Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Alternative magazine makes comeback as Succession

Sometimes, all you have to do is trade an ‘e’ for a ‘u’, add a ‘c’ and you’re in business again. At least, that is what happened to the rogue, anything goes, bi-weekly alt-journalism grab bag formerly known as the Secession.

Senior Finn Straley and junior Simi Singh, among others, recently rebooted the magazine under a new name: the Succession. As a successor to the Secession, the editors plan to preserve many beloved aspects of the old magazine while taking the magazine into the future.

“Where the Secession’s intention was to showcase a lot of art and outsider writing, and that’s still part of our mission, my main goal with this new publication is to bring together a lot of different voices at Whitman, voices that might not otherwise be heard or published,” said Straley. “We want to bring all kinds of voices together.”

Though the editors will preserve all of the design elements that made the Secession, they have seriously changed how the magazine gathers its content. The biggest change comes in the form of regular staff writers who will contribute something to every issue. Every week, the editors and writers meet to pitch stories and get assignments.

“That way we know what we’re getting into,” said Straley. “We also will accept submissions, and we try not to prioritize our own staff–if we have something that’s really really good, it will go in first. Quality is the only consideration.”

Each issue will have its own distinct theme, many of which will encompass major disciplines at our school, such as with the first issue’s theme: “Science”. According junior Nick Michal, a Succession staff writer, the magazine hopes that the themes will bring out creativity in writers using a prompt not typically seen as a creative one.

“I think what they’re trying to do with the reboot is to handle themes that aren’t really conducive to writers or creative-types,” said Michal. “I think that encourages us to explore those realms that we don’t typically look that deeply into, and at the same time, encourage people who would get scared or intimidated by submitting to quarterlife and blue moon [because] there is a certain reputation there.”

Michal indicated plans for possible recurring content, including a repeating character in a similar locale responding to the theme each week. The staff will continue to flesh out this idea this semester.

“We’re trying to do one erotica piece an issue,” said Michal. “We’re just going to rotate who gets to write it because we want that to be a general thing that’s in every issue.”

The first issue of the magazine came out on February 10, and the second issue will come out today, Thursday, Feb. 24. The editors were pleased with the first issue and saw it as a strong foundation to build on for the future.

“We had a lot of submissions, which was really nice,” said Singh. “I think it was more than we were expecting. We got a lot of submissions from new people and they were all really polished. I thought it was a good foot to get off on.”

The editors only regretted that their first issue lacked art submissions. Future issues will be shorter and will omit the few extra pages of white space caused by a printing error.

Though our campus is small, Whitman has many publications, such as quarterlife and blue moon. The Succession, according to Michal, is the more ‘organic’ of the publications.

Straley and Singh heartily encourage anyone whose piece they reject to submit again, potentially even the same piece.

“quarterlife and blue moon are more art-focused,” said Straley.   “Hopefully the Succession [includes] more personal and expository essays, eventually like people writing about things they know about, and teaching, essentially. I see the Succession as more of an article of expository writing, versus kind of fiction or art or poetry, so that’s a big difference to me.”

In an online exchange, alumni Iris Alden, former editor and co-founder of the Secession, seemed rather pleased that it had been rebooted.

“We started the Secession without really knowing where it would take us,” said Alden. “Needless to say, not everyone was into it, but for those who were, I’m certain that the Secessionless semester was filled with painful sorrow. The Succession promises to restore our legacy of taking ridiculousness seriously and taking seriousness ridiculously. Also maybe some taking seriousness seriously and some taking ridiculousness ridiculously.”

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