Creative Writing in 2020: Meraki Literary Magazine Continues it’s Development

The creative writing program is fairly new, being founded only a few years ago. However, it has already rapidly taken off and expanded its activities.

“So, what happened five years ago, Joe Burns asked me to start a CW program, and I came up with it, and that’s how it happened,” creative writing teacher Katy Eyberg said.

The major staple of the program is the Meraki, the literary magazine. As part of the team, it is currently beginning to produce the sixth volume. While it may have a considerable amount of support and dedication right now, it started off as a small group of students who produced the first issue. They laid the groundwork for what the creative writing program became as a whole.

“The foundation we laid in 2016 created what the Meraki is today. I’m surprised it has stuck to now. I’m glad it worked and continues to work,” Eyberg said.

For two years, Eyberg was overseas in Thailand, with Travis Crain leading the program during that time. Eyberg returned last year, and was, as shown in the quote above, surprised to see that the foundations she and the original team made were still there. The program has grown considerably since its inception, with Eyberg and Crain building on the original class format and improving it. Eyberg has some ideas for the future of the magazine.

“I want to do away with whispered rules and renovate the foundation, so it continues to be reliable for years to come. I want the seniors to leave behind something strong and durable,” Eyberg said.

Most of the current staff for the literary magazine are seniors, having been in the program for years. Once next year rolls around, this will open the space for a completely new team to take the reins. However, the program was off to a rough start since the end of last year with COVID-19 limiting technology access. 

“It was rough because, essentially, there was one laptop that had InDesign on it,” senior Gabby Avena said. “I was the only person experienced with InDesign.”

The program has since recovered mostly, with the team fully ready to produce the next volume. Planning has been underway for the past month, and the team expects to open submissions in mid November, lasting until Spring Break.

“Thankfully, more people got access to InDesign which helped out,” Avena said. “It was very fun but intense.”

Overall, the creative writing program has had a successful development in 2020 once the new school year began. Relatively undeterred by the COVID-19 pandemic, students have shown being really enjoyed being in the program and are excited to see what comes next.

“This year I want to do something new to the Meraki,” Avena said, “and set in stone the way the team works together.”

By Alec Stuart, News Editor

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