Auburn University expands creative arts culture and provides students with experience through publications


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Through Auburn University’s professional and student literary and arts publications, creativity flows freely on the Plains.

Within the Haley Center, Southern Humanities Journalor SHR, has been a leader in expanding literary culture since it was first published in 1967. Based in Auburn’s English DepartmentSHR is a literary quarterly that publishes fiction, poetry and essays.

For Caitlin Rae Taylor, editor-in-chief of SHR, the publication offers emerging writers a way to make a name for themselves. More than 99% of work published by SHR is collected in its submission queue, unlike many peer-reviewed literary magazines which often solicit half of the work they publish from established writers.

“We have a deep commitment to publishing emerging writers and always want to make sure we give these writers as many opportunities as possible,” said Taylor, communications editor in the Department of English. “It can be extremely difficult to establish yourself as a new writer, and the editors of Southern Humanities Review want to help these new writers.”

Auburn Publishing also seeks to bring a global flavor to Southern literary culture by publishing writers and poets from around the world, exposing readers to different styles of prose.

“We’ve published a lot of writers from the South, writers from America, writers from Pakistan, Nigeria, UK, Iran, India and more,” Taylor said. “I like to think that we provide a platform where writers from the South can dialogue with the international literary community. We distribute issues to libraries throughout Alabama, and I hope readers will be exposed to literature they might not have picked up on their own.

Auburn’s Mission liberal arts college is to cultivate thinkers, creators, innovators and global leaders, and it accomplishes this mission through SHR. Students in Auburn’s Master of Creative Writing program are required to serve as SHR associate editors as part of their program assistantship.

In addition to required graduate student assistantships, SHR also offers valuable learning experiences for undergraduates in the form of internships and a full-fledged, paid graduate assistantship.

“The graduate assistant serves as the magazine’s editor and is engaged in in-depth, guided learning through the world of literary magazine publishing,” Taylor said. “They touch almost every aspect of the publishing process, so when they graduate they have many of the skills needed to enter the publishing industry full-time.”

Taylor thinks the experience of working as an editor at SHR is unique. She was able to engage with established and prolific writers, help new writers gain exposure, and teach students about the publishing industry.

“To me, SHR isn’t just a magazine,” Taylor said. “It’s a work of art, and I can help create it, while helping new writers and students interested in publishing find their place in an industry whose inner workings are often hidden away. audience.”

On the student side of creativity is The Auburn Circlea student-run literary and arts magazine Student mediaa part of Student involvement, which publishes every semester. The works featured in the magazines are all created by students and offer insight into the creative minds of campus artists, poets, writers, animators, architects, fashion designers and musicians.

Students can obtain free copies of the publication each semester when the new issue is published. Major editions of the magazine are published in the spring and fall semesters, and summer semester issues focus on a particular group, topic, or social issue. The summer 2022 “minizine” will focus on global perspectives and the importance of a multilingual and cultural society by highlighting first and second generation immigrants as well as international students.

Katherine Carroll, editor and journalism student, believes publications such as The Circle play an important role in providing students with a platform to display their creativity and build a portfolio.

“Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to dedicate time to creative pursuits while you’re balancing all the other responsibilities that come with college, but I’d like to think that the Circle, by giving students a platform to share their creativity, encourages them to devote time to their art,” Carroll said. “Beyond the submission aspect, being on staff looks good on a resume as staff members gain hands-on experience in the editorial and artistic industry that could help them acquire skills that they can use in a future working environment.”

Carroll also highlighted how publications such as the Circle contribute to the overall artistic culture of the communities she seeks to represent.

“Art is so important to a community because it can be used to highlight often overlooked perspectives, as a form of protest, to build connections and so much more,” Carroll said.

Through experiential learning opportunities – the process of gaining knowledge through hands-on experiences – such as The Auburn Circle or SHR, students gain skills, insights, and practical knowledge in skills highly sought after in their chosen field.

“Auburn Circle offers students from a variety of disciplines, including English and graphic design, among others, the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in all aspects of creating, publishing and distributing a award-winning publication,” said Billy Ferris, Deputy Director. for student media. “The Auburn Circle, winner of the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award for Best Literary and Arts Magazine for the past two years, seeks to give students both the hands-on learning experience they need to prepare for careers in a variety of fields, as well in order to amplify the voice of student artists across campus.


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