Lillie Teeters wants to provide a place for students, staff, and faculty at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College to be creative and share their work. That’s the mindset behind Sticks Magazine, the literary arts magazine at Southern.
Production on the first issue of Sticks began in Fall 2016, and the magazine was published for the first time in Spring 2017. “I didn’t think I could be more excited than I was when we had that release event on the Boone campus in 2017,” Lillie says. “Then the next year came and the magazine...was bigger and better, and again, I was thrilled, and...I didn’t think that I could be any more proud or excited than I was with that one. The following year I get this stellar staff and what they do is amazing. My hands were pretty much out of it. I led and guided and made some tweaks at the end but the magazine came together with the staff.”
Bigger and Better
Since 2017, the magazine has only gotten bigger. The most recent issue was twice as large and featured twice as many pages as their first issue. It was also the first to feature full-color pages. In addition to publishing the magazine, Sticks hosts open mic nights and “Meet the Author” events regularly. “I think that Sticks has the potential to offer so much to Southern West Virginia,” Lillie says. “And it’s my hope that we get to expand even more.”
More than a Magazine
Sticks is meant to be more than a magazine-- it’s a way to help students see the importance of their voice. “To see students come forth and not realize that they are capable of writing poetry and to see their eyes opened to the fact that they have this wonderful ability to create images with word...to see personally that lightbulb go on when someone realizes that what they have to say and how they can say it matters is pretty magnificent.”
For her, the organization is about even more than sharing Southern’s creativity. “Relationships are the most important thing...especially having relationships in a creative community. Trust is essential and with trust comes a sense of belonging. It goes bigger than just the creative things...It doesn’t just stop here.”
Sticks has not yet opened submissions for their fourth issue, but the staff is currently recruiting new members and preparing for events this fall. The first open mic night of the semester will be on October 1st at 6 p.m. on the Logan campus. Later in the fall, they will host a “Meet the Author” event with Thomas Dotson, author of The Empty Chair.