Up Against the Wall: Saddleback’s Literary Magazine

Kati Sweet

Composed of an eclectic collection of poetry, fiction, personal essays, and art, Saddleback’s student-produced literary magazine, the Wall, has been churning out copies since 2000. As stated in the magazine, the Wall claims to serve as a “community space for creative expression…a printed canvas, a surface to be scrawled upon, a vast white page that invites our words and images.” All pieces are original work produced by Saddleback students. The staff of 14 is entirely responsible for the process of reviewing, selecting, and editing.

“We see our function on campus as creating a forum for students to showcase their work,” said class advisor Josh Pryor.

Published submissions run the gauntlet. Last year’s staff published everything from a fiction piece describing a woman leaving her sister behind in a mental hospital to another detailing a woman’s revenge on her abusive husband. According to the staff, there are no restrictions, they simply look for quality of content, with an emphasis on originality and passion.

“We want students who aren’t afraid to express themselves,” Pryor said. “We look for writers to take risks with their work.”

Competition to be published is keen. Pryor estimates that only 10 percent of submissions make it to the final version. Staff member Taylor Rogers, 19, journalism, said that in the end “we want students to want to read it.”

The Wall, however, is not simply a chance for students to get published, but also provides the staff with an opportunity to gain real world experiences. For Rogers, a staff member for the last four semesters, serving on staff has been a great opportunity to learn new skills.

“You get involved in every aspect of publishing,” she said. “I feel I have learned a lot.”

For retiree Joyce Ward, the experience has likewise been very rewarding. Ward joined the Wall out of curiosity and a love of literature, and hasn’t been disappointed.

“It’s fun to read the submissions,” said Ward. “You get to appreciate the incredible talent of students. Plus it’s a high to see the finished product.”

For those who are interested in submitting pieces, the deadline for submission is coming up fast. All pieces must be turned in by Feb. 6. Contact jpryor@saddleback.edu for more information. The Wall usually distributes 3,000 copies per year in locations across the campus – look for its release at the start of fall semester.