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The Stylus

What exactly is the Stylus?
The Stylus is the creative literary and fine art magazine of Millsaps College. For many years, it was published as a small semi-annual booklet of poetry and artwork. In 2002, the Stylus became an annual publication and has grown to contain poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, one-act plays, photography, and visual artwork. The Stylus solely contains student works and is compiled by students.

When is the Stylus published? How can I get a copy?
The Stylus is published every spring, towards the last week of classes. Copies are free to the campus community and will be available around campus - check the Leggett Center and English House.

What prizes are awarded?
The Stylus has seven awards associated with it. The four Editor's Choice Awards in Poetry, Prose, Photography, and Visual Art are based on the submission process and the editor's discretion. The Stylus also gives the MCA Diversity Group Prize, the Faith & Work Initiative Award, and the Millsaps Department of Theatre Award for Playwriting, generously sponsored by the MCA Diversity Group, the Faith & Work Initiative, and the Theatre Department respectively. The MCA Diversity Grouprewards a literary or artistic work expressing human diversity and our universal connections. The Faith & Work Initiative rewards the literary or artistic work that explores one or more of the following themes: the discovery or pursuit of a calling in life, work as self-expression, work and the common good, work and faith/spirituality, and the meaning of work. The Department of Theatre rewards a dramatic work of academic excellence which demonstrates social consciousness. The pieces awarded the MCA Diversity Group Prize, the Faith & Work Initiative Award, and the Millsaps Department of Theatre Award for Playwriting are selected by the heads of these respective organizations.

Is the Stylus ever entered in any competitions?
Yes, indeed! The Stylus competes every year for the Literary Magazine Award given by the Southern Literary Festival in the spring. The Stylus 2008 placed second at last year's festival, held at Millsaps.

Who can submit to the Stylus?
Anyone!!! So, tell your friends! This is not a publication exclusive to English and Art majors. Every Millsaps student (both graduate and undergraduate) is highly encouraged to submit his or her work.

When is the deadline for submissions?
January 21, 2011 - so you have all of the holidays to refine your masterpiece(s).

Is there a limit on how many pieces I can submit? (See Submission Guidelines for details.)
No way, you are welcome to submit works in as many categories as you please. However, we do ask that you be courteous to your Stylus Staff. Although we would love to read your 500 sonnets and thumb through your 1,000 beach photos, this becomes unrealistic on our tight publication schedule. Also, be aware that each contributor will be limited to a maximum of four works published per category (poetry, prose, and photography/visual art).

How can I get involved beyond submitting my work?
In the fall, the Stylus staff assists with advertising and spreading awareness about the Stylus. The staff focuses on selecting the works to publish early in the spring semester. This requires reading/viewing of the submitted material and proofreading for error.

If I submit my work, can I still be on the Stylus Staff?
Of course! We encourage you to do both.

What are the positions within the Stylus Staff?
The Stylus Staff varies year-to-year in organization and number. Regardless of the nominal infrastructure of the staff, everyone's input is desired and respected. Because the Stylus is compiled in such a short amount of time, the staff tends to work more as a cohesive team than within hierarchical divisions.

What are the requirements for being on the Stylus staff?
Be passionate about literature and art, and show up for the meetings (to the best of your ability)! Remember, if you feel more comfortable selecting works of only one genre, you are allowed to do so. However, we will have meetings focusing on selection guidelines for all the genres, so that you may read/view all of the material with a knowledgeable eye if you wish.

How are the selections chosen for publication?
Our ultimate goal is to capture the creative imagination and passion of our Millsaps community. Once the call for submissions has passed, the material will be anonymously reviewed by the Stylus Staff. Although the staff is composed of exceptionally well-read and capable people, we are not issuing a "Best Of" or "Most Innovative" project; all selections are, inevitably, a matter of disputable taste. Consequentially, we may unwittingly pass over very accomplished pieces. Please note that staff members read submitted works in conjunction with other academic assignments, and that there is a limited amount of space in each issue. Furthermore, the selection process fluctuates each year, contingent upon the submissions received and the size of the staff.

If I am interested in design/layout, will I be able to design pages for the Stylus?
Unlike a yearbook or newspaper, the Stylus is not designed based on templates or preconceived themes. Due to the curtailed publication schedule, staff members are not able to participate in the initial designing of the Stylus. However, the staff is highly involved in the proofing process, during which their revisions are vital to making the Stylus better than ever.

How can I keep up-to-date with the Stylus?
Watch for the bi-weekly Student Activities Newsletter as well as fliers around campus and emails directly from the Stylus. Also, please join our Facebook Group, "Stylus 2010: the Pioneers and Innovators of Any Art."

How can I become the editor of the Stylus?
The Publications Board holds interviews for the editors of the Stylus late in April. Watch for emails containing more information about the interview process during that time.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?
Never hesitate to email us at stylus@millsaps.edu.