Club Spotlight: the literary magazine

When you get started at college or university, it’s a great idea to get involved with clubs and societies to broaden your horizons, expand your social circle and discover new activities that you enjoy. For budding writers, Quotidian, the literary magazine running out of Strathclyde University and accepting submissions from students Scotland-wide, is a great starting point. Editors Melissa and Stephen told us a bit more about the magazine. 

Quotidian PosterWhat is Quotidian all about?

Melissa: Quotidian is a literary magazine – we publish fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. The theme that we are looking at in Quotidian is the theme of “the everyday.” So we’re trying to create a magazine that has high quality writing but also showcases the writing of students across Scotland.

Why did you decide to start the magazine?

Melissa: Beatrice Colin, who is the creative writing lecturer at Strathclyde, suggested the idea to me about starting the magazine. Most other universities had one, so we wanted to start one up for Strathclyde. We wanted to do it a wee bit differently – with a lot of other magazines, the writing is very good, but it’s not very nice to look at. We wanted to create something that’s not only beautiful to read, but beautiful to look at too.

Why did you choose the theme of “the everyday”?

Melissa: It’s something I’ve always been fascinated by. On the surface it seems boring to write about, but underneath, nothing is too small or unimportant. I like reading books about ordinary things that you recognise, as they resonate more, and encourages you that your own life is interesting enough to write about.

Stephen: I’m particularly fond of the Quotidian theme, especially for early writers, as it comes across as more mature. It strays away from the melodrama side of things that many writers write about, and has more details about life. It’s about finding the momentous and the beautiful in the everyday.

What’s the best thing about getting your work published?

Stephen: Just having somebody to look at your work and value it. You can get a lot of rejection in your time as a writer, but all it takes is one acceptance, one publication, and one magazine, and then you’ve got the motivation to go forward.

Do you have any advice for students who want to submit their work?

Melissa: Just give it a go – it can be a scary thing, but getting your work published is a really good feeling. Even if you don’t get it published, it’s quite a brave thing to do. Even if it isn’t accepted, don’t get too down. Last year we had about a hundred submissions, and all of them were really good, but we had to pick and choose which ones we wanted in particular for our magazine.

There’s a social side to the magazine too, it’s not just about writing on your own – the launch party earlier this year was a huge success! Do you have plans to do something like that again?

Melissa: It went really well last year. We were trying to do something slightly different – we had a bit of music, balloons and cake. We tried to make it something that would be good to go to even if you didn’t know anyone there. We’re hoping to do something like that again, something with a similar atmosphere.

Stephen: Maybe we’ll get a bigger venue. More people showed up at the launch party than what we could have hoped for, so next time we’ll make it somewhere where we don’t have to cram all the people in. But we handed out two hundred copies of Quotidian that night, so what was a huge step.

Why should students write for Quotidian?

Stephen: I’m really proud to say that the submissions last year were really high quality. Being published in Quotidian means being the best among people who write – it’s kind of like entering an elite club, in a way.

How can people submit their work?

Melissa: We have all our submission guidelines on our website. We’re looking for poetry up to fifty lines long, creative fiction and nonfiction that’s no more than a thousand words.

Find out more about Quotidian at www.quotidianmag.com

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