Every semester as the newest edition of Marian’s literary magazine BURN is passed out, praise can be heard throughout the halls for its beauty. For eight weeks leading up to the release of each edition, those on the BURN staff work tirelessly. The girls meet twice a week with additional outside work to create the finished product that is presented to the student body. Each issue has about 18 written pieces and 22 art and photography pieces. The final product comes from high quality content and the passion of the 22 BURN staff members puts into the pages.
“I don’t think people realize how much [work is involved],” BURN moderator Mrs. Jennifer Christen said. “They really want to do a good job featuring the students.”
The publishing process for BURN begins with choosing which pieces will be featured. Each semester, the BURN staff receives countless submissions that go through a rigorous and anonymous voting period until the featured pieces have been chosen. This past issue alone, the BURN staff received 206 submissions.
“The only reason why the magazine is so good is because of the students here [at Marian],” managing editor senior Cassie Heisey said. “We wouldn’t have anything to design if they didn’t submit photos or writing.”
Once the pieces are chosen, Heisey, along with co-managing editor senior Makenzie Fuss, decides the layout of the magazine. From here, pages are assigned to different staff members, and the page designing process begins.
Teamwork is highly valued among staff members. Each girl assists in the making of each page.
“We have a night where we show different versions of the pages that the staff members have designed … and then we all as a staff talk about it and critique it, but … it’s really constructive and just the creative spin that they always put on it is my favorite part,” Christen said.
Once the pages are complete, the finished magazine is sent to be printed at Automatic Publishing. Each issue costs a total of $1800, which is around $3 per magazine. This cost is covered by student fees.
A previous literary magazine was part of the English curriculum and published through the creative writing class in the late 1990’s titled “The Fifth Season.” Former English and speech teacher Mr. Luke Ostrander restarted the magazine as an extracurricular activity in 2011 under the name BURN.
“I was very interested in it. Mr. Ostrander was going to let it go, and I was letting go of the speech team, so we kind of just swapped roles,” Christen said.
Working on BURN is a creative outlet for those who may not have any other opportunity to be artistic.
“If you’re kind of like me and you’re not super creative on your own … it’s kind of a chance to see something that you’ve done published and also just, like, be creative in your own way,” Heisey said.
It takes a special talent to be able to take someone else’s artwork and present it in a unique and creative way. These Marian students have an eye for design and a passion to touch the hearts and minds of others.
The staff is currently hard at work on the next issue of BURN. Their goal is to distribute by the second week of May.
Though the BURN staff’s may remain modest in taking credit for their work, it doesn’t go unnoticed. “I think they’re all very unique and have good creative personalities. I’m always just amazed,” Christen said.