When people open up a literary magazine, they see pages filled with black ink, words on a page and pictures that tell stories.
But behind those words, there is something more. With each singular letter comes meaning, personal to the writer and now personal to the reader—an inspiration that has the power to change lives and make an impact through creative expression.
The Dulcimer, Mercer University’s own literary magazine, strives to make the most of that impact.
With a four-year Associate Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award in their repertoire as well as recognition as a Gold Medalist Publication by the Columbia Scholastic Press, the Dulcimer is certainly making an impression on a grand scale, competing with schools such as Yale and Savannah College of Art and Design.
Each fall and spring, students are encouraged to submit creative writing pieces as well as photographs and other works of art for publication in the annual magazine. Pieces are then anonymously voted on by the Dulcimer’s staff, a group of seven to eight Mercer students who dedicate time and effort to a portion of the magazine.
Of these hardworking students, the editor-in-chief of the Dulcimer, Elise Riggins, recognizes one student in particular for not only her dedication to the magazine but also with her published creative work.
Amanda Barrentine is a senior currently serving as the managing and design editor for the Dulcimer as well as a regular submitter of poems and short stories for consideration in the magazine.
As the layout editor and business manager of The Cluster as well, Barrentine combines her passion for creative writing with the practicality of business administration.
“I have actually changed my major about four or five times,” she said. “I finally settled on creative writing because it’s something that I love to do, and the business administration [minor] is because I want to work in publishing.”
Having discovered her passion for writing in middle school, Amanda said she loves to write because it is her emotional release—a catharsis that is needed amidst the pressure of college life.
Her poems and short stories generally focus on topics relevant to her life, such as her ties to the LGBT community but also arise from the little inspirations she gains every day.
“We were reading “Le Morte d’Arthur” in class the other day, and I had an idea to rewrite it to where it’s not just the typical Arthur-Lancelot-Guinevere love triangle but instead having an LGBT twist to it,” Barrentine said.
Through her passion for creative writing and unique ability to turn daily life into meaningful works, Amanda helps to create a literary magazine that has received national recognition, one that is also actively seeking new Mercer talent to display in this years issue as well.
“Everyone should pick up a copy [of the Dulcimer] and read it,” Amanda said.
To submit creative works, email submissions to [email protected] no later than Nov. 6, and follow the Dulcimer on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all their current events.