Creative Writers in Search of Expression Publish Student Magazine

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(Alex Neihaus, Photographer)
The 2020 roster of Miramonte High School’s creative writing club includes, from the left to right, Alexandra Finegan, Scarlett Mosher, Miriam Yee, Reese Whipple, Mia Singleton, Olivia Eukel and Chaya Tong. Club members not pictured are Tenley Thompson, Katie Kaiser and Danielle Kelly.

    Writer’s Mag, a creative writing club at Miramonte High School, is gearing up for the second annual publication of its creative writing magazine celebrating art and writing submissions from the student body.
    The club was co-founded by juniors Chaya Tong and Scarlett Mosher. The two met during their sophomore year and quickly found they both shared a passion for creative writing – an art that is not taught within the standard English curriculum. Undaunted, the pair collaborated with English teacher Donia Gousios to create “a place for creative writers at Miramonte.”
    Since its founding, the club has grown to accommodate about a dozen aspiring young writers. During the first semester of the year, the group works together on a variety of writing prompts and invites guest speakers during lunches.
    Following the winter finals, the focus of the club shifts from creative writing to a more editorial aspect. Before publication, the club has to apply for grants, find sponsorships, and sell ad space to raise funds.
    This year, Writer’s Mag raised upwards of $2,000. Tong says the philosophy behind this fundraising is to keep the publication accessible. “We distribute the magazine for free; after all, art should be free and something everyone can enjoy. The pamphlet is placed in the wellness center and library, and we send a copy to all of our sponsors.”
    During the submission period, Miramonte students can provide both art and poetry, along with prose works of 250 words or less. Each selected work is paired with an art piece in the final product; an 18-sheet pamphlet printed on magazine paper in full color.
    Submissions for the 2020 publication closed Feb. 7. The club worked with San-Leandro printer 404 Creates to publish the final product which will be available this month after the spring break.
    “I love creative writing because it gives me the opportunity to express myself,” said Tong. “I’ve loved drawing, theater, writing, music; all these give me an outlet to express myself that I can’t get through other mediums like sports.”
    Tong and Mosher plan to enlarge the club to accommodate more freshman and sophomores. In addition, they are considering inviting guest speakers to the theater and starting a blog to publish Miramonte students’ work year-round.
    “We really want to make sure the magazine stays continuous after we leave,” said Mosher. “Creative writing and poetry has been my passion since fifth grade, and Writer’s Mag provides a valuable space for young writers that should be preserved.”

Contributing Writer Mathew Lin is a student at Miramonte High School.

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