Creative writing students from the University of Alberta have crafted a new magazine to showcase student work on campus.
Glass Buffalo was created by a class of nonfiction writers who were given an assignment to collect their term writing into a magazine.
“Our professor basically said, ‘you guys are great writers; you should be putting your writing into print,’ ” said Matthew Stepanic, one of the magazine’s co-creators.
“We were all really attached and attracted to the idea, so we put in the work and edited our stuff … and got a grant from the Collective Body for Arts Students, and then had 76 copies printed.”
Stepanic said after producing the magazine he and a few of the other involved students decided to continue the magazine for future creative writers coming out of the university.
“(We) were thinking, this was such an awesome experience — wouldn’t it be great if other students had the possibility to publish their work?” he said.
“None of us have any experience writing or editing for anything other than the few creative writing courses we’ve taken, so we’ve just been wandering a little bit through the dark and getting professional advice from anyone we can on what to do with the magazine.”
According to Stepanic, the publication’s title developed from a story one of his fellow students wrote, which was called Glass Buffalo.
“(The glass buffalo head) is kind of a mythic symbol of Alberta,” he explained.
“When we saw the name of (the) story, we (thought) it was a perfect reference for a magazine. The idea is the magazine can kind of be some source of mythical power to other University of Alberta students — it’s a place for everyone to tell their stories.”
Janice Williamson, the creative non-fiction writing professor who sparked the idea for the magazine, said she added in the magazine as a project because the course was on creative non-fiction and the intellectual inquiry.
“I thought it would be really great to collect some of the work in a magazine format, because the writing at that level, when students are very committed as emerging writers … they tend to produce really excellent work,” she said.
Williamson, who has been the editor for a number of creative nonfiction works, said she is pleased Stepanic and his former classmates are planning to continue the magazine.
“(They) were a very exceptional group of students who worked very beautifully together. They made it their own and they want it to be a magazine for creative writing that emerges from the WRITE program here. I think that’s a great idea — we really need a space here to feature student work,” she said.
Stepanic says the future of the publication lies in gathering writing from each of the three fields at the U of A, including fiction and poetry.
To read the Glass Buffalo or submit writing, visit glassbuffalo.wordpress.com.
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