Honors students get creative with new publication

Hilary Crisan

Kent State honors students, as well as honors students across the Midwest, are now able to show off their creativity with a new student-run magazine.

Brainchild, an arts and literary magazine, accepts submissions from honors students ranging from short stories, essays and photography.

According to Andrew Rasner, co-editor of the Brainchild, submissions are decided upon through editors of the publication.

“We have an art editor, who would be in charge of the art submissions and a literary editor, who would be in charge of the stories submitted,” Rasner said. “There’s a fluid process in terms of deciding on what submissions should be published.”

The publication was created in an honors section of an editing and publishing class. Victoria Bocchicchio, director of academic programs, pushed for the magazine to be published for the campus.

“What I had asked the instructor to do with students in the honors section was to design a publication that would highlight honors students’ creative efforts, art and literature,” Bocchicchio said. “They did an outstanding job, so we decided to continue publishing [Brainchild] every year.”

The magazine first started as a platform for Kent State honors students to publish their creative works, but now it is expanding into accepting submissions to different schools from different Midwest states.

“A colleague, a student who worked on the magazine and I went to the Midwestern Honors Association conference last year and presented to the institutions there the idea of soliciting submissions for all of their honors associations,” Bocchicchio said. “They were very supportive and very willing to help us get the word out.”

This year’s publication of the Brainchild will be ready in time for the conference being held in April. Students who worked on the publication will attend to present the publication to various honors associations in attendance.

“The real motivation to go to the conference will be to continue to create interest in Brainchild, so that each year we get more and more interest from students in these programs,” Bocchicchio said.

According to Zach Nickels, co-editor of the Brainchild, the publication’s literary content ranges from creative non-fiction to academic essays to poetry and fictional short stories.

“What we are doing, as a honors college, is taking submissions from people who are in [the Midwestern Honors Association] and funneling back out to them,” Nickels said. “Which you would think would compromise the aspect of what literary and arts magazine is supposed to be, but I don’t think it does because you assume you’re going to get pieces from kids who know what they’re doing.”

Brainchild’s newly expanded submissions were inspired by a similar publication called “Scribendi,” which comes from the University of New Mexicio.

“When I first discovered ‘Screbendi’ at a national honors conference eight to 10 years ago, it occurred to me this would be a perfect vehicle for our honors program here because at Kent State, we have such good journalism and design programs.” Bocchichio said. “So it seemed to be a natural fit for us.”

Submissions for “Brainchild” will be accepted until Dec. 1, 2013.

Contact Hilary Crisan at [email protected].