College literary magazine showcases student work in annual issue
Shayla O'Connor | Thursday, February 25, 2021
Chimes is the literary magazine published by Saint Mary’s every year as a collection of art from students, faculty and staff. The magazine is now nearly 130 years old, being first published in the fall of 1892.
Chimes exists with The Avenue as the official literary publications of Saint Mary’s. Where Chimes is described on the College’s website as “a student art and literary magazine that reflects the artistic life of its contributors,” The Avenue is described as “an independent literary journal designed to encourage the expression of student thought and opinion.” Students and faculty from all departments are encouraged to submit. The work can be for class or for fun and will still be accepted for review.
President Riley O’Mearns said the magazine has changed to include more content over the years.
“The magazine was published monthly and it featured news about campus happenings as well as creative writing from Saint Mary’s students,” the senior said. “Over the years, Chimes has evolved into a literary magazine that showcases poetry, fiction and artwork from members of the Saint Mary’s community.”
O’Mearns said the magazine looks for a variety of pieces that fit into a yearly theme.
“Ultimately, we look for creativity and diversity in the submissions we accept,” she said. “The magazine as a whole usually has some cohesive themes — such is the case with last year’s edition, which focused on themes of identity.”
An English writing major, she said she hopes other community members find value in submitting their work to the publication.
“As a writer and artist myself, I want to encourage the members of the student body to share their voices, perspectives and creativity; submitting to Chimes is a great way to express yourself, so don’t doubt your talent. Being a historically women’s college, the writing and art of Saint Mary’s College students is especially important representation.”
According to O’Mearns, Chimes typically receives approximately 50 submissions for consideration. While she knows it can be difficult for writers to submit their work for feedback, O’Mearns says the magazine is a welcoming place.
“It may seem daunting to share your work with others — I know this well, being a writer myself — but we cultivate an environment of encouragement, so please don’t be scared to let us see your work,” she said.
Students can sign up to join the editorial board through Belle Tower. Board members meet after the deadline for submissions closes to discuss each individual submission and come to a decision on which pieces will be selected for publication in Chimes.
Some students, like senior Amory Descoteaux, believe Chimes should publish longer pieces to be a more inclusive space for all writers.
“The biggest issue with Chimes is how limited it is,” Descoteaux said. “There are page limits for every edition, and, because of this, poetry tends to be published more and submitted more because it’s hard to accommodate fiction writers in this page limit. I’m someone who focuses on fiction and only submitted a flash fiction piece because of this. I think it would become even more impressive if Chimes could earn more publicity in the South Bend area, too, because as of right now it’s really only popular, if that, here at SMC.”
Senior Greta Minnema agrees with this sentiment.
“It’s a great way for new writers to get their work published and get exposure, but I also believe it’s biased towards poetry and other short forms of creative work,” Minnema said. “It’s not very fiction friendly for people who write short stories, long fiction works or even longer nonfiction works.”
Chimes accepts submissions every semester and is released annually in the spring. All members of the Saint Mary’s community are encouraged to submit their work to [email protected] to have their work be considered for publication. The deadline for submission this semester is March 12.