carolyn cote / Essay

Why You Should Give a Shit About Our Literary Magazine

Willard and Maple is publishing it’s 20th edition at the end of 2016, and I’m afraid no one will see it.

Willard and Maple is Champlain College’s student run and edited literary magazine. Accepting submissions from all over campus, the country, and the globe, it is and always has been a different kind of magazine.

Every week, a group of students gather around a table after dinner to read submissions and discuss them. Every student at the table is considered an editor. Pieces are voted in or out by a simple majority. Students can receive credit for taking the course, and students not taking the course are just as welcome as those who are. And no one can tell the difference. Whether you show up for one class or fifteen, every voice matters equally.

Willard and Maple runs on heart. It doesn’t receive much money from the college, and the money that it does receive is designated for printing and hosting one annual event. Everything the magazine does and accomplishes is fueled by students who care.  

And our students care an awful lot.

When asked what Willard and Maple means to them, students will tell you that the magazine has been central to their college experience. For some students, it was one of the reasons they attended Champlain. For others, it represents a way to connect with students they may not have other courses with. For every student who sits at our table, it is a chance to be vulnerable. Our poetry readings are places where students share work and allow themselves to be unapologetic. There are no disclaimers here.

So why won’t we see Willard and Maple 20?

The college is currently deciding whether or not to continue the magazine as it is now. They have canceled the class. For the first time in fifteen years, we will not have a new issue to put into print. 

Anyone who knows me well enough will tell you that I always fight for what I believe in. This is no exception. I love our campus literary magazine, and I know a lot of our students do too. We have always been student run and edited. We have always been independent. I do not want to lose that.

If you’ve ever submitted to us, stopped by a class, or come to one of our readings or our cabaret, please share your story. If we want to save Willard and Maple, we need to start with our words.

Literary Magazine I and II meet in Wick 100 on Thursday nights from 5:30-7pm. Any current Champlain student is welcome to attend, read, and vote. We always welcome new editors. Come see what we do and stand with us.

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