Writing is hard; writing well is even harder. And like most skills, it takes practice to get better. Students at Hamilton have been perfecting their writing skills outside of the classroom as far back as the early 1830s with the debut of a literary magazine known as The Talisman.

That tradition has continued for generations through such long-standing publications as The Spectator, Hamiltonian, and Red Weather. Over the years other campus publications come and go as student interests change. Here are just a few of the most recent ones to hit campus newsstands.

Surya Gowda ’23 & Anna Sakamoto ’23

Tell us about Signature Style.
Signature Style’s mission is to showcase fashion, beauty, and self-expression at Hamilton through student voices, as well as those of faculty and staff. We create an outlet for campus expression and give a sense of community to people passionate about design and style. We publish one issue per semester; the spring issue will be 48 pages of themed articles with accompanying photographs, trend features, and editorials.

Who’s on your staff?
There are nine members of our executive board and over 50 general board members — contributors, including writers, photographers, stylists, layout designers, makeup artists, and models.

What does your publication provide that readers can’t get elsewhere?
Signature Style provides an opportunity for students interested in photography, digital media design, writing, and social media to combine that with a passion for fashion, makeup, and hair styling. Our main focus is fashion, which distinguishes us from other campus publications. We strive to be unpredictable, so we want our readers to turn each page with excitement and curiosity. Ultimately, we hope our readers come away inspired and in awe of Hamilton students’ talents and creativity.

Describe a story from your publication that you are particularly proud of.
Last semester, we published our favorite issue yet. [It] captured the intersections of fashion, beauty, self-expression, and art. We always push ourselves to develop new article ideas, photoshoot locations, and concepts, and we did so last semester. One of our favorites was the “Body Mods” spread, which highlighted gorgeous student models’ tattoos, piercings, and style. The photoshoot itself was filled with creative energy, beauty, and music.

Share a little about why you became co-editors.
Anna: I am an environmental studies major and a Japanese minor. I have been a contributor since my first semester on campus. I have always loved fashion and design, and as I worked my way up to co-editor-in-chief, I realized my passion and drive. I learned that a hobby could also become a career path. The publication has inspired me creatively at Hamilton and pushed me to work collaboratively.

Surya: I am a government and art double major. I have also been on the magazine since my first year, and it has been a key outlet of creativity for me. The ability to express myself and meet other students who share the same passion for design and detail has been a highlight of my time on Signature Style. As co-editor-in-chief, I feel like I have been able to completely have our vision seen and work with the awesome team to make it a reality.

Leslie De La Rosa ’25

What is Culture Magazine’s mission?
Our mission is to highlight the vital components of the Black, Brown, and Asian communities across campus. These components are defined by the culturally embedded perspective of our shared historical experiences and include a distinct artistic expression, nuanced academic pursuits, and culturally guided intellectual engagements. As an outlet for news, knowledge, art, and entertainment, Culture seeks to empower these communities by supplying a reminder of the core cultural narratives that distinguish us as unique and powerful.

Describe your production process.
Culture Magazine is the only publication at Hamilton created by students of color for students of color. Our executive board collaborates with other clubs on campus to produce our issues. We decide on a specific theme or vision, and our photoshoots, submitted work, and aesthetic vision are all based on that particular theme. To reach our minority student community, we send campus-wide emails encouraging them to take part. A magazine requires extensive planning that begins months in advance. Because of the community we’ve established and how effective our team’s communication has been, that journey has turned out really nicely.

What do you hope readers come away with?
We provide an atmosphere where students of color can submit their work or apply to join our general board. We provide a setting where both outgoing and introverted students can feel comfortable. Culture is a space without judgment for existing and incoming students of color — where thoughts are valued and regularly exchanged. Being a student of color, going to a school with a demanding curriculum, maybe having three or more jobs, and having no voice are all realities that one must deal with on this campus. Culture provides a sense of safety and community, which fosters leadership and self-assurance so that people may walk around campus with pride while appreciating their uniqueness and cultural heritage.

What have you learned from working with Culture?
I am a theatre major. In order to become a professor and pass on what I learn, it is my ambition to travel the world and study theatre. I knew I wanted someplace to feel included, and, after learning what Culture was, I also wanted other students of color on campus to feel that way. Through theatre classes, I have come to understand that it is crucial to have a supportive community, team, and family. I have performed on campus numerous times for mainstage musical performances and Culture events, and every time, the community’s support remained constant. Being a part of Culture has taught me that nothing is simple. Although the battle is quite difficult, the victory is well worth it.

Lena Schneck ’23

Tell us about The Wattage.
The Wattage is Hamilton’s first and foremost music publication and is proudly supported by WHCL. We publish music reviews, commentary, upcoming albums, and games, and field questions from the Hamilton community. The format and frequency of The Wattage varies, but this year we will publish two mega-wattage issues, which are multi-page booklets. In between, we publish mini-wattages that are one sheet front and back and consist of DJ spotlights, upcoming music releases, and music events on campus. 

Who’s on your staff?
We have three editors and 63 members on our email list who volunteer and contribute. 

What does The Wattage add to campus dialogue?
WHCL is such a unique opportunity that really creates a sense of community on campus. I know so many people who have had the same show for all four years that they have been on campus, and it has provided a lot of purpose and joy for them. The Wattage extends this community and the meaning of music on campus to a broader audience.

Describe an especially interesting content idea you generated.
A few years ago, there was a piece in The Wattage called “What I Would Play if an Opus Barista Gave Me an Aux.” Little did we know at the time this would start a trend of describing personal playlists that has been a really fun recurring segment. 

Why did you get involved as an editor?
I am a literature major and a psych minor. I have had a radio show since my first semester at Hamilton, and WHCL has been a significant part of my College experience. WHCL has meant a lot to me, and being an editor has allowed for me to give back to the program. I also think that the voices and opinions of Hamilton students are so valuable, and it is really impactful to hear what they have to say regarding music and musical artists both on and off campus.

Annie Kennedy ’24

What’s the goal of The Topical?
Our mission is to brighten up students’ news cycles. We hope readers walk away from The Topical in a little brighter mood. We feature did-you-know, wacky words, and this-day-in-history sections, [but] people are often most amused with the overheard section where they can find something they or their friends have said.

Tell us about your production process.
We publish on a single piece of tan paper that people can find at Commons and McEwen [dining halls]. Co-editor Amanda Clifford ’24 and I have 12 staff members. 

Describe a story from your publication that you are particularly proud of.
My favorite piece that I have written informs readers of a continuing robbery. Two years ago, a stray dog would wait until consumers entered a store and then proceed to take a dragon stuffed animal from the store’s shelf. After this crime occurred many times over a day, the stray dog, along with his dragon companion, were eventually adopted. I really enjoyed writing this piece because it is a cute story. As difficult and complex as the news can be, it is nice to focus on feel-good stories.

What have you learned from serving as co-editor?
I enjoy being a part of The Topical because it is a nice change from coursework in chemistry and economics. My position as co-editor allows me to build connections and develop interpersonal skills. I also like the process of storytelling and collaboration.

Abigail Moone ’23

Tell us about the Green Apple.
Green Apple is a poetic and creative publication that provokes thought and sparks discussion. We are dedicated to high quality work, honest self-expression without censure, and the exploration of self through all creative means. Though we produce a publication, our real goal is to create a feminist creative collective, developing community through the arts.

Describe your production process.
We have two editors-in-chief, Katie “KT” Jenkinson ’23 and me, and eight to 15 consistent members and several floating contributors who come and go. Our publication has evolved over the years. We began as a print publication, tried blogging briefly in 2012, and have returned to print. After a short hiatus between 2020 and 2022, we now publish one edition per semester and function as a feminist creative collective. We host workshops two to four times a month, providing art supplies and encouraging various types of creative expression. All of the work produced in these workshops is compiled and published anonymously in a zine format, following in a strong feminist tradition.

What sets Green Apple apart from other student publications?
Green Apple is an explicitly feminist publication, intended to uphold the legacy of Kirkland College. While I believe this distinction is important, what I think more importantly distinguishes Green Apple is the generative community component. As opposed to looking for refined, polished, ready-to-publish work, we create that work together, regardless of experience level. Other student publications at Hamilton are submission-based and do not host spaces to create, workshop, or develop publishable content in a creative community.

Describe a story or piece of content that you are particularly proud of.
Our spring issue is just about ready to go to press, and we are receiving such a wonderful variety of pieces from students across disciplines and class years. KT and I are basing the layout and design off of our Levitt project from the summer, a zine titled Homegrown: A narrative exploration of creativity and environment.

What have you learned from your experience with Green Apple?
I am a double major in women’s & gender studies and French & Francophone studies. I joined Green Apple my freshman year. Sharing creative space in a community of poets was foundational to my college transition, and I was disappointed that the publication was not revived after we got sent home during the pandemic. I was motivated to restart Green Apple because I feel connected to Kirkland’s legacy and believe in the power of creative community. This approach is deeply informed by women’s and gender studies, and I have been learning how to balance facilitating a community I love deeply and am ideologically invested in with the logistical upkeep and bureaucracy of a college environment.

Lillian Norton-Brainerd ’23 and Bella Moses ’23

Tell us about Suture.
Lillian: Suture’s mission is to publish insightful academic essays to spark discussion across campus. It also provides students with opportunities to publish their critical essays in the humanities, arts, and social sciences through a peer-editing process. We publish once per semester, and a typical issue contains three-six academic essays. This semester, there are 11 students on staff.

What do you hope readers come away with?
Bella: We are the only interdisciplinary journal on campus not associated with any particular academic department. We hope to provide a place where students can share their academic work with other students and the broader Hamilton community (something they do not usually get the chance to do in classes). We also have a robust peer-editing process that allows writers to collaborate with other students to strengthen the content of their work. Peer-editing is a pillar of academic publishing, and writers have the opportunity to experience this process in a safe and friendly environment in order to prepare to publish academic work in the future if this is something they wish to pursue. We also feel that students can learn a lot by reading the work of their peers and that access to eloquent critical scholarship is essential to one’s development as a reader, scholar, and informed citizen.

Describe something in your publication that you are particularly proud of.
Bella: I am proud of our most recent edition published last fall. All of the essays are fresh, exciting, and beautifully written, and our editorial team worked hard to make sure the issue was the best that it could be. I am also particularly proud of the cover, which Lillian and I designed and hand-printed in the Dunham Letterpress Studio.

What have you learned from your work with Suture?
Lillian: I am a women’s & gender studies major and environmental studies minor. After being exposed to interdisciplinary scholarship and theory, I realized that my interest in writing was focused on academic essays. Through working on Suture, I am now potentially interested in publishing as a career. I have learned how to give constructive feedback and work with others to make decisions. I’ve also loved the opportunity to see the variety of insightful essays students produce!

Bella: I am a creative writing and women’s & gender studies double major. I joined Suture in my sophomore year because I enjoyed reading the journal. I also edit for Red Weather and have written for a number of campus publications. I have learned a great deal working on Suture, not only about writing and editing, but about the amount of work and coordination it takes to lead a team of editors and collaborate with people across campus who are involved in taking each issue from the submission stage to a printed publication. I plan to go into publishing and am considering academic publishing as a possible career path.

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