Blue Light Journal to publish during 2018-2019 school year

Kaitlin Clark, Print Editor-in-Chief

Restarting a publication from the ground up may seem an insurmountable task, but two Manhattan High teachers are seeking student leaders to help do just that.

The Blue Light Journal is searching for students to be a part of their new editorial board. The board is just one of the efforts creative writing teacher Ann Lee and journalism teacher Kristy Nyp’s are using to rebuild the publication after it failed to publish last school year.

“I hope [the Blue Light Journal] will become more well-known,” Nyp said. “I think it’s a really well-kept secret at our school.”

Although Manhattan High has had a literary magazine for decades, it was officially branded the Blue Light Journal in 2013. A small group of students worked on the magazine until there was a lull in leadership last year and the magazine failed to publish. Nyp approached Lee before the school year began in an effort to restart the magazine, and the two now plan to work together to combine the realms of journalistic design and creative writing. Lee stresses that Nyp’s experience with publications will be very valuable as they move forward with the Blue Light Journal reconstruction efforts.

“Thank goodness somebody else is wanting to do this too,” Lee said regarding the literary magazine. “I still feel very new to the building and really wouldn’t have a clue where to start, so to have someone who is so versed in how to make things work … and can already see pitfalls was a tremendous blessing as far as I was concerned. This is definitely her brilliance at work.”

Nyp was inspired to help guide the publication after seeing its past work, including a reading from student authors who submitted their pieces to the literary magazine.

“… it was really moving to see those people reading their own works and sharing that part of themselves that comes from creative writing,” Nyp said, “it’s a little different from what happens in a journalistic way.”

While Lee and Nyp plan to act as advisors for the publication, they stress that they seek for it to be a student-run magazine.

“I think [the Blue Light Journal] will be its own unique critter and I think next year it will be another unique critter,” Lee said, “because I think both Mrs. Nyp and I really want it to be the student’s expression and that we’re here to facilitate that, but that it’s the student’s voice and not ours.”

Lee and Nyp ask that any student interested in joining the Blue Light Journal editorial board submit an application to [email protected] at their earliest convenience with a paragraph detailing what they would like to see happen with the publication this year. Both advisors look forward to seeing what students do with the publication and hope that passionate writers of all genres will consider submitting pieces to be included in the literary magazine.

“The more works we have, the better the publication will be,” Nyp said, “and … the more that it will grow.”