Preface Literary Magazine is a student-led magazine and club that shows creative forms of writing and art. Published annually and featuring many works of writing by creative Goucher students, Preface highlights the work of students, especially those with a passion for writing and the arts. The magazine displays many genres of writing such as poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, while also showing student’s art and photography.
Goucher has had a literary magazine run by students, for students since May 1890, but it wasn’t always called Preface. Goucher’s literary magazine was originally called The Kalends from 1890-1940, until it was then changed to Venture from 1949-1957. In 1958, it gained its current namesake. Other literary magazines also existed, such as Dilettante (1941-1944), Goucher Review (2004-2008), and Hear My Voice (2005, 2012), according to the Goucher Digital Library.
Submissions to the magazine can be from any student, even if they don’t have a Creative Writing or Art Major, which allows the magazine to thoroughly represent Goucher’s creativity across subjects. 94 submissions were sent through Preface’s email for their April 3 deadline. Special events were held for people who want to have a safe space, motivating space to write for the magazine. This included “Writing Parties” – fun gatherings for writers to brainstorm, create their pieces, and get to know the editors who helped coordinate the parties.
Preface is led and edited by other Goucher students who have a strong passion for writing and art. Jupiter Berrysmith ‘25 is the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine and helped edit and host events for the magazine. They explained what it was like having the role as an editor and the responsibility of keeping track of submissions.
“The staff of Preface is amazing, and we try to foster a collaborative atmosphere,” Berrysmith said, “In other words, I do a lot of delegating, and I’m lucky to work with editors I trust and admire. However, when submissions for this issue were still open, I checked our email daily and kept mental notes of how many we were receiving. When our submissions closed, all the editors organized the pieces by genre in folders, and we created a master doc spreadsheet listing all the submissions. So, I would say my role has been focused on including everyone in the process, as well as acting as the main organizer to make things run smoothly.”
The production of Preface magazine has experienced difficulties due to Covid restrictions, virtual learning, and lingering effects, so holding writing parties served as a refresher for Preface writers and editors. Students who attended the writing parties gained a sense of engagement and belonging as they communicated with other creative writers and brainstormed on what they should submit for the magazine. The editors put care, effort, and a lot of work into hosting the writing parties and keeping records for writers who have emailed them their submissions.
This year’s edition of Preface magazine will be released in early May, with their release party being held on May 12 in the Soper Room (located in Julia Rogers), said Berrysmith.
“I’m super excited for our release party we’re planning on hosting! I don’t want to say too much because it’s still in the works, but we want to be able to celebrate everyone who submitted in a tangible way,” said Berrysmith. “The event will involve distributing physical copies of the magazine, readings by student writers, and hopefully some music! So, save the date for May 12 for our release party!”
For more updates, follow Preface on Instagram, @prefacelitmag.
Photo Credit: Kristen Wheeler