Shooting for the truth
February 3, 2011
A new literary magazine will soon be shooting onto campus.
Bullet Quarterly is the brainchild of Christina Trimarco ’13, Nick Reck ’13 and a Daily Grind encounter. On a hectic day at the Grind, Trimarco and Reck recognized each other from a creative writing class and joined forces at a table. As the conversation progressed, they realized they shared a similar hope — that students would have an outlet to comfortably and honestly express themselves through the written word.
From that encounter, the idea grew into Bullet Quarterly, a non-fiction and anonymous literary magazine. Both Reck and Trimarco felt that many students had the talent to express their thoughts in writing, yet refrained from publishing pieces for fear of public criticism.
“There is still this huge untapped area of creative writing on campus. We just sat down and tried to figure out why those people who write exceptional stuff don’t want to be printed,” Reck said. “So, the goal of Bullet Quarterly was to come up with a product that people in that crowd of untapped creativity are proud to be printed for.”
While the names of the writers won’t appear with the individual submissions, they will appear at the end of the magazine for proof of publication and to recognize the writers who contributed.
The anonymity of Bullet Quarterly deviates from the style of many other literary magazines on campus, such as The Gallery, Jump! and Winged Nation. For the editors, the anonymity adds a new dimension to the magazine that encourages a variety of writers to honestly express themselves in writing.
“When you put your name to something, there’s less honesty. By deleting that, you make for a more open playing field,” Trimarco said. “I want people to submit anything that they’ve been feeling or thinking, without feeling guilty that they had to put themselves to it.”
Bullet Quarterly also strays from the norm with its emphasis on non-fiction writing. Both Reck and Trimarco stressed that the writings should be drawn from personal experiences to create an authentic reflection of students’ thoughts.
“Less people are honest with themselves and honest with each other,” Trimarco said. “If you read more stories where you connect with people, it starts a great honest dialogue.”
As Bullet Quarterly makes its debut, a new writing group on campus, Untitled, also finds its start on campus as a partner with the magazine. Rebecca Moses ’13, founder of Untitled, formed the group after visiting the Headless Society, a writing group at New York University.
According to Moses, Untitled aims to eliminate writer’s block through 20-minute writing sessions, spur creativity through collaboration and provide an outlet for writers. While pieces produced from Untitled’s sessions can remain private, many pieces will be published in Bullet Quarterly.
“Except for creative writing classes, I haven’t seen many open writing groups. I feel like a lot of writing people subscribe here to English majors and one group of people, but anyone can put their words down,” Moses said. “I found the Headless Society and the pressure that goes into a 20-minute writing segment, where you just scrawl in a frenzy, to be therapeutic.”
Untitled and Bullet Quarterly started as a joint effort to encourage students to write without the pressure of the criticism that comes with publication and recognition. Moses, as leader of Untitled, and Reck and Trimarco, as co-editors at Bullet Quarterly, recognize students’ apprehensions about publication. Both groups hope to encourage students to openly voice their thoughts and opinions through writing.
“We certainly have a great deal of literary magazines on campus,” Trimarco said. “But there was something missing and that was an actual voice, an autobiographical voice.”
Keeping to the theme of honesty and simplicity, all photos for the magazine will be in either black and white or sepia.
“Color can be distracting sometimes,” Trimarco said. “I think that black and white photography is the most honest.”
Whether through photos or non-fiction pieces, Bullet Quarterly embraces a direction that challenges the standard practices of current literary magazines on campus.
Faiz Hussain ’11, public relations chair for Bullet Quarterly, said he joined the magazine to help distinguish it from other literary publications. As the creator of the name Bullet Quarterly, Hussain aimed for a classic, yet simplistic direction for the magazine.
“We’re going to have a very standard, old-fashioned magazine,” Faiz said. “It’s set up so that you’re reading more than you’re engaging.”
Writing can be submitted to the magazine through its website, www.bulletquarterly.com, or to [email protected] While not all pieces may be selected for publication in the print issue, the website allows for pieces to be uploaded at any point in the semester.
As the new magazine on campus, the Bullet Quarterly hopes to target a following on campus without sacrificing the art of the writer.
The Bullet Quarterly will release its first pamphlet on Feb. 14.