Ah… the life of the writer: months spent creating works of literary genius, idea after idea rushing through the mind to describing new creative ways articulate life, crumpled up pieces of paper filling the trashcan past the brim, the glow of the computer screen late into the night. And, at long last, the completion of great work.
Now, where to go from here?
[word] Straight to The Offbeat. The Offbeat is an East Lansing based literary collection of poetry, fiction, art, photography and nonfiction that publishes works by Michigan writers or anyone who has a current or past tie with the great mitten-shaped state. It is published once a year by the MSU Press and is run entirely by MSU undergraduates.
The idea for the magazine started five years ago when Gavin Craig, a then-MSU student, took a look at the medium for literary expression and found it not just lacking, but almost nonexistent on campus. Craig got together with some friends and started what would become The Offbeat..
“Students felt that there was not a solid literary outlet for students and people in the community,” Editor Kristen DeMay, an English senior, said. “Since then we have grown and become a solid collection of thoughts, ideas, and inspiration from across the state.”
[demay] The Offbeat works to also catch the stories that fall through the cracks and are overlooked by other publications, such as The Red Cedar Review, the only other literary magazine on campus.
“There are no age limits or submission restrictions,” DeMay said. She said the goal is to get a variety of works by a variety of writers; to hear from both established writers as well as the up-and-comers.
DeMay and her team of editors, one for fiction and one for poetry, set deadlines and collect submissions. The submissions are then reviewed anonymously, and the editors select what will be the upcoming issue. Although the deadline for the current issue has past (it was March 1), writers can still submit entries.
The Offbeat has also hosted poetry slams and plans on having another event for the spring. DeMay is optimistic and proud of the upcoming fifth volume, Collecting Glances, which she says should be out before the end of this semester.
Volume 4, Unvarnished Voices, is currently available at Schuler’s Books, SBS in East Lansing, the Student Bookstore in the International Center, Amazon.com or through the MSU press at www.msupress.msu.edu .
For more information, check out www.msu.edu/~offbeat.

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