Prairie Voices are heard again: 2021 Review.

Chris Roehrich

Prairie Voices is a creative magazine of artwork, poetry, and prose from CLC students that releases every April. Clad in bright blue and orange drapery, the 2021 Prairie Voices literary magazine has won second place in the 2021 Community College Humanities Association Annual Literary Magazine Contest. While it is a feat the magazine has achieved in previous years, this past year has shown that Prairie Voices can stand the test of time.

Nick Schevera, a CLC humanities instructor and advisor for Prairie Voices, commented on his experiences throughout his time leading the magazine.

“[The magazine] began 30 years ago under one instructor, and now I am its primary instructor,” said Schevera. “We begin receiving submissions [for the following year’s edition every] April, and we continue until the 3rd of December. There’s an annual reading reception for students once it is released in April at the auditorium in room A011, the basement of A-wing still within the original buildings of the campus.”



Nick Schevera

Schevera believes it is important for students to have an outlet to show off their work.

“This is one of the few opportunities students will get to have their writings published,” said Schevera. “Through creative writing [and] poetry, this is a way to prepare work for publication so that they can take what they’ve already written through this outlet and venue to have works seen. Recognition is an honor.”

Schevera discussed his lack of plans to move Prairie Voices to an online format.

“[I] believe people want a physical hard copy,” said Schevera. “Never a question, Prairie Voices will stay in hardcover or paperback form.”

Schevera and the selection committee receive many submissions each year for the magazine, while only a select few will be chosen.

“20 -30 writers were published in the last edition,” said Schevera. “That’s usually the number the committee goes for, but we could say that [one or two] out of five submissions get published. We try and keep the competition open.”

Despite Prairie Voices’ long-standing history of success, the magazine has had its share of obstacles. Recently, the magazine had some issues regarding the financing of the publication.

“What happened was a conflict arose with the funding and payment aspects of the magazine,” said Schevera. “Student’s fees from enrollment and registration were paying for the publication; there was also a [charge to purchase the magazine once released]. It was changed so that there’s no need for students to pay twice in registration and a purchase fee.”

Dean of Student Life Gabriel Lara had some insight on the issue and how they resolved it.

“When I became Dean last year, I took a closer look at [how] we distributed funding to student organizations or other entities who use student activity fees,” said Lara. “Overall, we encumbered more money than being used, which created inequity in the way we support all our students. Instead of encumbering funds (where we give groups a certain amount of money and hope it is used by the end of the academic year), I zeroed out all the accounts. I wanted to create a more equitable way of distributing [funds] that put students first.”

Dean Gabe Lara

Overall, Schevera is delighted with the outcomes of Prarie Voices this year and years prior.

 “[It has been] a good decade for the campus writing and arts divisions,” said Schevera.

Copies of Prairie Voices are available in the Communication/Arts Division Office – B213.