Literary Society Prepares for 2014 Oracle

By JESSICA DEPAULA
From left to right junior Literary Society member, Emily Mo, and President Jenny Nguyen selecting submissions for the Oracle. Photo by Jessica DePaula

The Malden High School Literary Society is responsible for one of MHS’s oldest traditions; the Oracle, America's second-longest running annual literary magazine published by high schoolers. The Oracle was born 142 years ago when the MHS Literary Society decided to take the writing talents of the school public; back then, it was a biweekly publication similar to The Blue and Gold.

Over time, the magazine turned into one of almost exclusive creative works, even winning an award recognizing their achievements from the National Teacher’s Council for last year’s publication. Current president, junior Jenny Nguyen, states that their submissions are "mostly poetry, usually really dark emotional poems or stories, with the occasional short story." Layout and design began on May 2, with a print date to be determined later.

A star system is used to determine which submissions will make the final cut, with five stars being a definite and four a most likely; the rest will be debated and analyzed by the club in order to determine admission. Junior Sarah Trinh claims she looks for originality above all else in a submission, as she really enjoys “dynamic” writing. The Oracle also strives to highlight the talents of MHS art students, and the members have taken trips to the art classes and selected work they feel fits the tone of the magazine; the art teachers are always a great help throughout this process, “point[ing] out which projects are really good.”

Trinh elaborates on the topic of submissions, bemoaning the fact that she" feels they could get more" every year, as it is “a struggle to get people to submit.” Another member, junior Katie Mai, thoughtfully says she thinks the reason for this is that "most people don't have enough time" to write nowadays, but that their "little, secluded club" has blossomed recently. Junior Emily Mo, who just joined this December, says that she loves the club despite it being a big commitment. Mo stated that a few submissions were denied because they were “obviously essays written for English class,” but wants to the school to know that “everyone’s work is up for consideration.”

All members agree that the Oracle plays an important part in the school; Nguyen stresses that it allows students to express emotions that they normally wouldn't, while Trinh likes that the Oracle gives students an outlet for expression, especially since MHS “has a lot of writers that don’t show themselves because they’re embarrassed.” Trinh also likes the " life and brightness" creative electives and clubs add to the school; "it would be really bland and boring without them," she emphasizes.

 

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