Award-winning magazine strives for recognition

By Eman Albash

In the hallways of UAHS, many students have seen posters displaying mysterious eyes, followed by the words, “Submit to Bare.” Bare, the literary arts and music magazine, was recently rated as one of the top high school literary magazines in the country, an accomplishment unmatched by any other school in Ohio. Despite the magazine’s success and advertisements, the staff of Bare still encounters many students who know little-to-nothing about the magazine.

Any creative UAHS student interested in writing, art or music can submit his or her work to Bare for possible publication. The magazine is produced annually in May, and the deadline for students to submit their work this year is March 15. According to Bare adviser Nancy Volksen, the staff reviews each piece of work without knowing who submitted it and then decides if it should be included in the magazine.

“We do our utmost to get as many different students’ work in as we can afford each year,” Volksen said. “If you’ve got creativity, we want it.”

The Bare staff is composed entirely of students, whose jobs include gathering and sorting all the pieces of work and then preparing them for the publication. One of the main tasks for the staff this year is to raise awareness for Bare.

According to senior Amanda Ball, editor in of Bare, staff members raise awareness for Bare by putting up fliers around the school, filling the display case, and spreading the word about the magazine. Despite this, she said most students seem unaware of the magazine.

“I think Bare has been under-advertised since the beginning,” Ball said. “At this point, it kind of seems like only upperclassmen can really say that Bare is a magazine, but most don’t know much more than that.”

On the other hand, music editor senior Phil Lindsay said he thinks the general awareness of Bare has grown during his four years at the high school, especially recently.

“When I was a freshman, I didn’t know [Bare] existed,” Lindsay said. “I think that advertising in past years has been fairly confusing and essentially failed to get the word out. However, in the past two years the staff size has grown and word is definitely spreading.”

With the growing awareness, Bare has undergone changes and improvements during the past couple of years. According to Volksen, Bare was first produced in full color in 2007 and has remained that way ever since. Additionally, Bare has evolved from simply a literary magazine to include artwork and music, as well.

“Last year, with Phil Lindsay’s leadership, Bare produced its first CD of original student compositions,” Volksen said. “If we could add moving art—drama, dance, film [and] animation—we would be able to celebrate more student creativity. I guess we need to take it one step at a time.”

Ball said her biggest challenge is reviewing all the late submissions. She said students usually wait until the deadline to submit their work to Bare, so she and the rest of staff must schedule extra meetings to make sure they review everyone’s pieces. However, Ball said she loves seeing all of the students’ creative work.

“It’s inspiring,” Ball said. “The absolute best experience is choosing a piece to be in Bare, and then when the author [or] artist is revealed in the final magazine, seeing that this kid you’ve been sitting next to all year is a creative genius.”