HAMILTON — There is perhaps no feeling more rewarding for an artist than to see their work published and recognized by their peers.
This week, students in Hamilton High School teacher Jen Carmody’s creative writing class got to taste that feeling for the first time in their young careers.
Carmody’s students have produced an online literary magazine called Rolling Roots that includes 30 pages of photography, writing, editorials, poetry and even cartoons. Hard copies of the magazine are also available, and the first one off the press arrived in Carmody’s classroom on Monday.
“A lot of blood, sweat, tears, and ink went in to it,” said Micky Henrie, one of the Carmody’s students who worked on the project.
It is the first-ever literary magazine produced at Hamilton High School, Carmody said.
“Last year we did a little baby one, but this is the first time we’ve actually gotten it published and made a book out of it,” she said. “It really is a good quality publication. I got my proof on Monday. It feels like a magazine, but it’s more hardy than a magazine. It’s glossy. They really did a good job on it.”
“I feel good knowing my work is published, and I value the real-life skills it gave,” said Dustin Scott, another of the magazine’s creators.
Carmody had the magazine published through a California company called Treering.
“I looked all summer for a company that could help us,” she said. “I wanted it to feel like a magazine. The best thing with Treering is we didn’t have to put any money down. The only cost is if someone wants to buy a hard copy, they pay Treering. We designed it for free without any up front money. People can view it online for free.”
Carmody said she wanted her students to learn about working local artists during the process of creating the magazine.
“I wanted them to go valley-wide and meet artists and experience the arts,” said Carmody. “I want them to know that art exists everywhere – there is beautiful art right here in the Bitterroot Valley. You don’t have to go to New York.”
Carmody said the students spent the first part of the semester learning about writing genres, improving their writing skills, polishing and editing their work.
“We spent quite a lot of time on genres,” Carmody said. “If they are writing a vignette, they learn about what components to include. Or if they are writing an editorial, it’s different. They have to be able to read all of those pieces and recognize good writing.”
“It turned out really nice,” said student Emily Heitman. “I really like my editorial.”
One of the greatest challenges was whittling down the submissions.
“We advertised around the whole school for submissions, and we had 80 pieces that were submitted from outside of the class,” Carmody explained. “I had to limit what we put in, so we scored them on a point system. We got a great response from the whole school. There were students who I’ve had for four years who I didn’t know were so creative. It’s kind of a neat thing for our school for sure.”
The students were involved in the entire process, from the name to the design to the layout.
The hard work paid off,” said Livia Reutov, referring to the creations, revisions, polishing, and designing process.
The first edition of Rolling Roots can be viewed for free online at http://print.treering.com/130944/233062.pdf
A hard copy of the HHS literary magazine, Rolling Roots Winter 2013 is available for purchase for $8.99. Please contact Jen Carmody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 375-6060 if you are interested in purchasing this publication.