Ohio Northern University’s Department of English held its annual release party for the 2015-16 edition of the undergraduate magazine of literary and arts, “Polaris,” on Tuesday, April 26 at El Campo Mexican Restaurant in Ada. The party room at the restaurant was crowded with ONU students, professors and published writers.

The party was composed of readings by published ONU students, editors explaining the work involved during the production process for the magazine and socialization.

Since its founding in 1958, the magazine has been a student-run organization highlighting the work of undergraduate students at ONU and those around the world. The magazine combines unique stories ranging in genres from poetry, art, creative nonfiction and fiction.

For those who aren’t familiar with the literary magazine, it is key to understand the creative process that goes into producing a magazine. During the fall semester, the editorial staff sets out on a mass hunt, advertises to nearly 300 universities across the nation to petition students to submit their work to “Polaris” for further review. Once a work is submitted, the team of editors and staff read the submissions and further decide if they like the work enough to include it in their genre section.

Then the magic happens. Acceptance letters are sent out to contributors. Contracts are signed. As the production manager for the journal, I can attest that the production process of a literary magazine is stressful, tedious, yet very worthwhile when the hard work is turned into a small, yet powerful, collection.

This year’s publication delivers a strong array of bright, powerful voices which editors hope will encourage readers to craft and shape their own creative voices. Within this year’s collection of diverse voices, common themes occur, including food and color, and the act of saying goodbye.

Junior creative writing and literature student, and “Polaris” Editor-in-Chief, Rachel Cruea, comments in her editorial note in the magazine, “This edition provides a glance into the wonderful work my fellow undergraduates are creating and I feel confident that ‘Polaris’ will continue to serve as a venue for these voices.”

As the production manager, I witnessed each step of the production process. I saw the evolution of a carefully constructed magazine.

Cruea concludes her letter, speaking on behalf of the entire staff of ONU’s thriving literary magazine:  

“We hope you’ll seen the tender care that has been put into each of the pieces in this volume and that you’ll enjoy the experience of reading them as much as we have.” 

The 2015-16 edition of “Polaris” is available for purchase at the following link.

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