Oakwood magazine showcases talent

Students with a passion for writing or art have an opportunity to have their work showcased. Oakwood, SDSU’s annual literary magazine, marks its 39th year in publication. With options to submit poetry, non-fiction, fiction and visual art – including drawing, photography and graphic design – students will be able to see their creative work on the pages in mid-April. Submissions for Oakwood are due by Feb. 7.

There is not a maximum number of submissions a person can make but there is a page limit of 15 pages. When submitting works, the title and genre should be included in the subject line of the email. More information on criteria for submitting literary works can be found at the Oakwood website.

While the submissions have been made by students for many years, Oakwood is beginning to accept them from alumni, faculty, Brookings community members and anyone else who might be interested.

“We’ve been putting a lot of energy lately into reaching out beyond SDSU proper, and every year we have more alumni interested in reading our latest issue,” said Professor Steve Wingate, the journal’s faculty advisor since 2011. “So a life beyond the campus for student writing is a great benefit.” 

Originally entitled Calliope, the magazine was founded by former SDSU student Doug Cockrell and English Professor David Evans and started off including regional writers. Oakwood became the official name later, offering a more regional feeling. Artwork by SDSU students became apart of the magazine later. Many art and graphic design students use the Oakwood to gain more experience.

Wingate said that the Students’ Association has continued to support the printed version of the magazine despite the increase in production cost, because it allows students to read their works from an actual literary journal. 

“This is one reason why a print version of the journal is so important, because if it’s just an online publication, it simply doesn’t have the same impact or longevity,” Wingate said. “It’s a real confidence booster for a writer to be published, and magazines like Oakwood are great places to start.”

Graduate students compose the editorial team of Oakwood; however, the journal’s management and editing has been turned into an independent study taught by Professor Wingate. Several of the graduate students have had pieces published before and now have the chance to become a part of the Oakwood team. 

This year’s team includes: Haley Bradshaw, Haley Wilson, Morgan Erickson, Robert Myers, Allison Risseeuw and Spencer Kavanaugh. Each member of the editing team holds responsibilities of reading submissions, running the Facebook page, organizing and spreading awareness about the journal. Not only does the editorial team read the submissions, but students who submit their work have a chance to receive feedback from the staff during the editing process. 

Students can receive special recognition for their work. Different awards have been offered over the years, such as special recognition on the acknowledgements page. A launch party is also put on by the staff each year, which allows any student to read their work aloud if they wish. 

While Oakwood is run by the English Department, students of all majors are welcome to submit their work.

“Any student can be creative, and we’re not here to judge, we’re here to show your best work. I’d love to see more of those students who don’t see themselves as writers, but enjoy writing,” said Morgan Erickson, a senior English major on the team. “They all have some kind of hidden talent that you’d be surprised if you read some of those pieces at how moving they are.”