Students find creative outlet in Demonyms


It is looking like the Demonyms staff may need to relocate their meetings from behind the fish tank in the Davis Center, an area that is getting to be a bit claustrophobic with the recent increase in members.


Colette Shade, junior and founding editor behind new student publication and literary magazine Demonyms, said “I’m excited.” 

“This is good, this is good,” she said. “[It’s] the largest meeting yet.”


Shade, an English and history double major, initially thought  UVM  was receptive to creativity, but had been unable to find an outlet for her creativity.


“I was having a discussion with a friend in L.A., complaining [that there was] nowhere at UVM to express myself … I could not find my own place,” she said.


She had joined many clubs and activities for some stimulating involvement but was not satisfied.  “[My friend] suggested I make my own space,” Shade said.


Thus, Demonyms was born.  A demonym is a name for a person from a particular locality — the underlying theme of the proposed semesterly publication.


As editor, Colette has outlined two points of focus for the magazine.


“One, that there is the idea of place [within] the art or literature.  It has to deal with a locality … [which] is heavily about people and the cultures within them,” Shade said.  “Two, 50 percent will be written … journalism, more commentary, pop-academia.”


During the Sept. 20 evening meeting, the framework for the organization’s mission statement, purpose and constitution was developed.  This will be presented to the SGA for approval and future funding.  


Shade has created an environment of democracy for the production of the magazine.  She encourages a foundation built by the joint effort of her staff.  Every person whose hand is raised is called on and every suggestion discussed.


This feeling of inclusiveness is intended to carry over into the process of which submissions get published.  With an intended test print of the full-color glossy to run in the spring, this is crucial.


“[There is] a bit of a problem.  [They are] very insular, not meritocratic,” Shade said of other publications within the humanities. “[In essence], you must prove you’re cool enough [to be published].”


Their inclusion of scholarly work separates Demonyms from other UVM publications. 


“[We want to] showcase student scholarship in a variety of fields … [this includes having the publication function as] an outlet for the academic,” head submissions reader Chris Waldo said.


The magazine will include a variety of literature like poetry, journalism, short stories, academic essays of interest and other art forms dealing with locality.


Shade plans to update their source of advertising, which due to a dependency on out-of-pocket funding, has been limited to word of mouth and a few posters, she said.


Now with more members on board, a postering campaign is in the future for the group. Shade believes that the use of media, public relations and advertisement is essential for this endeavor, she said.


First-time meeting attendee and sophomore Peter Swenson said that he had heard of Demonyms from a hallmate and assumed the position of copy editor.


“It sounded interesting, something I’d like to be a part of,” Swenson said. “I’m a reader, so it fits.”


Although several head positions have been filled, any UVM student can become involved with Demonyms. The group’s meetings are on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. by the fish tank on the first floor of the Davis Center.