Mackenzie Hurlbert - General Assignment Reporter -
The ASC theatre filled in steadily, as undergraduates, graduates, and faculty alike filed in to grab some food, the new Folio magazine, and a seat. It was the release of the 2013 Folio, Southern’s undergraduate literary magazine, and featured the published works of 33 different undergraduate writers. Along with the publication, guests were encouraged to view the photography and artwork hanging up on the walls courtesy of the photography club and Folio Art Editor Malcolm Smiley. The event’s immense turnout cleared the tables of both food and magazine copies.
“It went great!” said Alexandra Murray, junior and Folio associate editor. “There was a really big turn out and it seemed like everybody was really interested in the readings and really responded well to the magazine. The magazine looked great. The inclusion of the art pieces was wonderful, and I think people really responded to it.”
Current Folio Editor Joe McCarthy welcomed guests in with an opening address and invited them to grab some food and enter their name in the raffle. The night began with first place fiction winner Ulrike “Rikki” Profit reading aloud a shortened version of her piece published in the Folio.
“I thought the reading went really well,” said Profit. “It was nice to see that there was a bigger crowd than usual and having it in the student theater worked really well with the art and the photography on the walls.
Profit read her winning story “Als ob Zwischen Punkten Linien Wӓren” to the crowd and received a great applause when done. “Reading in front of people was very interesting,” she said. “The reaction you get is much more immediate, and I was overwhelmed by how positive it was.”
This was the first time Profit has been published, and she was very grateful for the experience. “It was great to win, but to be honest, what I really like most about being published in Folio is that feeling of a community, of being part of a group of such great writers,” said Profit. “I haven’t had time yet to read all the contributions, but what I’ve read so far is really, really awesome. I am very happy to be a part of that.”
Junior Joe Grillo was also published in the new 2013 Folio and won third place in both poetry and fiction. “Winning both the poetry and the fiction awards felt wonderful, but shocking nonetheless,” said Grillo. “I mean, I’m confident enough in my work to have submitted it, but I never would have thought I’d win in both categories. It certainly still boosted my confidence.”
“I feel the reading went very well. The turnout was great and everyone seemed very enthusiastic to hear both the featured readers, as well as the open mic readers. It was a super-receptive atmosphere, which is the best. That makes it much easier to be able to get up and read in front of everyone without having an anxiety attack. I also had fun seeing the group’s reactions to my work,” said Grillo.
When asked why writing and sharing creative work is important, each writer responded with different, insightful reflections. “I can only tell from my own experiences,” said Profit, who will be returning to Germany after the end of this semester, “but for me, writing is almost a way to understand the world a little bit. It’s like breaking off this little piece of it, just as much as you can handle, and examining it closely. And when you finally think you’ve got it and you’re able to write it down and other people understand it—in a sense, it doesn’t get better than that. Writing can be very lonely, and what I appreciate most about my experience here at Southern and with Folio, is this feeling that there’s somebody who listens. It is amazing how much you start to care about other people’s work and how much others will care about yours.”
Grillo responded, “It’s hard to make this sound like I’m not waxing poetic, but writing is important to create because it often allows people to express things that they might not feel comfortable expressing otherwise. Every piece of writing–even crappy writing–has some semblance of emotion that’s been put into it, and I feel writing serves as an important outlet for those emotions. And by sharing it, the writer can reach out to readers and maybe even move them (making them laugh, cry, wince, etc.). And that is an awesome feeling.”
Murray, the current associate editor, will be taking on the lead editor position in the fall semester. She sees Folio as a great way for students to begin their writing careers.
“I think for especially those students who want to be authors and poets and actually publish their stuff, this is a great spring board into what they’re going to have to experience in the real world,” said Murray. “You get rejected, you get accepted, you know, it’s just a chance to show off your work. And at the readings you get to share your work. I think it mirrors pretty well what students will have to experience in the real world if they want to make writing their career at all. It is really helpful as a way of preparing the students as well as fostering that creative community.”