Yahara Literary Journal

The Yahara Journal is Madison College's student-produced fine arts and literary journal. The publication consists entirely of poetry, prose and artwork created by Madison College students. The Yahara Journal student organization is also a driving force behind many events around the campuses related to writing and art. The Yahara Journal sponsors poetry readings, art shows, contests and more, all in hopes of inspiring  students to enjoy literature and art and to create their own masterpieces.

How to submit your work

Writers and artists can submit their work to the Yahara Journal using our online submission form. All work will be considered for publication in our annual journal, which is published at the end of the spring semester.

1994 Yahara Journal Cover

The Yahara Journal started out as a newspaper pullout published on March 15, 1994. Sponsored by the student newspaper, the S.L.A.N.T., the eight page collection of artwork, poetry and prose was called "Title Unknown." The editor-in-chief, Robb Westby, left the publication untitled, asking the readers to determine a name.

On April 25, 1995, a second newspaper pullout titled "The Yahara Journal" was published by the S.L.A.N.T.’s successor, The Clarion. In 1996, however, the Yahara Journal broke away from the newspaper and was published as a staple-bound booklet under the advisory of Karen Faster and John Galligan. 

Some of the biggest changes for the Yahara Journal occurred in 2001, when the publication transformed from a product of creative writing classes to a collaborative creation of a student organization. Rather than relying on students in specific classes to write and edit the content, the staff editors accepted pieces from all interested students. Also in 2001, the Yahara Journal lost its staples and was published as a perfect-bound paperback book for the first time. 

By 2002, the small student organization expanded beyond the publication of our little book and began holding events to promote writing and the visual arts. On September 17, 2003, the Yahara Journal adopted the following mission statement to guide the growth of the organization:

The Yahara Journal will support learning and creativity at Madison College through the publication of a print journal and the sponsorship of events and activities that facilitate growth in writing and visual arts.

How to join

If you would like to be a part of the Yahara Journal staff, please fill out our interest form. Any student enrolled in at least one credit may become a staff member. 

If you would like more information about the Yahara Journal and its staff, send your questions to yaharajournal@madisoncollege.edu, or stop by one of our meetings. 

Meetings take place every Friday during the school year at 1 p.m. in a virtual meeting room.


Writing and Artwork Contests

The Yahara Journal holds a variety of contests throughout the school year. Deadlines are typically early in December and mid-March. First-place winners receive $50 and their work is considered a submission for publication in the Yahara Journal. For more information about our contests and entry details, see the online submission form. 

Spring 2021 Writing contest winners were:

  • 1st place, "Hollow," by Rene Schlaught
  • 2nd place, "Robin Hood's Bow: Forging a Weapon of Identity," by Lia Smith-Redmann
  • 3rd place, "Staff vs. Crew," by Allison Rudolf

Spring 2021 Art Show contest winners:

  • 1st place, "Untitled," by Maia Lathrop
  • 2nd place, "Octavia Told Us," by Maria Schirmer-Devitt
  • 3rd place, "Fairytale Town," by Dian Yao

Spring 2021 Photography contest winner:

  • 1st place, "Jellyfish at the Aquarium," by Kimberly Brown

Scary Story and Artwork Contest

Celebrate Halloween by entering the Yahara Journal's Scary Story and Artwork Contest. First-place winners receive $25 and select entries are included in a chapbook to be handed out at our Halloween celebration.

The 2020 winners were: 

  • Scary Story – 1st place, Hannah Waugh, "The Affliction of Cooper Barton."
  • Scary Artwork – 1st place, Maria Schirmer Devitt, "Baba Yaga."

Bad Love Poem Contest

Have you ever written a love poem that now seems kind of silly ... even embarrassing. We know the feeling. So we decided to do a tribute to these long-forgotten stanzas for Valentine's Day. Use our online entry form to send us your sappiest, silliest, most embarrassing love poems. We'll draw three submissions at random to be our contest winners and will award each winner a $25 gift card and a box of chocolates.

Equity Project

Art as a Medium of Change

Art as a Medium of Change Discussion Session – On Friday, Nov. 20, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., artist Tony Catteruccia will participate in a live online interview and Q&A session with the Yahara Journal. Catteruccia is a local muralist who created the mural now on display in the Truax Student Life Office, Room B1260. He participated in the State Street Mural Project this summer and helped curate the exhibition "From Here On Out" in the Marzen Gallery on Atwood Ave.

Students and staff are invited to attend the virtual interview/Q&A session to learn more about Catteruccia, his artwork, and the larger role that art plays in creating social change.

Artist Tony Catteruccia Creates an Equity Mural – Tony Catteruccia, a Madison artist who painted several murals in downtown Madison this summer, created an equity-themed mural for the Yahara Journal on Friday, Sept. 25. You can watch at time-lapse of him working that we created. Catteruccia’s mural is now on display in the Truax Student Life Office, Room B1260, near the cafeteria. 

Student-produced Patchwork Equity Mural – The Yahara Journal is asking students to help create a digital patchwork equity mural. Students can create their own digital mural using Sketchpad IO or other graphic design software, or they scan an image of their artwork and send it to yaharajournal@madisoncollege.edu. Submissions for the patchwork mural will be collected throughout the semester until Dec. 20. Students can register to be a part of the Patchwork Mural by sending a confirmation email to yaharajournal@madisoncollege.edu.

My Truth Forum

Share Your Experiences or Aspirations for the Future – The Yahara Journal has launched an Equity Project to help support an equitable and inclusive environment at Madison College. The project started on Sept. 21, with the Yahara Journal asking students to participate in our My Truth Forum. The forum will allow students to share their personal experiences, thoughts, and aspirations as they relate to racial equity and race relations. Submissions will be compiled into an online booklet, and shared and updated regularly throughout the year.


Banned Books Awareness Activities

Banned Books Readings – Listen to this compilation of instructors reading excerpts from their favorite banned books that was compiled by the Yahara Journal. Instructors who participated in this activity were: Matt Guenette, Mike Lussenden, Timothy Twohill, Anna Purnell, Virgil Miller and John Galligan.


The 2020 Yahara Journal is now in audiobook form. Listen to authors and Yahara Journal staff read all the selections from this year's book. In addition, some of the artists have joined in by sharing some background about their work.