Kate Kotlyar staff writer
Senior Jackson Lanzer signed up for the BHHS Literary Magazine both his freshman and sophomore year, but nothing ever happened. His junior year, during the start of the COVID-19 quarantine, he found that he had an abundance of time, so he decided to rekindle the BHHS Literary Magazine in hopes of reuniting the high school community, despite being physically distant.
The literary magazine is a collection of different students’ creative writing works, including short stories, poems and creative nonfiction. The magazine’s editorial staff tripled in size from last year, totaling nine editors.
This outlet helps Lanzer “express [his] emotions” during a restrictive quarantine.
“Whether it’s with a pandemic and you’re just feeling bound because you want to go out and have fun, it’s a great way to express those emotions. It’s helped me express those emotions. Specifically, I guess, going back to the pandemic example, I had cabin fever. So, I wrote stories about adventure because that’s what I wanted to do and even though I was unable to physically do that. I could essentially kind of create characters who were able to do that,” Lanzer said.
Creative writing in general has helped the staff and contributors of the magazine. Deputy Associate Editor senior Sam Wolf said that creative writing can be “satisfying,” despite being “frustrating.”
“[Writing] can be incredibly meditative but also incredibly frustrating, but it’s an incredibly rewarding process. The frustrating process is, ‘Okay, how do I want to put this into words and how do I want the beginning, the middle, the end to look like?’ But after it’s all done and after it’s all edited, it’s [a] very rewarding [and] satisfying feeling,” Wolf said.
The magazine’s writers this year have a diverse range of qualifications.
“I’m actually really impressed, there’s so many qualified people. I hadn’t realized that there were so many people who had been writing in the past and who had writing positions. We had one person who was a writer for [a] Korean publication in Los Angeles, that was really interesting, and others have been published in some really big poetry publications. There’s just so many people [with] amazing credentials,” Lanzer said.
Despite not having as many qualifications as her fellow magazine members, Associate Editor of Short Stories senior Aviva Gornick feels that the Literary Magazine gives her a “really awesome experience.”
“I’m not as experienced as I would want to be…We had short story writers who were interested in that field, like contributing and talking and giving tips about that. Then we also had those who are more prone to writing poetry, they also gave presentations and a couple other pieces of advice about poetry writing. That was really interesting and it kind of exposed everyone in the group [to that] form of writing,” Gornick said.
The magazine is entirely student managed, starting from the writing all the way to the publishing. Contributor junior Kate Lewis feels that everyone is “truly passionate about writing.” She is not alone in feeling that way.
“I definitely love the community of writers. I feel like everyone who participates in the Literary Magazine is just really interested in writing and super passionate about creativity, and I just had a lot of fun working, giving presentations on poetry and collaborating with others. I think it’s just a great community,” Editor of Poetry senior Sophie Szew said.
Unlike the literary magazine Lanzer signed up for his freshman and sophomore years, he thinks this one will last.
“It’s definitely exciting because I now see the literary magazine as having a future beyond my time at Beverly. That was one of my main goals. I wanted to get the underclassmen involved and ensure [that] it had a long future, past me being here. I think it’s going to live on, and I’m really excited about that,” Lanzer said.
To have work published in the magazine, send a submission by Jan. 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org