Sophomore Creates Literary Magazine for MSHS Students

David Misyura, Reporter

Kaitlyn Cashdollar (10) recently created the Manitou Muse, a literary magazine that aims to showcase Manitou students’ artistic works, showcasing her future aspirations as a book editor.

Cashdollar describes the Muse as, “A creative outlet where students can publish their work and their expression,” adding, “We accept writing, art, drawing, photography, and even music and visual art.” Visual art refers to videos, so if a student wishes to submit a video of theirs for other students to see, it’s definitely welcomed. As for music, Manitou Muse will have access to Mass Media’s sound studio, so applicants can contact the magazine if they want to record their music with the high-quality studio. Additionally, applicants can submit their choreography or dance.

This broad range of accepted art mediums was extended from just creative writing during the magazine’s planning phase, as Cashdollar wants the Muse to welcome all forms of student self-expression. This way, more people should submit their content than if it was locked down to just creative writing. According to Cashdollar, “Anything you consider to be a creative outlet” is suitable for submission to the magazine. “I want to make a place where people can publish their art, and have an outlet for that, and be able to express themselves through that,” she said.

The process of submitting content is, as Cashdollar explains, “Kind of confusing, but really important.” Administrators Glenn Hard and Kolleen Johnson didn’t want the school to be held accountable for any inappropriate content that may be submitted, so they assisted Cashdollar in making sure that the content creators are the ones held responsible for their content. Currently, there is a tab at the top of the website titles “Policies,” in which the content creators must read through the information in “Goal and Disclaimer” and agree to be held responsible for their submitted content before their work will be published. Afterwards, Cashdollar can begin publishing content from the submitter. And from then on, any content wished to be submitted will be sent to the Manitou Muse’s email, where it can be processed and be placed into that creator’s profile page.

To advertise the Manitou Muse, Cashdollar has created Facebook and Instagram accounts for it. Additionally, she hung up posters around the school. This will give her direct advertising to the demographic that she’s targeting the most, her fellow students.

The inspiration for the magazine came from Cashdollar’s English teacher, Dr. Jessica Robinson. The two worked with Amy Rockenbach to put the Muse together. Cashdollar gravitated towards the idea because of her passion for reading and writing. She wanted a place where people could express themselves creatively, at the same time helping out with their college and job applications. “If you’re interested in getting a major in something you publish or submit, or even if you’re getting a job with something involved with that, it’s definitely something that looks good on a job or college application because you can say, ‘Hey! I’m a published artist,'” said Cashdollar.

Cashdollar hopes that the Manitou Muse will get enough submissions that she’ll be able to create hard copies next year. “My goal right now is to get enough submissions that maybe at the end of this year we might be able to do that, and have a hard copy with all the best submissions.”

Moreover, she plans on passing on leadership of the Muse at the end of her senior year, as she won’t be managing it past her high school years. Her plan is to pick out a suitable candidate her senior year, mentor them throughout the year, and hand it off once she leaves. “My plan at the moment is that it’ll kinda be something like The Prospector, where my senior year I’ll pick out a little mentee, and train them throughout my senior year, and I’ll kind of hand it off to them once I leave. And I hope that it’s something that won’t die once I graduate. Like it’ll go past me and continue growing, and when I’m like 24 and graduate from college, I can look back and be like, ‘See that? I made that!'”

Overall, the Manitou Muse is an exciting prospect for Cashdollar, proving that it’s never too early to start preparing for the future. Her literary magazine will be beneficial to college and job applications, both for herself and content submitters, and it should be a fun place where creativity and expression run free.