‘The Muse’ challenges, celebrates students’ creativity

 

Jan. 29, 2014

By Haley Beets

 

Brightly colored posters for “The Muse” are the staple on nearly every bulletin board at UW-Whitewater. The group invites students to submit their creative endeavors with bold letters and exclamation points.

Sometimes even these attention-getting posters fail at grabbing the eyes of indifferent college students. Maybe it’s apathy, or maybe it’s the posters advertising futons for sale that take priority.

Whatever the case, many students have never heard of UW-Whitewater’s literary arts publication.

“The Muse” publishes student submissions of poetry, prose, essays, photography, paintings and drawings. It’s one of the few opportunities on campus for creative students to get their work published and recognized.

Editor-in-Chief April Soller suggests taking advantage of this creative outlet.

“Submit as much as you want,” Soller said. “We don’t have a submission limit, so if you have a couple of pieces you want to submit and you’re not sure which one, you can submit both of them.”

Soller said last year they received about 100 submissions. Twenty-three prose and poetry pieces were published in addition to 20 visual arts pieces.

Soller is an English major with an emphasis in professional writing and publishing, but submissions are welcome from all disciplines.

John Carlberg
John Carlberg

Instead of beating boredom or stress by wasting time online, drawing or writing can provide release. Students with any major can benefit from a little time to unwind.

Adviser John Carlberg is well aware that “The Muse” is not a household name on campus. His goal is to change that.

“I hope that we can increase our campus profile so more students are aware of us, not only so they can submit whatever creative works that they have, but also pick up a copy of ‘The Muse,’” Carlberg said.

“The Muse” has been an institution at UW-Whitewater since the early 1970s. Carlberg has goals to archive more than 40 years of back issues onto its website.

Another goal Carlberg has for the publication is to increase its web presence. “The Muse” already has a Facebook page and a UW-W blog, but they’re not updated regularly.

A big draw to submit to “The Muse,” aside from publication, is its annual Muse Night Awards.

“The Muse” pulls out all the stops to honor artists and writers featured in its publication. Honorees are encouraged to invite their family and friends to share in the celebration.

Small cash prizes are awarded to place-winners in each category that “The Muse” publishes.

A silent auction is held during The Muse Night Awards that showcases the published works, or copies of them, for purchase. Soller and Carlberg said the night is one of their favorite parts of working for “The Muse.”

The deadline to cubmit works to “The Muse” is Jan. 31. Pull out those poems that you wrote for your creative writing class or in the back of a notebook, and get the recognition you deserve by sending them to [email protected]

“Don’t hold back your work if you’re not sure if you want to submit or not,” Soller said.

Carlberg said the only requirement is “a love of writing or art.”