By Sydney Hakes
Founded in 1994, North Star is a student-run publication that features all forms of writing, visual art and more recently, podcasts. They accept submissions from all SUNY Plattsburgh students, including fully virtual students and those studying at the Queensbury campus.
It’s the last week for students to submit their writing, art and other forms of creation to be in the 2022 edition of North Star Literary and Art Magazine.
The magazine publishes yearly, in the spring semester. The submission deadline is April 8, and publication will be May 13. Submissions and questions can be sent to their email, firstname.lastname@example.org. More information and submission guidelines can be found on their Instagram, plattsburghnorthstar2022.
“There’s a different theme every year that will be taken into consideration when the editors are reviewing submissions,” Sarah Boncore, the managing editor of North Star, said. “It doesn’t have to be obvious, but the theme should be a jumping off point and hopefully inspire the writing or art.”
The theme this year is “Stepping Stones to Healing,” an idea broad enough to have a different interpretation for most individuals.
To Boncore, the theme made her think of the transition students have had to go through as a result of COVID-19.
“As students, we all had this shared experience of going through a pandemic at this specific moment in our lives,” Boncore said. “A big idea behind North Star is expressing how it is to be a student at SUNY Plattsburgh. For me, reflecting on our theme of healing, I can say that we’re not there yet, but we’re getting better.”
North Star is undergoing a big change in 2022 by transitioning into a fully online journal. Editor-in-Chief Caroline Miner points out many benefits in this new format.
“One of the biggest benefits is the availability of being able to accept more work,” Miner said. “Not only in quantity, but the opportunity for things like podcasts that couldn’t be published in a physical magazine.”
Miner and Boncore both mentioned the accessibility of the magazine being fully online, along with the ability to archive past publications in one location.
Miner, a senior double majoring in English literature and English writing arts, while also pursuing the professional writing certificate, has an undeniable passion for North Star when she talks about it.
“North Star is a place of love,” Miner said. “It’s a vulnerable act to submit your art or writing to a publication, but there is power in being heard and seen. North Star can be a place for students to kindle their passions while putting themselves out there.”
North Star accepts all forms of writing, from fiction, drama and poetry, to nonfiction and composition. River Ashe, a senior double major in English literature and English writing arts, has submitted to North Star for the past three years.
“One of my professors suggested I submit some poems in 2020,” Ashe said. “I was afraid of rejection and also had some performance anxiety. But two of my poems were accepted, and seeing them published was awesome. There was a big sense of pride and also self-appreciation for putting myself out there despite my hesitation.”
While two of Ashe’s poems were accepted, two were also denied. Ashe mentions that they weren’t discouraged by that, and it was a good lesson in accepting rejection.
“For people who are thinking about submitting, but might be nervous, all I can say is just go for it,” Ashe said. “If you do get denied, it doesn’t mean your work is bad, it could have just not fit the theme. Either way, your work was read by the editors and was appreciated.”
Ashe, who was also the managing editor in 2021, stressed that submitting writing in a publication like North Star is the perfect place to get comfortable when many writers and artists will have to do so in the future. They also mentioned the positives of potentially gaining a publishing credit.
“This could be something to put on a resume that future employers will see,” Ashe said. “It could be the one thing that sets you apart in the career field.”
Miner hopes to see more submissions before April 8. She stresses that even if writing or art needs some more work, the editing team is there to help.
“North Star is a platform to give a voice to students,” Miner said. “Art and writing show the humanity of people, and when it’s by students, edited by students and for students, we often find that many of our lives may run similarly.”