from their impending fate, and to possibly give you some pride and help along your creative journey, The Acronym will share with you details on magazines and why you should consider sending one, or perhaps many, of your works into their submission boxes.
The Magazines of IMSA
Most schools and colleges have their own creative writing magazines, normally one which covers the needs of every writer on campus, though IMSA is an exception to this. It plays host to somewhere around 2–3 literary magazines, all of them student founded and run, with whispers for the possibility of even more appearing in the future.
With so many magazines there is often a large hunger for creative work on campus. This allows for little to none competition between submitting writers, especially compared to publications outside of IMSA. Student run magazines are accepting environments made specifically to show off the works of students, amateurs, and those who are still learning and figuring their way around writing. Maybe you don’t love one of your pieces, that doesn’t mean that you should still submit it, it’s most likely better than you think it is.
Since it can be easy to lose the email promotions and submissions announcements for these publications among the torrent of different emails which are sent to students-l each day, I’ve created a small, simple list detailing all three:
- Accepts short stories, poetry, and even personal essays/creative nonfiction
- Published almost every month, though there is a limit to the length and amount of pieces which you can submit
- Has monthly themes that might fit one of your previously created works
- Provides feedback whether you’re published or not
- When submissions open they are announced each month on the Facebook IVC group and through an Email sent out to everyone on campus
- For extra information and/or more specifics on submission criteria check the latest guidelines here
Heliotrope Literary Magazine:
- Accepts short stories and poems
- Comes out in a yearly digest published around the end of spring
- Posts published pieces to the Digital Commons
- The Digital Commons is a place that houses many of the creative works made by students and staff on campus, which brings your piece to a potentially gigantic audience
- Submission are often announced about halfway through the year in an IVC post and through a campus wide email
- No up-to-date guidelines available.
- Mainly accepts works of nonfiction relating to social topics
- Also accepts creative submissions as long as they are connected to politics, current events, or other major social topics
- A strange place to submit for sure, but it’s absolutely an option if you work fits into their guidelines
- Posts published pieces to the digital commons
- Submissions are announced through both the the IVC and email
- For extra information and/or the specifics on submission criteria check the latest guidelines here
If You Succeed
Then, amazing, you’ve just taken a huge step as a writer, and your work will be published and showcased within a beautiful magazine (the people of IMSA truly excel at graphic design). Your piece will be showcased to your friends, family, and the IMSA community at large. I can contest that as a writer there was no feeling more gratifying than the first time one of my pieces was published within an on-campus magazine.
And If You Don’t
That’s absolutely okay! Oftentimes the magazine will still provide you with feedback on your writing which can help you improve the piece to the point where it might be ready in the future, or simply so that you can learn from your mistakes and grow as a writer. Remember, the substance of writing (and all other skills) is failure. Even a prodigy who wrote their first novel at the ripe old age of eight will experience their fair share of failure and rejection. Every good work of literature is built off a foundation of deleted words, unnecessary pages, and hours spent without a word put to the page.