Yahara Journal features student talent in fine art, writing


The Yahara Journal released its book on April 25, and is available across Madison College campuses. It will be distributed out of Student Life.

Sarah Weatherbee, Multimedia Editor

From a stack of more than 200 submissions, Editor-in-Chief Zina Schroeder and her staff of editors selected 42 of the best of Madison College’s creative writing and artwork for this year’s Yahara Journal.

The student-run team released the 80-page book on April 25. It is available free of charge and is placed around Madison College campuses. Throughout the school year, writing submissions from students were considered for publication.

“We accept submissions all year round,” Schroeder said. “We have two different contests that kind of bunch our submissions into a fall and spring bundle.”

The Yahara Journal began in 1994 as an insert to the school newspaper. Its mission was to feature the artwork and creative writing of Madison College students. Since then, it has grown into an annual journal, and its staff have hosted events to encourage students’ artistic pursuits.

This year, Schroeder and her team have hosted poetry readings, classroom educational events on Banned Book Week and held a “Bad Love Poem” contest that received coverage from the Wisconsin State Journal. These events help raise awareness of the Yahara Journal and bring students and faculty together in the spirit of creativity.

The published journal is divided into three sections: poetry, prose and artwork. Submissions go through several rounds of editing before being selected and, in an effort to provide enough coverage for all, writers and artists are limited to three submissions per person.

Doug Kirchberg is the Yahara Journal’s staff advisor. Over multiple years, he has seen the work of certain writers progress, as some have had works featured in more than one annual journal.

“When you see people who have pieces in from previous years, that’s a testament to the quality of their work over the course of those years,” Kirchberg said.

He said that all writers’ names are withheld throughout the editing and judging process in order to preserve integrity.

Schroeder will maintain her editor-in-chief position for the 2013-2014 school year. This coming fall, she plans to add a scary story contest, among others.

Reflecting on the journal’s purpose and role of giving students recognition for their craft, Schroeder said, “It’s nice to have a place for students to formally publish their work. If you have your work published, it can convince you to keep doing it.”

Alexander Balchen, a member of the editing team, added that the journal has a strong role in promoting the arts. “That’s a very important thing, especially to express creativity among students and to get that out there,” he said.