13th Floor Magazine inspires creativity on campus

Charlotte Reilly

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s 13thFloor Magazinehas given the UNO community a creative voice since 2013, and the Spring 2019 deadline is Feb. 14.

English student Ariana Powell’s work “Not Black Enough” was published in the fall 2018 edition, and she read the piece at the magazine’s fall launch party in September.

“I was so excited to have my work published and share my creativity,” Powell said.

If you are interested in submitting your creative work to the spring 2019 edition, email 13thfloormagazine@gmail.com with up to three pieces in one genre or multiple genres and a short biography in the body of your email. Genres include poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction and art.

The magazine gives students like Powell the ability to share their writing with the UNO community. Before its inception, there was no literary magazine on campus. Staring in 1972, UNO Writer’s Workshop was home toThe Nebraska Review, a nationally recognized journal, but its publication ended in 2003.

In 2013, Writer’s Workshop students decided to create a forum for UNO voices, and 13thFloor Magazinewas born.

“The journal takes its name from the floor of a building that often goes unnumbered because it is seen as unlucky and strange,” said Lisa Coutley, UNO Writer’s Workshop professor and 13thFloor Magazine advisor. “I believe there was an intended relationship between that outcast floor and the earliest journal editors’ innovative aesthetic.”

In 2017, the magazine closed its submissions to UNO students, alumni, staff and faculty.

“We wanted to further the journal’s emphasis on UNO’s creative voice,” said Sophie Clark, 13thFloor Magazine editor-in-chief.

This semester, the student organization also became a literary practicum. Students enrolled in the class take up staff positions and meet weekly.

“The literary practicum… (joins) UNO students on the page (and) in a weekly classroom setting,” Clark said. “Having a class of students with various majors has already allowed us such a large range in spreading the word about submissions and information. For example, we have a Biology student talking to biology classes about submitting creative work, which is a group we haven’t widely reached before.”

The practicum ensures 13thFloor’slongevity and simplifies its publication on UNO’s campus.

“In the past twenty years, many national publications, like The Nebraska Review, closed or assumed digital formats, relinquishing their original print issues in order to stay alive within budget crisis,” Coutley said. “The hope now is to strengthen 13thFloor and to give students a momentous editorial experience.”

Coutley and Clark hope the literary practicum will draw in multi-disciplinary students across campus and give them an opportunity to be creative and build new skillsets.

“I hope this class will fuel long-lasting editorial relationships in which we’ll continue to work together creatively,” Clark said. “Whether it’s forming a writer’s group or relaying information about journals and submissions, I hope these skills and bonds are something we carry with us after graduation.”