Story by MARIAH BOHANON, for The Muleskinner—
Chances are you haven’t heard of “Arcade.” No, not a video game parlor. “Arcade” is the student literary journal, published at UCM.
Still no? Well it’s something every UCM student who has ever been interested in writing short stories, poetry, experimental prose, photography, painting, sculpture, oh, and anyone who has ever wanted to put together their own magazine, may want to know about.
“Arcade” is UCM’s student literary journal. Every issue is comprised entirely of student art and student writing.
The magazine is also solely designed and edited by students.
“We have exclusive control over the content,” said Jennifer Brown, a junior whose work was featured in the 2012 issue of “Arcade” and who joined the magazine this year as part of the editorial staff. “Just us students, not Phong [Dr. Phong Nguyen, “arcade”’s faculty advisor], not anybody else. I don’t think there’s a lot of organizations you can say that about on campus.”
There are five students currently serving as editors, all of whom are English majors with minors in creative writing. But anyone is welcome to join the “Arcade” staff, Brown said.
Patrick Wilson is a senior who also worked on last year’s issue of “Arcade”. He said he’s been surprised by the amount of student interest in the magazine this year. People have been discovering “Arcade” by word-of-mouth, on-campus flyers and, of course, Facebook, Wilson said.
The editorial staff has weekly meetings to review student-submitted work. Submissions include short stories, poetry, and artwork.
Haley Athens, a senior who joined the “Arcade” staff this year, emphasized that a student-run journal is an easy transition for student writers who may be hesitant about submitting their work for publication.
“If you’re serious about wanting to publish ever, the first step doesn’t get any easier than this,” Athens said.
As student editors, the “Arcade” staff is happy to review a student’s submission and give suggestions before deciding whether or not to publish it, Wilson said.
“We very rarely ever flat out accept or reject,” Brown said. “Unlike most magazines we get to offer one-on-one personal feedback on improvement, and that’s not an experience you’re going to get at any of the bigger literary magazines, which makes us perfect for preparing writers for the bigger publishing world. “
Athens met with Wilson last year after he suggested making some changes to a story she had submitted for publication to “Arcade”. She emphasized that it can be easier for both student editors and student writers to be able to talk one-on-one about their writing.
“We actually talked in person about some things to change, which was really nice,” Athens said. “ It was a lot easier than hearing, ‘well you did this and this and this wrong’. It’s all about encouraging.”
The editorial staff also emphasized that “Arcade” is not just for English majors or people experienced in creative writing. “We’ve been trying to reach across the disciplines a little more, “ Brown said. “Just because you’re not an English major doesn’t mean you can’t write.”
According to the editorial staff, the magazine hasn’t had any submissions for artwork yet this year though they would love to have student art for the cover and within the magazine itself.
“Art and writing just go together,” said Haley Cone, a junior who also joined the “Arcade” staff this year. “It just makes it more interesting to have both in the magazine.”
There’s no set limit to how much art or writing is published in the pages of “Arcade,” said Wilson. The journal has featured student cartoons, paintings, photographs, and even sculptures in the past, he said.
Every year the magazine also publishes the winning entries from UCM’s annual David Baker Contest. The contest includes a committee of professional writers and teachers outside the UCM community who select winners in both fiction and poetry from individual student submissions. Athens, Brown, and Wilson are all past winners or runners-up in the contest.
“We won’t finalize anything until after David Baker,” Wilson said. There is no deadline for “Arcade” submissions, he said, but the magazine will be sent to a printer sometime after the Contest, which takes place in late March.
The 2013 issue of “Arcade” will be available on campus at the start of the fall semester, Wilson said. Copies of the journal are distributed to creative writing classes, students who have their work published in the issue and any student who would like a copy.
Copies of “Arcade” are free. Anyone who would like the 2012 issue may pick one up in the English Department Lounge, Martin 334 or the “Arcade” office in Martin 220 A.
Students who are interested in working for the journal can attend the weekly staff meetings, Fridays at 1:00 in the English Department Lounge. More information about working for “arcade” is available on their Facebook page, Arcade Magazine 2012.
Any student or community member who would like to submit their writing or artwork to the journal can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hard copies can be mailed or turned in to the “Arcade” mailbox in the English Department in Martin 336. Submission guidelines are as follows:
1) Each submission should be accompanied by the author’s name, e-mail address, the work’s title and the work’s genre (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, etc.). If sent as an e-mail, place title and genre in subject line.
2) Poetry should be single spaced, and other written works submitted should conform to MLA format.
3) Submit poetry and visual art in groups of 3-5. Submit fiction/essays one a time, and please wait to hear back from arcade before sending additional work.