The TASIS Literary Magazine is a student-created publication that aims to uplift the unique, creative voices of TASIS students. Nearly 30 students submitted poetry, short stories, themed collections, or illustrations to the Spring 2021 issue. Enjoy their excellent work!
We interviewed the founder, editor, and designer of the TASIS Literary Magazine, Alexia Dochnal ’22, to learn how this issue came together.
What was your inspiration for creating a student literary magazine?
I love literature with all my heart. Since my freshman year of high school, I have tried to enrich my knowledge of literature in my spare time. Though probing the world of literature for myself has been wonderful, over these past few months, I realized that doing so simply for the sake of my own personal growth and enjoyment is not enough. I think that any intellectual or academic pursuit, large or small, should be aimed at a greater goal, especially since part of the purpose of literature is to implant a moral aspiration within its interpreters.
Following that realization, I started reflecting on ways in which I could use my own passion for literature to make a positive contribution to the community of which I am a part. I thought about how valuable a student-facilitated platform like the TASIS Literary Magazine would be to our community: a place for students to share their creative spirit with others and to make their voices heard.
I am so grateful to all the students who contributed to the Magazine. It was truly inspiring watching all of the wonderful submissions roll in and seeing how the community came together to make this project possible.
Can you describe what the production process was like?
There were a few key stages to the production process. The first stage of just getting the project started—putting up posters around campus, coming into classes to make announcements, talking to friends, encouraging friends to participate—was probably the most exciting! The next stage was collecting student submissions, which took about a month. After I received the submissions, I started putting the publication together, dividing it into sections, arranging pieces in alphabetical order, and working on the digital design component. The next stage was reaching out to all the contributors to make sure they didn’t need to make any last changes. And the final stage was publishing the magazine and sharing it with the TASIS community!
An original illustration by Ari Kalashnikova ’23
What was the most challenging part of the process?
The most challenging and nerve-wracking part was the first stage of just getting started. I wasn’t sure how many submissions I would receive and whether the project would work out at all! But as time went by and as I started receiving a wonderful range of student submissions, I realized that there was nothing to worry about at all. The digital design process was also challenging but lots of fun.
What surprised you about the writing submissions you received?
I was just incredibly inspired by all of the work that students submitted. It was an honor to receive, read, and publish such a wide range of genres, stories, and voices, from Shakespearean sonnets to collections of short stories and poems, all tied to such meaningful, moving, and significant themes.
What are the goals of this publication?
Reading and putting together the work students submitted reminded me that part of the purpose of literature, and art in general, is to unite and uplift, to serve as the means by which we tell our own stories and the means by which we approach a universal truth. I hope that this publication helps fulfill that purpose by bringing together our community—and that readers enjoy and are inspired by its pages!