“Where are you from?”

By Edward Callery | October 17, 2018

While easy enough to answer for most people, it exists to some of us as one of the most complicated questions in our lives. It’s an impossibly loaded interrogation that has been long embodied in the small-talk canon, not taking into account a large number of factors that may distort the reply, and not caring. It demands a simple answer, a recognizable place on the map. It doesn’t take into account those of us that just don’t know, whether it … READ MORE…

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A Little Like Magic

By Brooklyn Davidson | October 10, 2018

An orange flyer hung on the wall, it’s bold words issuing a challenge. Read one hundred books; win one hundred dollars. I was a third grader with fifty-two cents in my pocket and only a Razor scooter to my name. One hundred dollars sounded like a fortune. Little did I know, I would be getting something worth more than a hundred dollars. The school librarian dropped a stack of stapled papers on the table and called us to attention. Entry … READ MORE…

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Being the Black Girl

By Kyra Foreman | October 3, 2018

Writing has been a part of my life since I learned cursive in the third grade, but I didn’t fall madly in love with it until well into my high school years, where I was often known as the “Black One” or “That Black Girl with the Weird Hair.” Writing became the channel that I never knew I needed. I struggled with my identity as a Black girl and what it means to be black. People often tried to quantify … READ MORE…

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Submitting to a Literary Magazine

By Kelly McConnell | April 12, 2018

Do you have some stories or poems you want to publish in literary magazines, but you don’t know how and where to start? Have no fear, for I am here to tell you how! Follow along as I take you on a step-by-step process, and then you’ll be able to submit your work in no time. STEP ONE: FIND LITERARY MAGAZINES TO SUBMIT TO Pretty simple step, right? But it’s important to know how to classify your work so that … READ MORE…

Orality vs. Literacy

By Alexandria Sanders | April 5, 2018

In Walter Ong’s Orality and Literacy, he noted the differences between literate and illiterate cultures. Ong emphasized speech being the primary and more vital language used as opposed to written texts. Although speech is still prominent over writing, this current “high technology” age gives writing more weight on a scale of importance. This ability to write and record gives us a wider range of accessible knowledge than oral cultures.             Literate cultures exist in a world where a great amount, … READ MORE…

Top 5 Writers for Children’s Literature in China

By Wenchuan Hu | March 15, 2018

Children’s literature in China has a much shorter history compared to other kinds of literature. Even though the history is short, there are a huge number of classics. With the development of the genre, people in China now pay more attention to children’s education, which encourages the development of children’s literature in return. Here are the top five writers of children’s literature in China. 5. Shen Shixi He is a bestselling children’s author in China. He is best known for … READ MORE…

Five* Spotify Playlists by Writers (or Inspired by Them)

By Stella Kim | March 8, 2018

Spotify playlists have taken over as the preferred way to listen and discover music. It has also become a popular way to share playlists with friends and family. Curated playlists are also becoming popular, specifically ones created by artists and celebrities. If you do not have a Spotify account, signing up is free. You will have to listen to ads here and there, but if that becomes unbearable, Spotify offers premium accounts for students at a discounted price. Here are … READ MORE…

Why You Should Listen to Music When Writing

By Mel Blasingame | March 1, 2018

Music, in general, helps you focus. Is the dog barking annoyingly in the backyard? Your significant other playing video games too loud? No problem! Put in some earbuds and tune into your favorite playlist as you tune out all of the distractions of daily life. Music will take you away from this world and give you your own little writing bubble. Listening to music with no lyrics, like movie scores, classical, and EDM, are actually proven to maximize your focus … READ MORE…

The Woman Behind the Journal, Interview with Shay Rahm

By Kelsey Smythe | February 22, 2018

Professor Shay Rahm is the Publishing Director for New Plains Student Publishing, but sometimes we just call her “Empress.” Shay is motivational, inspirational, encouraging, and all around a great teacher. We owe her a great deal for her patient coaching and tireless leadership. Read on for more about the woman behind the journal. Kelsey Smythe (KS): To start off, can you introduce yourself? SR: My name is Shay Rahm and I am a lecturer of English at the University of … READ MORE…

Song Analysis: “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of a Bay” by Otis Redding

By Alexandria Sanders | February 15, 2018

Otis Redding has been noted as one of the greatest soul singers and composers of all time. Also known as the “The King of Soul,” he is remembered mostly because of his powerful voice, soulful lyrics, and who he inspired. Redding did not only influence the masses, he influenced many famous musicians. Some artists that Otis Redding have inspired or have covered his songs include The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Willie Nelson, Al Green, Pearl Jam, Etta James, Rod Stewart, … READ MORE…

Inspiration is Fleeting

By Joe Zook | February 10, 2018

Inspiration, that fickle little beast that makes you unable to concentrate, let alone do anything else until it uses your pen to leap onto the page—or at least that seems to be how it feels for me. Don’t let it fool you though. Inspiration is something that doesn’t show up often, and most times you might have a deadline. You might not have time to wait for inspiration to strike. Don’t be waiting for it, lure it out with the … READ MORE…

Interview with John Granger, Dean of Harry Potter Scholars

By Alexandra Savage | February 1, 2018

John Granger, given the moniker of “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars” by TIME magazine, is a published author and internationally renowned lecturer on the artistry of J.K. Rowling’s writing and Wizarding World. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago then proceeded to get his Master of Fine Arts from Oklahoma City University in Creative Writing. Currently, Professor Granger is seeking his doctorate through Swansea University in Wales. He’s been a featured speaker at a plethora of … READ MORE…

Top 5 Kurt Vonnegut Novels

By Betsy Dickens | November 16, 2017

Most people who know me well know that my all-time favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. I’ve taken many a trip to Half Price Books solely to buy out every copy they had of his books. I’ve almost finished collecting every book he’s written, including an encyclopedia of his characters and made-up words. I even have a tattoo of one of his many famous doodles. In honor of Vonnegut, I’ve compiled this list of his very best novels, number one being … READ MORE…