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Photo Credit/ Wes Edwards

Hoping to provide the students of CMC with a literary magazine and an avenue for creative expression, Prof. Audrey Bilger, in partnership with the Center for Writing and Public Discourse (CWPD), has announced the launch of a new publication: Discourse Magazine. Discourse Magazine will serve as an arts and literary journal created for the students, by the students. Each month, the magazine will accept submissions based on a chosen theme; the first theme of the magazine was “Breaking the Mold.” The first issue of the magazine showcased some phenomenal submissions, ranging from beautiful art to riveting essays and prose.

Liat Kaplan ’17, Jen Vaccaro ’17, and Emma Henson ’19 will serve as the Editors-in-Chief of the magazine. Kaplan notes, “This is a space for art and creative work of all kinds.”

According to Kaplan, Discourse Magazine was a long time coming; the CWPD has been working on it for the past year. Soon after finalizing the logistics and details, the magazine received approval from the Public Affairs Office and is now soliciting submissions.

In an interview with the Forum, Liat Kaplan explains the need for such a publication. According to her, the CMC stereotype that we usually don’t engage in creative activities is not true. During her work at the CWPD, she saw that CMC students, whom one might not expect to be creative because of the associated stereotypes with their academic and extracurricular interests, produced remarkable and creative work. Students at CMC, whether economics majors, athletes, or literature majors, have hobbies and interests that entail creative expression, and this magazine is intended to serve these interests.

Liat Kaplan came to CMC intending to be a creative writing major but was turned down by the Academic Standards Committee. Discourse Magazine is her attempt to create some avenue for support creative writing and visual art at CMC. This magazine, according to her, would serve as a platform to the students interested in indulging in such hobbies and talents.

Currently, this magazine only publishes work by CMC students, since the other colleges already have their own specific publications to serve this purpose. This magazine was established to allow artistic endeavors at CMC, which according to Kaplan lacks a well-established art space.

This initiative is a priority of Kaplan’s, and through this, she hopes to provide CMC with opportunities that most liberal arts colleges in the country already have. Prof. Bilger is the main lobbyist for this initiative. CWPD purchased the domain for the magazine and has chipped in by providing the required resources. The magazine, due to its current publishing requirements, is not actively seeking funding from the administration, which allows it to have a free relationship with the administration and seek help for advisory issues.

Kaplan hopes that the magazine will publicize itself and that the first round of submissions will have a trickle down effect in that people who have sent in their work will talk to other students, resulting in an increased number of submissions. Other marketing efforts include a social media campaign, a flier campaign for the next issue, and an email blast. Discourse Magazine will also host write-ins in partnership with CWPD at the Athenaeum and the CWPD office where students will be encouraged to write a piece in a shared space with other writers.

As an exclusive to the Forum, Kaplan revealed the magazine’s next theme to be “Evolution Revolution.” This theme, however, is intended to get people thinking, while still being broad enough to adapt to people’s submissions.

Anyone who is interested in learning more or wants to submit their creative work to Discourse Magazine can email Liat Kaplan at [email protected].

To see some of the magazine’s work for yourself, view the April 2016 issue here: https://discoursemag.com/issues-2/april-2016/