“The Willow Literary Magazine” has published yet another digital version of the magazine for the Spring 2021 edition, but this time the students involved worked to create a brand new website in which to house the current magazine, along with future content.
After going digital for both the Spring 2020 the Fall 2021 editions, “The Willow” club members realized that having a space online to house future virtual publications would allow the magazine to expand its reach and establish a stronger online presence. Although they hope to keep publications physical when they’re able to do so, they believe that having the website is a great way to combine both digital and print mediums.
“Planning for the website was definitely a greater challenge than planning for our past virtual publications of the magazine,” said Isabel Thornton ’21, one of the editor-in-chiefs of the magazine. “We had complete autonomy with those versions and didn’t have to worry about anything beyond selecting the works that would be published and the overall design.”
With the website, though, Thornton said that “The Willow” had to work with Salve Regina’s University Relations department to develop a site that could be linked through Salve Regina but that still looked and felt like “The Willow.”
“None of this would have been possible without our student designer, Ryan Miech ’21, Lindsey Turowski from University Relations, and professors Josh McCall and Dr. Jen McClanaghan from the Department of English, Communications and Media,” said Thornton.
“The Willow” chose a garden theme for this edition, and there were two reasons they did so. One reason was to represent the growth and adaptation that the campus had to go through during the pandemic, and the other reason was to symbolize all the different people at Salve Regina who are able to connect through the arts and have their work published in “The Willow.”
“We’re all different and creative in different ways, but we come together to make something beautiful that I think is representative of our club and Salve’s community in general,” said Emily Grant ’21, the other editor-in-chief of the magazine.
The Willow accepted 70 submissions from 22 different students this semester. The plan for the website in the future is to house the past digital publications and provide a space for the club and community members to participate in supplementary activities like contests, writing and photo prompts.
“It expands our outreach to the community and allows more people from Salve to participate in what the Willow does, even if they don’t submit to the magazine itself or sign up to be a member of the club,” said Grant.
Students behind “The Willow” are also hoping that the website can be a space for blog posts that showcase events the club is involved in, what meetings are like, and other fun topics that people outside of the club can engage with. It will also link to the submittable website so people will have an easier time navigating the submission process.