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 2022 Poetry Contest winners were:

  • 1st place, "Color Me," by Sakkara Richards
  • 2nd place, "Maybe in the Spring," by Emma B Stone
  • 3rd place, "The Extinction That We Cause," Diego F. Rojas Lira

Spring 2022 Prose Contest winners were:

  • 1st place, "Fishing in the Dark," Paige Zezulka
  • 2nd place, "Dear Elia," Sabrina Her
  • 3rd place, "Odessa," Kenna Felton

Spring 2022 Photography Contest winners were:

  • 1st place, "Star Trails in the Grand Canyon," Emmy Berning
  • 2nd place, "Waiting for the Bus," Abigail Schaefer
  • 3rd place, "Missing," Veronica Mingle
  • Honorable mention, "From the Deep," Sterling Ruemmler

Spring 2022 Artwork Contest winners were:

  • 1st place, "Silver," Liam Klein
  • 2nd place, "1500," Nicolas O'Neill
  • 3rd place, "A World Within a Drawer," Jaime Willkomm
  • Honorable mention, "King of Queen," Anna Franklin

Fall 2021 Poetry Contest winners were:

  • 1st place, "In My Heart," by Jada Janneau
  • 2nd place, "E. Mifflin," by Harvey Harper
  • 3rd place, "A Choked Back Word," by Kenna Felton

Fall 2021 Short Story Contest winners:

  • 1st place, "A Thank You Nonetheless," by Claudia Fuss
  • 2nd place, "Eyes to the Sky, But Not Turned Toward Heaven," by Emerald Thompson-Jereczek

Fall 2021 Artwork Contest winner:

  • 1st place, "The Ancient Towns," by Dian Yao
  • 2nd place, "Halls of Meowhalla," by Harvey Harper
  • 3rd place, "Colossal," by Blue Lee

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 2021 winners were: 

  • Scary Story – 1st place, "Alone Together," Namya Moffett
  • Scary Artwork – 1st place, "Sorceress," Aryn A. Faigin

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.


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.