MHS’s The Oracle Opens Submissions to Publish Creative Work

Malden High School’s The Oracle is the second-oldest-running high school literary magazine nationwide. For years, it served as a medium for students interested in sharing their creative works with others to be published in a magazine holding significant historical prestige to MHS.

The club designated to run the magazine was dissolved last year due to a lack of interest. Recently, however, after Jonathan Ramirez replaced previous intern Isaac Wilde as the new head of the Writers' Den this year, Ramirez heard about the magazine and decided to take it up on his own.

The promotional flyer for The Oracle opening submissions. Photo submitted by Jonathan Ramirez.

“I thought it would be unfortunate if students' work went unrecognized and for the legacy of The Oracle to not be carried on,” said Ramirez. “I decided then I would be willing and able to organize this year's Oracle. And, working with a literary magazine fits perfectly with the work I have been doing at the Writers' Den: assisting students with academic, personal, and creative writing.”

Ramirez expressed that having the opportunity to run The Oracle this year was important, as he wanted to play a role in “facilitating student voice not just in the material of the journal, but also in its creation—in a way, bringing back the club!”

One of those student voices, junior Dani Licona-Cruz, is currently working with Ramirez to run The Oracle and recruit more like-minded students. As “literature is really important to me,” she believed that “our school is missing out on a really big opportunity because The Oracle is a great place for students who want to write creatively and learn about the publishing process, and they could really benefit from joining.”

She submitted her own pieces, which included poetry and two short stories. “Storytelling has been part of the pinnacle of our society and what I think has helped us evolve so much,” said Licona-Cruz. “And I think that I really admire that, so I want to be part of that history.”

From left to right: Licona-Cruz's poem submitted to The Oracle titled, "Stop Simplifying Yourself"; A sample from "A Madman and His Monster," one of two of Licona-Cruz's short stories submitted to The Oracle. Photos submitted by Dani Licona-Cruz.

With the diverse array of work The Oracle hopes to receive from students as submissions open, Ramirez emphasized how the literary magazine serves as an important means of creative expression at MHS—how beyond school, they are “poets, storytellers, artists, songwriters, essayists, photographers, and much more.” By submitting their work, he believed they are “documenting what it means to be their age at this time, and I find that to be extremely rich and essential to understanding the world we live in.”

Currently, The Oracle only accepts submissions directly from students, or teachers who want to spotlight student work from their classes.

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