Student publication, Chimes, opens up submissions
Colleen Fischer | Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Between studying for exams and writing essays for classes, some Saint Mary’s students find time to be creative. The editorial staff of the on-campus magazine Chimes helps to facilitate a place where student art and creative writing can be published and seen by the campus’ community. Last year, the College’s two literary journals, Chimes and The Avenue, combined and published their first joint annual journal.
Chimes has been a staple in Saint Mary’s culture for over 100 years. In August, the College honored the publication’s history in a campus-wide email celebrating Saint Mary’s 175th anniversary.
“Chimes is as deeply-rooted in tradition and history as the College itself. The first issue of Chimes came out in September of 1892,” the email read.
The publication officially acts as a club with its president doubling as its senior editor, and a vice president, secretary and treasurer who work as editorial staff. This year, the publication is led by senior Dalanie Beach.
“This team will go through all of the selections twice a year, and decide what goes in and what stays out,” Beach said.
Beach and her staff opened the first round of submissions for the publication on Oct 1.
“We accept art of any medium — fiction, nonfiction, poetry, basically all genres of writing,” Beach said.
The publication also accepts visual art, she said.
Beach is hoping to open the editorial process and include the student body in some of the decisions, including a potential open vote on the cover design.
“I wanted to open it up to the students to decide and be like an editor a little bit themselves, just to make it a little bit more family,” she said.
The types of pieces included in the publication change every year. Beach said they attempt to create a cohesive publication that has shared elements and aesthetics.
“And [the aesthetic] changes depending on the initial work that we received,” she said. “I think it’s always cool to see the stuff that students do in their classes, but it’s also nice to see outside, on-their-own-time work; we usually get a senior comp[ilation] or two that ends up being a longer short story or some poems.”
Though the journal’s board is looking for the pieces to have a shared aesthetic, Beach said, it is also looking for them to be diverse, unique and representative of the Saint Mary’s student body.
“Honestly, we’re just looking for a wide variety of voices,” she said. “We’re very interested in women’s writing, especially because it’s so underrepresented in the publishing world right now, as it always has been.”
One of the biggest hurdles the publication faces is the amount of submissions, Beach said.
“I’m trying to encourage people to submit, because that’s honestly our biggest issue,” she said. “A lot of times students doubt themselves — they feel like, ‘Oh, my work’s not good enough,’” Beach said. “But it’s good enough — I promise. We want to see it. We want to look at everything to engage with it. And we also want to publish it.”
Beach said she approaches the editorial process from a place of understanding as an artist herself.
“I’m a writer too. I’m an artist too,” she said. “I understand it’s difficult. It’s really not a scary thing, though. Have faith in yourself.”
Chimes allows editors, the student body and creators to be in communication with each other, to share their artwork and ideas with the world around them, Beach said. It allows student and student leaders, like Beach, to gain publication and editorial experience while connecting with their peers.
“I love just getting the opportunity to see what students are doing, to get to see the kind of artwork that they’re making, or the kind of stories they’re thinking about,” she said. “Because that’s pretty much what I want to do with my life. I want to be engaged with narratives of women of my generation, the next generation and generations of the past, and just to see what other writers and artists are doing.”