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I Am Proud

I’m not going to lie, it has taken me a lot of time to write this goodbye letter. Whether it’s because I’m overwhelmed with feelings about leaving Jenny Mag or I have some hidden denial that I’m leaving at all, I’m not exactly sure, but I’m going to do my best to put it all into words.

Ever since I heard about the Student Literary Arts Association and Jenny Magazine, I knew I wanted to be involved. I ghosted on the email list for a while until, finally after one year, I was able to make the SLAA meeting schedule work with my class schedule. I had no idea when I started going to meetings that I would eventually become Vice President of SLAA for a year and a half and create a new section in Jenny Magazine. I would’ve never even suspected that Jenny Magazine would be the first literary journal to publish one of my stories.  If anything, I was just happy to finally have found some people in the English department that I really clicked with.

There are so many memories I have from Jenny Magazine that I can’t compile them into one letter. The one feeling I remember after each premiere party, however, was an overwhelming pride that would just pour out of me. I am proud to be a part of something that promoted local authors. I am proud of all of my friends as I watch them get published and work through the ranks of Jenny Mag. I am insanely proud to have worked on a magazine that publishes plays and has devoted an entire issue to women.

I guess the thing I am proudest of is that I know Jenny Magazine will keep burning long after me and all of its current members have graduated and moved on. Something like Jenny Magazine is too powerful to lose momentum as it transitions through members because it’s bigger than all of us who work on it. Knowing that it will continue to live on makes it hard to feel sad about leaving it, because I know in the spring, and next fall, and for seasons to come, I will be able to read the next issue of Jenny Mag and see what its new stewards have made of it.

Jenny Magazine and SLAA are in good hands, and have been in good hands as long as I’ve been there. Jordan McNeil, our amazing president and head editor, has really brought something new to every issue of the Jenny, and I know she’ll keep putting in as much energy and effort as she continues as its strong and fearless leader. All of our new and old staff members not only care so much for the magazine, but are also so much fun to be around and make working together an absolute joy. I hope all of them are proud of all the work we have done so far, and I look forward to seeing what they do next.

— Amber Palmer, Vice President of SLAA and Issue 11 Playwriting Editor

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Issue 11 and Winter Wheat!

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Join us on November 17 to celebrate the release of Jenny Magazine Issue 11! We’re really excited to share this special issue, which is exclusively featuring some great work by female-identifying creators. We’ll be partying at the SOAP Gallery in Downtown Youngstown starting at 7pm, and we’d love to see you there!

Also come see us at Winter Wheat! We’ll be at The Mid-American Review Festival of Writing on Saturday, November 5 at Bowling Green State University as part of the conference’s bookfair.

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Stop by our table to meet us, as well as get a copy of our Eddie Loves Debbie anthology ($5 a piece), Issue 10 or Issue 11 Companion Zines (free!). We’ll be there ready to say hi and tell you about Jenny starting at 9am.

Ladies of Jenny: Meet Kayla Jeswald

In celebration of our upcoming women’s issue, we wanted to introduce you to a few of the great ladies of Jenny Magazine. Our staff is currently reading through submissions for Issue 11, dedicated to exclusively featuring writing and art by female-identifying creators, which should be released in November. Stay tuned for more!

Kayla Jeswald
Jenny Magazine Staff Member
Issue 11 Poetry Team

Major: MFA in Fiction

My preferences are all over the place when it comes to reading. I am a big fan of Alice Sebold, John Green, and Chris Barzak. I do like stories with a bit of a darker side to them; those always peak my interest. Right now, I am reading The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. My favorite things I read this year so far, include Citizen by Claudia Rankine, Selected Poems by Mary Ruefle, and Sweet Nothing by Richard Lange.

I am currently working on my thesis to graduate. My thesis focuses on mental illness within my main character. I wanted to discuss this because I feel like mental illness is a bit taboo in our culture, and I wanted to break that barrier. I used to write a lot of poetry, but the last few years I have really enjoyed writing nonfiction pieces and fiction pieces. I am currently in a flash fiction course, so I am challenging myself to write very short, precise pieces, which is new for me.

When not writing or reading, I am probably working. When I do have free time I like to cook, hang out with my family or friends, play with my puppy, or do something active. I am pretty excited about fall coming up. I love the crisp air, so spending some time outside will definitely be a must.

Ladies of Jenny: Meet Beesan Odeh

In celebration of our upcoming women’s issue, we wanted to introduce you to a few of the great ladies of Jenny Magazine. Submissions for Issue 11, dedicated to exclusively featuring writing and art by female-identifying creators, close on September 10. We hope to see your work!

Beesan Odeh
Jenny Magazine Staff Member
Issue 11 Creative Nonfiction Co-Editor

Major: MFA in Fiction

What I like to read? A good story. Tolkien and his hobbits are my absolute favorites, but I also dig S.E. Hinton’s greasers. I don’t lean towards any one genre. I’ll try anything, whether it’s fantasy, realism, or magical realism. As long as it has that something special. As for what I’m currently reading, I’ve been meaning to get my hands on Laura Whitcomb’s Under the Light for a while now, the sequel to A Certain Slant of Light, which is one of my favorites.

When it comes to what I like to write, well, for the longest time, I wrote a lot of contemporary realism — or tried to at least — because it was familiar. Comfortable. I lost my confidence in fantasy, and even magical realism, after struggling with it when I was younger, which is silly because I was a kid and inexperienced and no one really likes their middle school or high school scribbles anyway. I just recently attempted fantasy for the first time in a long while and was pleasantly surprised. It’s something I would love to work with when all the right pieces come to me.

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m off messing with arts and crafts — tons of glitter — or trying to fix something around the house. I love music, too. I’m an Elvis Presley fanatic. Getting a new record player not too long ago, I’ve been running around collecting Elvis vinyl and fangirling. A little strange. Probably nerdy. But it’s all right.

Call for Submissions: One Month Left!

As of today, there is only ONE MONTH left to submit work for Issue 11 of Jenny Magazine! We are still looking for great art, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and 10-minute plays by female-identifying creators to publish in our upcoming issue.

We have gotten quite a few submissions so far, but we’d love to have some more, in all categories — and we’d especially love more work from creators in our local area (Northeast Ohio/Western Pennsylvania), though, as always, we welcome submissions from anywhere in the world.

Details and guidelines for submissions can be found at our Submittable page, and you can record your submission to Jenny Magazine on Duotrope.

Don’t wait too long — submissions close on September 10. We’re looking forward to seeing your work!

Ladies of Jenny: Meet Shanon Maple

In celebration of our upcoming women’s issue, we wanted to introduce you to a few of the great ladies of Jenny Magazine. Submissions for Issue 11, dedicated to exclusively featuring writing and art by female-identifying creators, close on September 10. We hope to see your work!

Shanon Maple
YSU Student Literary Arts Association Treasurer
Jenny Magazine Issue 11 Assistant Editor

Major: English

Minor: Latin Studies

I like to read epic novels, fairy tales, folktales, graphic novels, legends, myths, and poetry.

I like to write fairy tales, legends, poetry, and satire.

When not writing or reading, I like to backpack, garden, jog, kayak, play action role-playing videogames, and sit on my derriere.

Ladies of Jenny: Meet Amanda Miller

In celebration of our upcoming women’s issue, we wanted to introduce you to a few of the great ladies of Jenny Magazine. Submissions for Issue 11, dedicated to exclusively featuring writing and art by female-identifying creators, close on September 10. We hope to see your work!

Amanda Miller
YSU Student Literary Arts Association Secretary
Jenny Magazine Issue 11 Poetry Editor

Major: MFA in Fiction

I read Young Adult books widely. I prefer from there fantasy, sci-fi, horror, speculative, fairy tales, and magic realism the most. I’m really down for anything with the right kind of character arcs, world-building, and subversions of expectations.

Despite my panache for all things fantasy, I tend to lean towards an askew “real” world in writing. Of course, most of my characters end up being young adults. I think it’s such a strange time in life that I can imagine more possibilities there. I’m currently working on a novel length YA story that weaves local lore and contemporary problems.

When not writing or reading, I am drinking coffee, thinking about what I am currently reading, plotting my latest work, listening to soundtrack music, or rewatching Game of Thrones.