Let me state the obvious—being a writer in college is hard. You're at a pivotal yet completely haphazard point in your life, unsure about most things except for the following three (very true) facts: you are a writer, you want a career post graduation, and most importantly, you want that career to involve writing in some way. College is like the ocean: Its depths and shallows are inhabited by unique bodies coexisting together as they thrive and feed off of each other. There are so many possibilities that its surface seems vast. It is vast. And so when you’re engulfed by its waters, sometimes you feel lost, all alone in a chaotic, thrashing storm. But sometimes it’s serene and nothing, not even the vastness of it all or the strength of its tides, can disrupt your confidence, your drive to push against your surroundings onward.
With so much to do and so many responsibilities, sometimes it’s hard to even think about trying to write outside of the classroom. But it’s essential. Because even though the work you churn out for school assignments can be (and most often times is) inspirational, what's produced on your own time speaks truth to who you are. Not only can it help you find your niche—where you belong as a writer—it can, in doing so, help you define yourself as a creative mind and as a person.
So, how can you share your voice? How can you collect meaningful, versatile material and bind together a portfolio thick with ideas and promise? Start with the publications on your own college campus. It’s important that you, the Ithaca College student and writer—whether you’re a novelist or a journalist—are exposed to all of the opportunities sitting right in front of you.
To begin with the obvious, Odyssey is one of these publications. I joined Odyssey about a year ago because I liked the idea of writing to connect with others. It gave me just the right amount of structure and flexibility—I had to meet deadlines but could write current events, personal essays, any form about almost any topic (once it was approved, of course). I could write about what I was interested in and passionate about, all while reaching an audience I would not have reached otherwise.
With over 1,200 branches, Odyssey is a community of creators from across the country. As Editor-in-Chief, I stress quality over quantity. I never want my writers to compromise quality for the sake of traffic or Facebook shares whether their piece is a work of fiction or an op-ed. Becoming a writer for our IC team is a great way to collect clips, to gain experience meeting deadlines and working with editors in our New York City office, and to explore yourself as a writer.
Here are the other publications Ithaca College has to offer:
The Ithacan is IC's award-winning newspaper that covers content about the arts, college sports, and campus life and culture. According to Editor-in-Chief and senior Kayla Dwyer, The Ithacan has two missions: "To produce a professional-quality news product, and to serve as an educational co-curricular for student journalists to learn about real journalism. This emphasis on education means we teach anyone who wants to work with us everything they need to know."
She's looking for "people who are willing to learn and put in the effort to take on assignments. We love people with creative ideas, and people who are willing to go out into the community to find story ideas. That kind of thing takes a degree of initiative that is attractive in a reporter or photographer."
There's no application process to write, take photos, shoot video, design, or sell ads, but Dwyer says that the (paid) editorial board positions are the ones you have to apply for, a process that occurs at the end of each semester.
Look out for announcements about editorial positions by November (there will be applications in the Dean's office on the third floor of Park). If you are interested in joining, Dwyer says to pop into The Ithacan's office in Park 220.
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Led by Editor-in-Chief and IC senior Byron Bixler, Filmic is an online publication (formerly print) that focuses on sharing and expressing love for cinema.
“I want IC writers to know that Filmic is an incredibly flexible publication. We are open to all majors, all levels of 'film expertise,' and all cinematic interests. As a movie-centric magazine, we cover all kinds of films—comedy, drama, art house, action, animation, documentary, etc.—with a wide variety of articles," says Bixler, from traditional reviews to poetry inspired by movies.
Bixler also says that the publication is trying to build up a "Student Film Profile" section in which writers discuss an ACP or thesis film in production. He is looking for "those enthusiastic about the medium who have the ability to talk about it thoughtfully and coherently.”
To apply, email email@example.com.
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Stillwater is Ithaca College's premiere art and literary magazine. It's published annually and features work ranging from poetry to nonfiction.
The magazine, "combines the literary with the visual. Submitting is extremely selective, particularly poetry. Even though we don't have a strict theme, we do look for literary styles rather than research-paper-esque," says junior Emma Sheinbaum, the Assistant Editor-in-Chief.
Stillwater also provides a space for visual essays and in terms of quality, Sheinbaum says the work "has to evoke something significant, whether it's an emotion, realization, or message. We look for work that reflects a unique style and voice, too, because new techniques and content are exciting."
Stillwater will start accepting submissions within the next few months into the beginning of the spring semester, so stay tuned for the announcements, IC!
ZoetIC is a print magazine sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society at IC. The publication includes five sections: Short Fiction, Prose/Poetry, Academic Essay, Personal Essay, and One-Act Play/Short Screenplay.
Derek Adams, faculty co-sponsor for the English Honor Society says that the publication seeks to feature work from undergraduates of all majors and that "publishing the magazine is our attempt to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible talents of some of our most gifted scholars."
A team of faculty members serve as judges once the chosen works go through the final rounds of editing, and according to Adams, each member chooses one piece as the best written submission for a particular section. The winning author is even awarded a $50 gift certificate to Buffalo Street Books.
"More generally, works should be intellectually engaging, aesthetically appealing, and deeply reflective, though this means different things for each genre of writing," Adams says.
Announcements about submissions will begin in a few months, so stay tuned!
The Mirror Magazine
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The Mirror Magazine is a literary arts publication associated with Active Minds at Ithaca College and is generally centered around mental health pieces.
Sophomore Zoe Howland is the Editor-in-Chief of the publication and says that The Mirror Magazine is "a really great way to publish work in a fun and safe environment, and we're always looking for new and interesting submissions. We accept prose, poetry, photography, and art. Pieces do not necessarily have to be about mental health or mental illness, and we can publish anonymously should someone request it."
To submit, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An up-and-coming fashion publication, Distinct's president and Editor-in-Chief is sophomore Sara Belcher. Distinct is soon to be an online magazine dedicated to, according to Belcher, "breaking the stereotypes around social class and gender in the fashion industry, providing people with a medium to express their person style and what makes them distinct." Belcher says that the magazine is going to focus on the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and culture on the IC campus through writing, photography, and videography.
To join, email email@example.com.
Fuse is a publication for prospective students and their families. Its mission is to accurately depict student perspectives on IC's academic programs, people, and campus life.
Senior Sabina Leybold is a student writer and editor at the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications where she writes primarily for Fuse. According to Leybold, Fuse is entirely student-run and because it's geared toward perspective students, "it's very much a peer-to-peer publication." She says that the staff is small, but they cover a variety of topics such as events and student profiles as well as first-person essays.
According to Leybold, sometimes ICView, the magazine of Ithaca College, picks up features published in Fuse despite being a publication that's not student-run. ICView is geared towards alumni, parents of students, employees, etc.
Look out for the Fuse job application on the IC job database.
The Tab is a "new kind of news network" that began at Cambridge University and now has branches at universities in the U.K., U.S. and Canada. And The Tab Ithaca is one of these branches.
"Our writers work with campus editors and professional journalists in New York to ensure their piece is at a standard where it can be published. We pride ourselves on quality campus news, setting the IC conversation agenda, and giving students a voice," says junior Lizzy Gulino, editor for The Tab Ithaca. "Our stories have been republished in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post to name a few, and graduating reporters have gone on to work for companies such as VICE, BuzzFeed and The Guardian."
Buzzsaw is Ithaca College's alternative, independent magazine on campus. It's entirely student-run and has a number of categories from news coverage in its "News & Views" section to featured creative writing in its "Prose & Cons" section.
Prose & Cons editor and senior Lexie Farabaugh wants IC writers to know that the publication "is an immersive and inclusive magazine. It tailors to every kind of writer, no matter what kind of experience the writer brings." More importantly, Farabaugh says they aren't just looking for writers, "we also love artists, web designers, and people who love film and photography...we think everyone's voice is important enough to be heard."
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her Campus is the #1 new-media brand for the empowered college woman. With over 300 campus chapters nationwide (and in eight countries), Her Campus features content in their various departments such as Beauty, Health, News, and Career. It's more than just a publication—it provides useful tools and resources for student writers and even holds national events (like the Her Conference).
Junior Hannah Gignoux is Co-Correspondent of Her Campus Ithaca alongside junior Holly Habeck. The site publishes five pieces per week in four different categories: Features, Blogs, Profiles, and Snapshots. According to Gignoux, the staff meets every week. "Along with being a writer, there are multiple leadership positions members can apply for," Gignoux says.
To apply, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spoon University has contributors at over 150 college campuses and is the everyday resource for food hacks, reviews of the best off-campus restaurants, and so much more (not to mention, the articles include mouthwatering pictures that make you wish you knew how to cook).
Junior Sophia Sioris is the Social Media Manager and writer for Ithaca College's branch of Spoon University. She says that, similar to Odyssey, "Spoon University is a national online publication run by college students, for college students. The main difference is that our focus is on food and food culture."
"Our chapter's goal is to be the main food resource on campus," Sioris says. Spoon, she stresses, can open the door to summer internships and, "we're always looking for writers, but we're also looking for videographers, photographers, graphic designers, social media managers, and event planners."
To apply, email email@example.com.
CollegeFashionista is a medium for college students to discuss and share the latest styles and trends on campuses across the country. Ithaca College's branch of CollegeFashionista features work written by fun and knowledgeable "style gurus" who post about anything from how to stay comfortable and chic during Ithaca's bitter winter, to the best outfits to wear while exploring downtown.
Junior Tara Stacy is a style guru (writer) for the IC branch and says that "CollegeFashionista is a street style website geared towards college students. As a style guru and part of the social media society, I write pieces about street style on campus and promote the company's content as well."
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IC Women Empowered is a club that brings young women together to find and foster their own confidence, empowerment, and editorial skills.
President and senior Emma Herschman says that she wants writers to use the club's blog as an outlet to write about anything. "It's hard to step outside your comfort zone and be able to talk about personal struggles, and that's why we want IC WE to be such a success," she says. "We want people to use this club as a support system and a way to feel comfortable to cope and deal with any problems they may be having."
"We're aiming to recruit as many writers as possible in the hopes of getting an extremely diverse range of articles. We want people from all major and minors, including men," Herschman says.
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alright IC writers, get to writing!