Barry McNamara  |   Published January 30, 2020

Bigger than Ever

New format for literary arts magazine COIL provides bigger canvas for its contributors.
  • Faculty adviser David Wright and literary editor Morgan Osman ’20 show off the new issue of COIL.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – COIL, Monmouth College’s literary journal, is bigger than ever.

That’s literally true, and perhaps even literature-ly true, as the 62-page literary arts magazine is once again full of outstanding works by Monmouth College students.

A new, larger format for the 2019 edition of COIL gives it more of the feel of a magazine, and that’s allowed the visual art pieces in the 24th volume to shine, said the publication’s faculty adviser, English professor David Wright.

“The new format allows the visual pieces to really have their own space and to speak more on their own in some ways,” said Wright. “It also makes it not just a literary magazine, but a literary arts magazine.”

One of COIL’s two literary editors, Morgan Osman ’20 of Oswego, Ill., agreed.

“I like that we have a centerfold now, which really helps break up the issue,” she said of a two-page photo spread by Liam Meyer ’22 of Cedarburg, Wis., titled “Aerial.”

Osman is also pleased that, once again, selected submissions to COIL covered the gamut.

“We have plays, photography, paintings, poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction,” said Osman, who shared her duties with Connor Schmall ’21 of Dixon, Ill. “A lot of the pieces are about love, and others are about some of the darker sides of life.”

Abigail Danner, who graduated last May, served as editor-in-chief for the volume, while her classmate, Olivia Howey, was art editor.

“The students whose works are featured in this year’s COIL come from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds, but all demonstrate skill at their craft and willingness to feature their work in a public space,” Danner writes in the introduction. “They have shown their courage in sharing their ideas, first with our panel of readers and editors, and now with the larger creative community.”

It’s that “community” that resonates with Wright.

“This all comes out of having a literary and artistic community on campus,” said Wright. “As we build the writing community, we build the professionalism of this magazine.”

Wright praised the work his students did editing and soliciting pieces for submission, and he also expressed gratitude to the College’s art director, Nancy Loch, for her role in making COIL come to life.

“A source of real energy was Nancy’s contribution to the layout and design,” he said. “It was great to be able to work with her all the way through the process. She was a wonderful mentor to our editors and we’re looking forward to having her in that role for future editors.”

A future edition of COIL is closer than aspiring writers, photographers and artists might realize. The deadline for submissions for the next issue is Feb. 15. Questions about submissions can be emailed to monmouthcollegelitmag@gmail.com.

Wright also expressed gratitude to Monmouth alumna Joan Strand Kotz ’64 for her generous support for the publication of this volume of COIL.

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