Hazen publishes literary magazine

March 5, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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As most teenagers do, Hazen High School juniors Shelby Mathison, Christine Beal and Hannah Dolling have a lot of thoughts, feelings and things to say.

Until now, though, the three writing enthusiasts didn’t have an accessible outlet to express themselves on paper.

Illustration by Liz Wolcott

Illustration by Liz Wolcott

That all changed with the creation of the Hazen Literary Magazine, a new student-and-staff-created publication filled with poems, short stories and visual art.

“I just appreciated that it was an avenue for me to be able to have that creative writing outlet, which I don’t normally have in most of my classes,” said Mathison, one of the magazine’s editors.

A similar literary compilation was published at the school about a decade ago, but Hazen English teacher Sarah Menaul decided to revive it, after she saw what her students produced for a poetry assignment last year.

The 100-page booklet made its debut Feb. 6 in a special “coffee-house” inspired celebration in the school’s library. There were donuts, coffee and, as customary in any poetry reading, an open mic.

“That’s where it got really cool, because people that I had never seen before, or people that you wouldn’t even expect, would come up and speak, and have this really beautiful poetry that they shared,” said Dolling, also one of the magazine’s editors.

Get involved

Hazen High School students and staff can submit poems, short stories or visual art for consideration in the next Hazen Literary Magazine by emailing them to HazenLitMag@gmail.com.
Learn more about the Hazen High School Literary Magazine at www.facebook.com/hazenlitmag.

The nine student magazine editors, under the guidance of Menaul, have received submissions since September, and met weekly to go over them and correct for grammar.

They were careful not to alter the works’ message, Dolling said, making sure they respected the artists’ intentions.

There wasn’t a theme, Beal said; students were given the license to write or draw anything that they wanted. That led to a wide range of topics in the magazine.

“We had everything from a post-apocalyptic universe, to writing about a flower,” Dolling said with a laugh.

The three editors also had a chance to submit some of their own writings for the project.

Mathison’s three poems dealt with objectification, life choices and the evolution of friendships, some admittedly heavy topics, she said.

“I just kind of cry onto my paper and things come out,” she joked.

Now that the first issue is done, the group is already taking submissions for the next one, and coming up with ideas to raise funds for its publication. The plan is to create two issues per year.

The student editors meet after school every Thursday in room 218 to review submissions. They encourage fellow students to come, submit their work or get editing advice.

“It’s really interesting, seeing all the stuff that comes in and what everyone else in school is thinking,” Beal said. “You don’t always see that.”


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