Refractions staff pushes to increase magazine’s publicity

If a random student were asked, “What do you know about Refractions?,” they might respond with a confused look or a scientific definition relating to light.

In reality, Refractions is the school’s literary magazine. It has been running for over three decades, with an issue dating to 1977. It features student writing, poetry, art and other creative expressions from a handful of students from each grade.

The magazine is one of the lesser-known publications at the high school, but English teacher Robert Primmer, one of two club advisors for Refractions, doubts that the content is the problem.

“We’ve had some great creative fiction and some science fiction, but the best is the poems. We’re looking for creative writing. Anything that’s good, creative and engaging,” Primmer said. “Unfortunately, our runs are small. We only get 200-250 copies.”

Junior Sam Russell, a member of the Refractions club and staff agrees, but he admits that the student demographic may not be the prime target audience.

“Our problem is that we have to pay a lot to create the magazine, so we have to sell them,” Russell said. “Not all students have money on them at the times we sell them, nor are all students interested in a literary magazine. We need a medium to sell them to.”

Junior Noa Goihberg, new to the Refractions staff this year, thinks that the problem is not the publication’s obscurity.

“I think most, if not all, people at school know the magazine exists but don’’t know where exactly to get it, at least that’s how I felt in previous years,” Goihberg said.

However, Primmer said that some changes are on the way, the most significant of which is the printing of two issues this year, as supposed to the usual single issue. This isn’t the first time that Refractions has tried to produce two issues, however: in the past, Primmer said, submission timing made completing two issues in one year difficult.

“It’s been a goal before, but this year Craft of Writing teachers have been encouraging students to generate submissions and it’s working,” Primmer said. “Additionally, there is a push within staff to create more submission contests, which are hypothetically to be announced and put out once a month, but seldom are.”

These contests involve a prompt, usually announced during Info Time. For instance, in the last submission contest, “Pompeii 2.0,” students were challenged to write a short fiction about a post apocalyptic world in which the main character discovers a past famous landmark.

Russell and Primmer agree that as once these new methods take effect, the magazine will become more well-known.

“I think we need people to hear about it more,” Russell said. “Because not everyone knows Refractions exists. There are so many students that are interested in writing and art, that we just need those people to know that Refractions is an outlet to share those things, and its publicity will follow.”

 Find out more by visiting the Refractions page on facebook.