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Prism Review launches new issue with reading

Amanda Nieto
Associate News Editor

The Prism Review magazine held a launch party for its 13th issue at 4 p.m. Thursday where staff members read excerpts from the new literary magazine and the winner for the creative writing undergraduate contest was announced.

Prism Review is an on-campus literary magazine where students take a course that teaches the creativity and art of being an editor.

About 28 people met at the Harris Art Gallery to welcome the new magazine and to congratulate the winner of the creative writing contest, Rebecca Ayala.

“I was really surprised,” Ayala said. “I really liked my story and thought I would be a runner-up but not actually win.”

Ayala, a freshman business major and creative writing minor, won the contest for the entry of her short story “Branded.”

The undergraduate creative writing contest was the first ever competition at ULV where the winner’s work would appear in the Prism Review magazine next to other notable works.

Ayala not only received national recognition in the magazine, but also a $100 gift card to Powell’s Books and the opportunity to read a passage of her short story.

Brent Armendinger, a local poet, served as the judge for the contest and read the numerous works submitted by ULV students.

Regarding Ayala’s story Armendinger wrote, “The narrator of this story, a young girl trying to claim authority over her own life, speaks in a voice both razor-sharp and vulnerable.”

“The sentences unspool with surprising – often hilarious – imagery and an effortless, intoxicating music. Even its most surreal moments are utterly believable, as the narrator attends to a world far beyond the radar of those around her.”

The three runner-ups included: Ashley Cole for her poem “Signs and Happiness,” Brittney Hoffinger-Steele for her short story “Kernville” and Hieu Le for the poem “Fainting Worries.”

“I was pleasantly surprised to be runner-up,” Hoffinger-Steele, sophomore biology major, said. “I only submitted the story because I’m taking a class with Bernard and he thought it would do well.”

“It is fantastic to have a student’s work in the magazine because it really ties the magazine to the campus,” said Sean Bernard, associate professor of writing and adviser for Prism Review.

Along with Ayala, staff members chose pieces to read from the new issue. Two guest authors also read their own works, with Armendinger being one of the guests.

“On staff, students learn about contemporary writing and are empowered to be critics, as well as creating something the entire nation can read,” Bernard said.

“My passion has always been creative writing,” Ayala said. “I can express myself through stories, rather than in English where I break down others’ works. Creative writing is helping me be a better writer.”

Prism Review magazine comes out with a new issue every year. To purchase a copy stop by Miller Hall and pick one up or email prismreview@laverne.edu.

Amanda Nieto can be reached at amanda.nieto@laverne.edu.

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