Intern Holly responds to the age-old question…
I love literary magazines. I love their creativity, their variety, and yes, even their brevity. Reading poems, short stories and flash fiction is something any busy person can fit into their lives. I have to plan out when I can fit in a novel, but keep various Lit Mags around the house and be entertained at a moment’s notice for only moments if that is all I can spare.
Being exposed to so many writing styles and topics is a joy. From tattoo’s to Tango’s there is a never-ending supply of great ideas. That is why after reading the article “Is There a Lit Mag in This Class?” I became inspired.
I am in a unique position in my life right now, where I’m able to look at education from all perspectives. I am not only a mother of school-aged children, and not only work in a school but I attend college as well. I am surrounded by teachers, students and the quest to both partake and share the gift of knowledge.
Using Literary Magazines in a classroom would enrich the learning environment. So many young people are only exposed to dead writers who wrote in an unfamiliar language about an unfamiliar world. Lit Mags are here and now, current, filled with fresh voices exploring the world we live in now. Because so many complain that our youth are losing their attention span, lets grab it back with engaging, and short, works that draw them in and teach technique, sentence structure, form and style. Let them hear about the concept of voice by reading stories with different voices. They can learn the effective use of present vs. past tense, first vs. third person, formal vs. free verse.
It also answers the eternal question, “Why am I learning this.” Literary Magazines show that there is place to be heard, there is market for new work. That everything worth writing has not actually been written yet. That the love of writing isn’t a solitary experience, meant to fill lonely notebooks at home, but a talent to be shared and appreciated by many. Not only that but “also give students tangible skills of reading and writing that are applicable toward, and necessary for, disciplines beyond creative writing and literature.”
Why shouldn’t all schools subscribe to classroom sets of Literary Magazines? I believe they should.