Senior editor of UP’s Writers Magazine, Cora Hyatt, wants to make the bi-annual publication bigger, better and sexier than ever before. The fall 2022 issue launches on Nov. 18. The theme: Eroticism.
“The idea of eroticism for this issue is not just about sex as the word implies,” Hyatt, said. “It is about transgression and subversion, going against the grain and defiance.”
The magazine's history goes back to the 1940s, when it was named Daedaelus, a symbol of wisdom, knowledge and power in Greek mythology.
“Eroticism encourages people to not fall into despair, but rather action,” Senior Editor, Hyatt said.
While the past themes have all been related in different ways, optimism has been the overarching topic connecting them. Recent issues — including Spring 2022 “Widlfire Season,” Fall 2021 “Labor of Love” and Spring 2021 “Good Bones” — are all focused on the optimism of taking something good out of the bad.
The publication gives students the opportunity to display and celebrate their creativity through the themes and has been growing ever since their online presence became more robust. Now more than ever, students are talking about Writers Magazine, so The Beacon sat with the editors and did a deep dive on everything you need to know.
Choosing the theme
The theme was chosen by all eight members of the editorial board as a group. The two senior editors, Cora Hyatt and Mia Tierney, think of eroticism as an umbrella term encompassing topics from bodily autonomy to cannibalism to the anti-apartheid movement in Palestine. They see this theme as a way to counter events that occurred over the summer where many individuals faced a violation of their reproductive and sexual rights.
“We want people to feel like someone is hearing them and their frustrations,” Tierney said.
Although abortion is currently taboo, Writers Magazine is trying to push against this.
“I think people have been afraid to submit subversive things, the theme is the encouragement of it,” Hyatt said.
The three standing editors are Valencya Valdez ‘25 – who will be a senior editor with Tierney once Hyatt graduates in December – Alyssa Repetti ‘24, and Hannah Monti ‘23. The three new editors are Murphy Bradshaw ‘24, Lauren Savas ‘24, and Isabella Byers ‘25.
The submission process
Their submission process is entirely anonymous. Hyatt is the only one who knows the submitter’s identity, as she is in charge of organizing the submissions and sending out the rejection emails. The identities are not known to other editors until the magazine is being created.
To select submissions for publication, editors first score and comment on each submission and then convene to discuss the final decisions. Most of their work is asynchronous editing, but they are in constant contact and meet a few times each semester.
The number of submissions have steadily increased in recent years with 88 submissions for the 2019 Spring issue to about 130 submissions for the Spring 2022 issue. Although the magazine is historically an annual publication, the editors’ desire to include more of the increasing student submissions have led to its bi-annual publication.
“It didn’t feel fair that with such a talented and creative community on campus, Writers Magazine – one of the only opportunities for creative written work at UP – was only once a year,” Hyatt said.
Writers Magazine takes about 20-30 writing submissions and 10-15 visuals for one issue, meaning they reject a significant number of submissions.
“The hardest part of our job is rejection,” Tierney said.
Fortunately, rejection does not seem to discourage students, as at least half of their submissions are repeats.
A favorite part about Writers Magazine for Hyatt and Tierney is the launch party for the magazine’s release. In the spring it is often a formal reading in the UP Bookstore, and in the fall it is normally an informal reading at one of the editor’s houses. The fall issue, which is smaller and more curated to the theme, is completely digital to save money, but the spring issue has a paper copy.
“It’s the best part because people get to read what they’ve written or talk about their inspiration,” Tierney said.
For the editors it’s exciting because they have finally finished a semester-long product of hard work and get to see a beautiful, physical copy of it.
“We get submissions from the far reaches of campus like engineering majors and people who are not involved in any sort of organization like Writers Magazine,” Hyatt said. “You meet those people that you wouldn’t meet in any other circumstance and it really does feel like a community even though we’re just a mechanism.”
Unfortunately, the Writers Magazine budget, like other clubs and organizations on campus, has been cut this year.
“It stinks because we’re lifting up people’s voices on campus and creating a place for people who maybe don’t feel like they have a place here,” Tierney said. “They come to us, we publish their work and we are a community they can belong to.”
Getting to know the editorial board
Hyatt and Tierney, are a large reason why the magazine’s momentum and engagement have recently skyrocketed. Writers Magazine is growing via social media and tabling on campus.
“I’m always wanting to make Writer’s Magazine bigger, better and sexier,” Hyatt said. “We have an aggressive Instagram presence and we are what’s happening.”
Murphy Bradshaw, an English major and spanish/writing minor, is one of the new editors. During Bradshaw’s first year at UP, she missed being a part of a literary community which she had experienced while attending an arts school in middle and high school. After hearing about Writers Magazine, she submitted a poem during her freshman year and it was accepted.
“Being a part of the Writers Magazine community allowed me to feel affirmed in my experience at UP as being one that has space for creativity,” Bradshaw said.
Receiving people’s compliments and hearing others read their poems during the launch party on Zoom made her feel a part of this community and affirmed her decision to stay here. It was the first time that semester that she felt like UP was a good place for her to be.
“This year, I wanted to join the Editorial Board as I thought that if I could be a part of the preservation of something that I felt was really valuable at UP, I would like to do that,” Murphy said.
When Tierney heard about Writers Magazine, she became obsessed immediately, emailing the Magazine advisor and English professor, John McDonald, to ask about all things Writers Magazine related.
“The launch party during my freshman year was the biggest sense of campus community I felt even when it was over Zoom,” Tierney said. “Writers Magazine just has that effect on people.”
Hyatt has been actively involved in Writers Magazine since freshman year and is devastated to leave.
“Writers Magazine has completely consumed my soul,” Hyatt said. “Graduating this year feels like I’m losing something heavy.”
The magazine’s engagement and the way it operates has grown a lot since Hyatt’s freshman year.
“I think every year we learn how to be more refined, professional and innovative and we are constantly building on past issues and editors,” Hyatt said. “I have no doubt that when I graduate it will get even better.”
Although the fall submission deadline was on Halloween, don’t worry as you can submit in the spring.
“If you’re thinking about submitting to Writers Magazine, just submit,” Tierney said. The worst thing that could happen is you get rejected and that’s basically the same as not submitting.”
Sophia Truempi is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at email@example.com.