Two campuses join to read written work at lit mag release party
BY CLAIRE SCOTT
Scholars and friends excited for the release of the second edition of “Footnotes,” Haas Hall Academy’s literary arts magazine, filled Red Kite Coffee Co. in Fayetteville on Aug. 26. The crowd began gathering at 5 p.m., ordering coffee and purchasing copies of the magazine.
“I was excited to see everybody’s reactions,” junior Helen Maynard said. “I was extremely pleased with the turnout. There were a lot of people, and there was a lot of support.”
The floor opened for readers at 5:30 p.m., and scholars read their work featured in “Footnotes.” The magazine included pieces by scholars from the Fayetteville and Bentonville campuses.
Tyler Kowalski, a junior at Haas Hall Bentonville, had a short story published in this year’s “Footnotes.” The story, “Tempo Change,” centered on the confrontations that resulted when a teenage boy was sent to live with his grandparents.
Kowalski praised the literary community on both campuses.
“The community is only going to grow,” said Kowalski, who read his short story aloud at the event.
The magazine, which placed Top 10 nationally last year, is a “huge benefit” to scholars at both campuses, he said.
A few opted to read others’ pieces, such as junior Javian Walter, who read “The Ballad of Will Blister” by junior Owen Young.
“The story I read was also a lot of fun to do, and it was great to have people get together to focus on an interesting form of art,” Walter said.
“Telling stories is a primitive form of art, and it’s one that’s not commonly done anymore; so it was interesting to read stories together and communicating that way,” he said.
The first edition of “Footnotes” won All-Arkansas, the highest award possible, at the 2016 Arkansas Scholastic Press Association conference. It was also a Pacemaker finalist in the National Scholastic Press Association competition, one of only 10 in the country.
The editors of this edition, Maynard, junior Casey Wong and 2016 graduate John Kistler, worked tirelessly alongside advisers Karen Henry and Larry Henry to compile poetry, prose, art and photography. The theme of this issue is Identity, and the contents center on this theme, focusing on individuality and what that means.
“We waited until we had a lot of submissions in, and we found a common theme was identity, so we used that,” Wong said. “To put them in order as you see them, we threw them all up on a board and pieced them so that it would all flow together so that sad goes to funny and back to sad.”
With the various mediums included in the magazine, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
“There’s a lot of photography and art that’s awe-inspiring and writing that makes you think,” junior Isaac Hopwood said.
There are funny poems like junior Rhett Owen’s “Brie Fever,” serious stories such as junior Shiloh Beeler’s “Diamonds” and art like two watercolor pieces by senior Allie Gould.
“The best pieces are the things you can connect with and find yourself in,” Wong said.
“Some of my favorite pieces were ‘Tempo Change’ and ‘Water After’ because they’re a type of fiction story we don’t get very much of,” Maynard said.
This year’s staff includes Maynard, Hopwood and senior Georgia Williams. In Bentonville, creative writing scholar Taylor Poe is the editor helping pull together work from that campus.
“I think there’s a lot of potential with the larger quantity of submissions we’ve already received. I want to encourage everybody to try their best and submit what they have,” Hopwood said.
The editors encourage submissions of all kinds for the next edition of “Footnotes” and look forward to the process of development.