Writing Without Fear

By Sierra Ard | December 6, 2018

Up until college I had been homeschooled my whole life. It wasn’t until I reached high school age that it became very apparent to me that I couldn’t relate to the social struggles of my peers. Whether at soccer practice or in youth group, everyone was either complaining about their teachers, gossiping about their fellow students, or making plans for prom. When I didn’t chime in on their conversation they’d turn to me, expecting me to join in. That’s when … READ MORE…

Read More

Utter Your Words

By Caitlin Carnall | November 28, 2018

During the spring semester of 2018, I enrolled in Creating the Poem with Dr. Iliana Rocha here at the University of Central Oklahoma.  Before entering the classroom, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew nothing of poetry besides the few guidelines to some forms covered in half of a week’s span while I was in high school.  I honestly walked in the classroom on the first day thinking, This should be simple.  Roses are red. Violets are blue.  I … READ MORE…

Read More

To See Yourself

By Kristen Love | November 21, 2018

I’ve always felt slightly different from other people, but I could never put my finger on what exactly it was that made me different. None of my friends seemed to feel the same way I did about certain things; my feelings weren’t portrayed by characters in the movies and shows I watched, and never appeared in the books I read. I assumed I was some weird anomaly and I would have to deal with feeling like I was alone on … READ MORE…

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…

Post-Halloween Writing Exercises

By Mary Means | November 9, 2017

Hey there, poets! Many of our prose writing comrades are beginning to burrow themselves into the leafy soil of NaNoWriMo. You may be sitting on your bathroom floor a half-eaten Laffy Taffy stuck to your face, wondering if there are any special post-Halloween writing exercises that are just for poets. The answer is no. These exercises are for prose writers too. 1. Candy Wrapper Ransom Note Before you get too excited, you can put away rope and duct tape. This … READ MORE…

5 Less-Known Spooky Short Stories

By Kelly McConnell | November 7, 2017

Halloween may be over, but the incoming cold, overcast weather is still perfect for bundling up by a fire and reading some spooky stories. Perhaps you’re tired of reading the same old Goosebumps book you’ve read since you were in elementary school. There’s too much going on at this point in the semester to have time in your schedule to read your favorite horror novels anyway. But you still want something scary to read under the safety of your covers … READ MORE…

A Guide To The Magical Worlds Of Tamora Pierce

By Emily Brooks | November 3, 2017

Have you ever found yourself wanting to start a new book series, but haven’t had time to find an author worth your time? Tamora Pierce has been in the writing game long enough that she’s written something for everyone, whether you prefer knights in shining armor, antics of magical teenagers, or a good-ole spy novel. Most of her books are set in either the fictional world of Tortall (think of kings, knights, and the appropriate accoutrement) or Emelan (which is … READ MORE…