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September 21, 2023

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Undergraduates to submit literary work to national magazine

This year, a group of 22 undergraduate students will for the third year put together the nationally known literary magazine “Prairie Margins.”

Students from colleges nationwide, including BG, submit unpublished poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction pieces. Only undergraduate students are allowed to submit work because it’s difficult for them to get their work published.

Prairie Margins is an organization that has been at the University for 35 years and at the national level for the previous two years.

The organization had to go national for the students’ work to be taken seriously, said faculty adviser Karen Craigo.

“Writers in the creative writing program are so talented and so serious about writing that they are sending their work to national magazines,” she said. “For us to be taken seriously by them we had to go national too, our program is very distinguished and it is very worthy of a great magazine that’s what we aspire to be.”

The magazine has been very successful according Steven Barrie, one of the editors of the magazine.

“We haven’t had a year where we missed an issue, so we’re successful, and each year we’re increasing our presence on campus,” he said.

Mary Hammon, managing editor, said she feels a great sense of accomplishment when she puts students’ work in the magazine to be read.

“It gives us a great sense of accomplishment and we are really happy to promote the writing of other undergraduate writers and get their work out there.”

Although the magazine takes a lot of hard work, once it’s finished, those who put it together can breathe a sigh of relief.

“It feels really good,” Hammon said. “We work all year to put the magazine together, and once it’s a finished product it feels good to hold it in your hands.”

Craigo is proud of the work her students accomplish.

“Prairie Margins staff is a special group of people,” she said. “They bring real interest and enthusiasm to the job of editing a literary journal and they really care about their writers. They treat the work with respect and they read every word very carefully. I really trust their judgment.”

The class helps the staff find places to publish their work since undergraduate literature magazines are rare. In the class, the students read and judge other submissions and do book reviews.

There were about 150 people who submitted work to the magazine this year.

Right now, the class is making selections for the next issue and will soon start layout and design.

Next year’s deadline for submissions is Feb. 1, 2008, and the upcoming issue will be released in April.

The magazine used to be spiral bound, but now it’s a paperback book with a glossy cover. There isn’t a specific theme for the upcoming April issue.

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