Aurora, Eastern Kentucky University’s student-led online literary and arts journal, is seeking submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, music, photography and film for its 2022 edition. Students should submit their pieces through the magazine’s website by March 1. Prizes are distributed to winners in each genre.
The journal began in 1935 as Belles Lettres, a small paperback magazine. In 1969, the magazine changed its title to Aurora, continuing to print an annual magazine until 2012, when the publication went completely online. The publication is a product of the English 420: Stylistics, Editing, Publishing course, taught by Professor Gaby Bedetti, who has taught the course for 19 years.
Student editors take the lead on every aspect of the process. The course offers valuable experience to students who dream of working in the competitive publishing industry, she said.
“We are hoping to apply our marketing and editing skills to Aurora and put it on our resumes,” said James Dickison, a senior English major from Danville, Ky., who serves as one of the magazine’s fiction editors and runs the group’s Twitter account.
Editors are seeking all genres and a variety of mediums for the 2022 issue.
“Students should not worry about catering to a specific tone for the journal,” Dickison said. “We usually publish 15-20 fiction pieces, 1-5 nonfiction pieces, 20-25 poems, 5-10 pieces of music, 1-5 short films and 30-35 pieces of artwork and photography.”
“Fiction and nonfiction editors look for compelling narratives, interesting concepts and excellent usage of literary devices,” he added. “Poetry editors look for beautiful imagery and distinct messages. Photography and art editors look for striking frames, colors, poses and angles.”
Cailin Wile, an English major who graduated in spring 2021, won the magazine’s poetry division last year with her piece entitled, Abalone, earning a $100 prize.
“It meant a lot to me that my writing seemed to resonate with people,” she said. “I spend a long time crafting each line of my poems, so to see my work pay off in this way was really fulfilling.”
Wile, who has continued writing poetry even after graduation, said that being able to share her work inspires her to go the extra mile in the creative process.
“I tend to write about things that hurt, and sharing my writing means that I might get to help someone else feel less alone.”
Every issue of the 87-year-old publication is archived and available for viewing online through the Aurora website. Readers may notice online editions include a variety of non-text media, which is a noted advantage of publishing online versus only in print.
Student editors for the 2022 edition are: Lindsey Bezold, Lauryn Campbell, Haydn Conner, James Dickison, Angel Dodge, Jasmine Flora, Blaine Gillingham, Logan Kling, Nathan Nickson, Cheyanne Owens, Kayla Rhoden, Megan Sawcheck and Ashton Sidwell.
To read past issues of Aurora magazine and to submit creative pieces, visit https://aurora.eku.edu/.