Knox, like most colleges and universities, has a long tradition of students voicing their opinions, sharing their art, or commenting on campus news, among other endeavors, through various publication vehicles. Student newspapers, journals, and magazines were just as prevalent in the early years of our prairie college as they are today. Through the years, student publications have come and gone, some have changed names, many have won national awards, and each offers their own unique perspective on life at Knox.
Here is a guide to our current student publications.
Established: Originally established in 1922, officially became Catch in 1971
Published: Twice yearly in the fall and spring
What It Publishes: Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as journalism, visual art, drama, music and musical scores, theatrical design, and translations. True to its origins, Catch's philosophy "is to make student voices heard . . . Catch may be a drop in an ocean of arts magazines, but we believe there is magic in putting love into such little things."
How You Can Read It: Catch staff host a release party upon each issue's publication, where copies of the journal are distributed to attendees. Contact the journal directly for current or back issues (if available).
How It Is Different From Other Knox Publications: Catch is a selective magazine, seeking to represent the highest quality of work as a showcase of the best art Knox students are producing.
Awards: Catch has won numerous national and international awards in its history—it received the National Program Directors' Prize from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) in 1983*, 1986*, 2003, and 2014. It received the Associated College Press Magazine Pacemaker Awards and Finalist Recognition in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2016.
*Known as the CCLM National Collegiate Competition's First Place Award at that time.
Interesting Fact: There are many stories on how Catch got its name. One version comes from Nicholas Brockunier '69, who believes it may have originated from "the idea of catching good written work (as a fisherman or a ball player)."
Published: Twice yearly since 2013
What It Publishes: Quiver's philosophy is "devoted entirely to the promotion of works of literature and art in all the genres, including humor, sci-fi and fantasy, and young adult. Knox College students, faculty, and alumni are welcome to submit anything from fiction to films to fingerpainting—if it can be uploaded to the web, you can submit it!" Josh Althoff '19, the current editor, adds: "We're always on the lookout for pieces that establish themselves as different than the norm, whether that means stories told from new perspectives or in different universes."
How You Can Read It: Quiver started as an online journal, but a print edition is currently published twice yearly. New issues are distributed at receptions celebrating the latest release, and current or back issues (where available) can be obtained by contacting the journal.
How It Is Different From Other Knox Publications: It's a magazine that focuses mainly on genre writing and art. "Knox has always been more friendly than most colleges to genre writing, and Quiver emerges as an outgrowth of that," adds Altoff.
Awards: "Nesting Instinct" by Lizz Fong, which was featured in an issue of Quiver in 2016, was submitted to and, ultimately, published in Plain China, an online anthology of some of the best undergraduate writing in the country.
Interesting Fact: Quiver was originally an online journal dedicated to humor, speculative fiction, and children's literature and was the home of three individual publications in 2006: Diminished Capacity (humor) was published in the fall; Wynken, Blynken and Nod (children's/young adult) was published in the winter; and The Third Level (sci-fi/fantasy) was published in the spring.
Published: Twice yearly
What It Publishes: It accepts all work, from short stories to visual art to essays to mathematical proofs. It aims to include not only student work but also that of faculty and staff, and well-known writers or artists outside of Knox (for example, Kevin Stein, the Poet Laureate of Illinois, wrote for the first issue.)
How You Can Read It: New issues are handed out at a Cellar Door release party.
How It Is Different From Other Knox Publications: Essentially a writing workshop that ends with a publication, editors accept any piece that the author is willing to revise and publishes the polished version.
Interesting Fact: The spring 2017 issue celebrated Cellar Door's 10th anniversary and included alumni work, including a piece by its founder, B.J. Hollars '07, who noted in an opening letter: "Cellar Door was always about celebrating the attempt. It was about publicly conceding that writing is hard but confirming, too, that the difficulty of our task is also the source of our joy."
THE COMMON ROOM
What It Publishes: Literary criticism
How You Can Read It: You can read new issues online; a print anthology was published in 2016. The Common Room benefits from the freedom of its format, which allows the publication to link to other sites. "This is especially thrilling because it reflects the connectivity and reflexivity of literature and theory about literature," says Mary DiPrete '15, former editor-in-chief.
How It Is Different From Other Knox Publications: The Common Room remains the only journal published solely online, and its focus is primarily on scholarly writing.
Interesting Fact: Publication founders liked the specific resonance that the title carries for those individuals who know Knox's Common Room (found on the second floor of Old Main), a place where literature and ideas about literature are often shared. The name was the idea of Wendy Prellwitz '99, an English major.
THE KNOX STUDENT
Published: The print edition of TKS is distributed weekly on Thursday evenings on campus and is mailed to subscribers on Fridays during the academic year. The online edition is updated regularly and features online-only content, including multimedia.
What It Publishes: TKS has been student-written, student-run, and student-read since its founding. It has a long tradition of being an independent voice for students, reporting on the cultural, social and athletic life of the college.
How You Can Read It: The website is the best way to keep up with current news stories during the academic year. Print editions are distributed free of charge on campus through five kiosks on campus, as well as on the door of the Publications Office in Seymour Union and in the Hard Knox Café. Individuals can also subscribe ($60/year).
How It Is Different From Other Knox Publications: TKS is Knox's only newspaper run entirely by students, for students.
Awards: TKS has received numerous awards from the Illinois College Press Association (ICPA), Associated College Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists in its history. Most recently, the paper received a record-breaking 20 awards from the ICPA in 2017, including a first place award for general excellence.
Interesting Fact: TKS was founded by S.S. McClure, who, after graduating from Knox in 1882, created McClure's Magazine, one of the first publications in the field of American investigative journalism (commonly referred to as "muckraking" journalism).
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Since the publication of Knox's first student literary magazine, The Knoxiana, in 1851, dozens of student publications have come and gone in the College's history. For those literary history buffs out there, here is a list (in alphabetical order) of all of those publications that were once in circulation on campus:
The Adelphi Quarterly, 1860-1861 • BLADU, 1999-2005 • The Brainstorm, 1989 • Cameo, 1938 • THE COUP D'ETAT,1881-1898 • Cultural Vibes, 1995-1998 • Das Ding an Sich, 1908 • Dialogue, 1965-1967 • The Examiner Observes, 1952-1955 • The Federalist, 1896 • Folio, 2011-2016* • Freshman Follies, 1917 • Fusion, 2010-2012 • The Gadfly, 1900-1905 • The Knox Leisure Hour, 1890 & 1894 • Knox Life, 1896-1897 • The Knoxiana, 1851-1857 • The Knoxiana and Knox Collegiate, 1856-1858 • The Oak Leaf,1856-1857 • The Oak Leaf and Knoxiana,1856-1857 • The Knox Collegiate Magazine,1857-1858 • La Tour Eiffel/La Giralda, 1923-1925 • The Ladies' Garland, ca. 1858-1862 • Move Over Prince Charming, 1974 • On Politics, 1896-1897 • The Pantheon, 1869-1870, 1872-1873, 1888 • Mischmasch, 1870-1871 • Phpah-Hotep, Jr: His Book, 1909 • Prospects, 1977-1982 • The Purple Aeolus, 1914 • The Round-Up, 1 907 • Spectrum, 1983-1984 • The Students' Ark, 1862 • The Students' Farewell, 1857 • The Yellow Jacket, 1906-1912, 1914-1915, 1920, 1922-1926, ca. 1938, 1980 • The Black Damp, 1913 • The Prattlesnake, 1916 • The Scullion, 1921
*Folio is actually on hiatus for the moment. A new editorial board has been selected, and they plan to publish their next issue in the coming year.
P.S. If you'd like more information on each publication, we recommend contacting Special Collections & Archives, who graciously provided us with this fascinating list!