Indulge Your Creative Side with Qua, UM-Flint’s Literary and Fine Arts Magazine

Bella Biafore, Writer

Before becoming its own publication, Qua was just a small section of The Michigan Times newspaper. Since then, it has grown into a student-centered ode to the fine arts. And with Editor-in-Chief Samantha Russo, there is continued hope of bringing the momentum of Flint’s thriving downtown art scene to campus. 

“We strive to create even more opportunities for young, up-in-coming artists to thrive, which is why we accept any submission from the state of Michigan,” said Russo. “It’s also a great opportunity for qualified students to work at a publication.”

In recent years, Qua has printed two editions per year: one in the fall semester and one in the winter semester. This year, that print number has been lowered to one. By doing this, Russo hopes to give writers and editors more time to truly hone in on their work.

“My staff is working their butts off to talk about Qua to anyone in any way they can. However, since we’ve cut it down to only putting out one edition a year, we are figuring out ways that we can still be present during the lag-time between the submission end-date and the launch party,” said Russo. “A few ideas that we are floating around is an on-campus, open-mic night at the end of October, early November.” 

The entirety of Qua’s staff is new to the magazine this year. And while small (but mighty), the magazine’s editorial table is made up of five editors, including Russo. In addition to this, a handful of submission readers help parse through the multitude of submitted work. Except for the occasional suggestion from their advisor Dave Larsen, the magazine is entirely student-run. 

While Qua hasn’t always had a large on-campus presence (something it’s already working on changing), behind-the-scenes the team still works together to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. Their launch party, which is hosted after every edition, serves as a great opportunity for students to come out and enjoy themselves. Moreso, the launch party gives Qua’s published authors a chance to read their stories out loud. 

“After each edition is published, we host a launch party for those whose submissions were accepted. At the launch, we ask if any submitters would be interested in doing an open reading of their work,” said Russo. “There is coffee, snacks and all that jazz, but the best part of it is that it’s an open event so anyone can come and enjoy the atmosphere.” 

For Russo, Qua serves as a door to the creative world on campus. Not only does it provide students real job experience, it also encourages people to submit their work and immerse themselves into something their passionate about, even if it’s not their desired major.  

“I believe there are a lot of students who are interested in art and literature, but it’s not their academic focus. Qua is here to serve their independent hobbies and maybe even push them further into it. We really dedicate ourselves to be an open and diverse publication, where anyone can feel comfortable submitting to,” said Russo. 

Qua will be accepting submissions until Thursday, Oct. 24– if having any questions regarding submissions, getting a job as a submission reader or just about the magazine in general, contact Samantha Russo or Dave Larsen.