Student literary publication struggles through obstacles

Read This works to overcome obstacles

By RANDI TYLER/Montana State News

Read This, a Montana State University student-published literary magazine has been published since 2006, but this school year, the publication has hit a rocky patch.

The staff, mostly comprised of new people, had to start from scratch after the computer that had all the programs and information that the editors needed to be able to publish, went missing.

This happened in the fall semester of 2011 and Dezri Rochin was beginning her new position of editor in chief at the time. She recalls that she had no experience in being an editor in chief and was basically winging it, waiting for the missing computer with crucial information to turn up, which never happened.

This caused the beginning semester to be filled with disarray and confusion as new editors and interns tried to put together the magazine with no previous knowledge.

The attempt to publish the winter edition of Read This became a disorganized effort and the team is still trying to get the issue out.

“We’re still trying to get back on our feet, but it has been an overall good experience,” says Mary Koppy, current fiction editor for the winter edition of Read This. Koppy will soon become the editor in chief for the spring issue as Rochin steps down.

Read This showcases fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art in its pages. It is an opportunity for authors and artists to show their talents to the outside community and is always a free publication. It costs nothing to submit entries or to pick up the magazine.

“Read This was ready for a big change, and this year has given us the opportunity to re-create the whole artistic idea of the magazine, the website and the processes of selection, design and printing. It’s taken a lot of time and effort, but we will be very happy with the magazine we produce at the end of it,” says Koppy.

Rochin agrees and is very proud of the new look of Read This.

“I was very insistent that it be brought up a notch and was no longer a throw away publication,” says Rochin.

With her insistence and the staff’s agreement, the Read This magazine will now be printed in color and on magazine style pages, rather than on newspaper pages. This decision was partly made because of the infamous ink on the previous edition that seemed to smear onto everything it touched.

The staff is hoping that with a nicer, more professional look. They’re hoping the magazine will be something people want to pick up and read and consider as a respectable magazine to submit their own work to.

With Read This attempting to move up in style and reputation, both Rochin and Koppy have high hopes for the magazine. Koppy hopes to have two biannual issues once again, instead of having two issues published so close in time together.

She also hopes to be able to run two or three contests for authors, poets, and artists to participate in as well as expanding Read This’ presence on the internet.

As for Rochin, she says, “I hope we get things smoothed out and make a name for ourselves that will have people knocking on our door to be considered for publication.”

Edited by Jodi Wilson


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