For first time in magazine’s history, Soundings to print extra issue in winter

December 9, 2019 — by Andrew Lee

Soundings, the school’s student art and literary magazine, has always printed one issue in the spring of every year, provided there are enough journalism students volunteering to run the magazine. This year, an ambitious Soundings staff has decided to print an issue in the winter as well.

“Soundings only happens if there’s a passionate group of journalism students to make it happen,” senior Soundings staffer Anishi Patel said. “This year, we’re lucky enough to work with Ms. Keys and the Creative Writing class, and our team has pushed so hard to make this extra print issue happen.”

Patel and junior Manasi Garg, the two returning members of the 2018-19 Soundings team, have been joined by seniors Mathew Luo, Alex Wang and Brandon Wang and junior Oliver Ye.

The journalism budget doesn’t cover Soundings’ additional print issue, so the six-person team was forced to gather their own funds.

On Nov. 25, the staff hosted a boba fundraiser, which didn’t pull in as much as the team had hoped. So, they also applied for a $420 ASB grant, which would cover the cost of printing 200 issues of the magazine. 

“The fundraiser was hectic and didn’t come close to meeting the cost of printing the magazine,” Garg said. “Two-hundred issues isn’t a lot, but it’s all we can afford at this point.”

Despite the challenges, the staff insisted upon publishing and printing an issue in the winter. The winter issue will mark Soundings’ second year of bi-annual publication, since a winter issue was published online last year. 

“People deserve to see their creative work in print,” Patel said. “An online issue is an accomplishment, but it doesn’t reach the same audience. We received so many amazing submissions that it would be a shame to not print this issue.” 

The team received over 20 pieces of art, over 30 written submissions and over 40 photos. In order to create a 20-page issue, many submissions were rejected, but the team encourages everyone to submit again in the spring, when the print issue will be 10 pages longer. Written pieces were accepted after an anonymous vote by the Creative Writing class, which will continue to act as an advisory board for Soundings in the future.

Between now and the spring issue, Patel and Garg have more plans to improve the magazine.

In addition to potentially recruiting art classes to advise on art and photography submissions, Patel and Garg want to further legitimize Soundings within the journalism program.

“Moving forward, we hope to get some underclassmen on the staff for next semester’s issue. We are currently all upperclassmen and we hope that Soundings will become a regular publication with sustained interest,” Garg said. 

The team is also considering adding a hierarchy of roles to garner interest from other journalism students, but a six-member staff makes creating positions difficult. The team is also looking into streamlining the publication process, since the majority of the work tends to happen close to the end of the semester.

“I found a printer that would have drastically reduced our printing costs, but we produced the magazine too late to make their shipping costs justifiable,” Patel said. “It’s a volunteer process, so it’s hard to set deadlines and get things done, but we’ll be working on that next issue.”


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