Group Spotlight: The Bayleaf seeks new recruits for spring 2021


Photo credit/ Courtesy of Sue Jenkins

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic members of The Bayleaf staff designed posters to encourage submissions to the magazine and recruit new members.

Carter Cerretani, Staff Writer

Marywood’s art and literary magazine, The Bayleaf, has been publishing student works since 1919, but this year put the magazine in a difficult situation. Now, The Bayleaf is looking to bounce back with new recruits and a possible double issue this spring.

During a typical semester, students can submit artwork, poetry, or short stories up to two pages to The Bayleaf by emailing their submissions to [email protected]. Then, students on The Bayleaf staff vote on the submissions.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and three of its four editors graduating, The Bayleaf was not able to accept submissions for the fall semester. Now the magazine has shifted efforts towards recruiting. Associate Professor of Art and Co-Faculty Sponsor for The Bayleaf Sue Jenkins said the magazine has already found some possible recruits.

“We have found three people and we’re hoping that they will commit,” said Jenkins.

The Bayleaf is also planning to release a double issue to make up for the lost time

“We were thinking of making a double-issue so that we can still include as many works as we would’ve included last semester,” said Jenkins.

Junior Graphic Design Major and The Bayleaf Student Editor Nicholas Arcarese said he believes the lack of staff may have been more of an issue for the magazine than COVID-19.

“I think that the lack of members, or editors at least, has put a little delay on The Bayleaf, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be a thing,” said Arcarese.

Arcarese said he enjoys the community feeling that comes with working for The Bayleaf.

“I joined The Bayleaf because I just thought that it was a very interesting thing,” said Arcarese. “I wanted to be able to get some experience of being in a team or a group, and currently, I guess leading, so that’s certainly a new experience for me.”

The Bayleaf typically publishes its magazine towards the end of each semester. For the spring semester, the magazine is often published around April, and copies are distributed around campus.

To date, The Bayleaf has operated solely as a print publication with no digital version available. Jenkins said the reasoning behind the decision was that they wanted the students who submitted and were published to have something to remember the experience by and to present to prospective employers.

“If they get published, they can put that on their resume, and if they attend the Bayleaf Live event, they can put that activity on their resume as well, so this is a great way to build their experience prior to graduation, which looks really great to prospective employers,” said Jenkins.

Students interested in submitting artwork, poetry, or short stories should look for posters around the main buildings on campus, such as the Learning Commons and Nazareth Student Center, at the beginning of the spring semester.

While the manuscripts have a two-page maximum limit, students are also encouraged to submit more than one piece, with five being the maximum number. Students can also have more than one piece published in the magazine, according to Jenkins.

Artwork must be submitted in high resolution, whether digitally or by hand through the campus mailing center. All works submitted by mail must be in a protective casing.

“A lot of times, it’s really word of mouth, or people seeing the posters, but we’re really hoping to grow this club to be much larger than it has been in the past, and to really let everybody know that this is Marywood’s magazine for the students,” said Jenkins. ”So anyone who likes literature or poetry is encouraged not only to submit but also to join The Bayleaf.”

Along with the opportunity to be published, slots are still open on The Bayleaf staff. Students interested in joining The Bayleaf can email Dr. Fran Zahaur at [email protected] or The Bayleaf staff at [email protected].

“We still have roles for junior editors that are willing to join and any willing member who would just want to be able to vote and participate in a group,” said Arcarse. “Anyone who wants to join can join.”

For those published, The Bayleaf also has a social event on campus called Bayleaf Live, which is held in the Learning Commons on the second floor. This event allows those who are published to showcase their work by reading their short stories and poems or exhibiting their artwork in poster form.

For high school students, there is the Bayleaf Open, where students submit short stories or poems surrounding certain themes. Bayleaf Open is accepting submissions from on-campus students as well.

Like Bayleaf Live, published artworks will be displayed, and published short stories and poems will be read in the Learning Commons during Bayleaf Open.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to participate, especially because it’s free every semester,” said Jenkins. “So let’s say someone’s here for four years. That’s eight opportunities that they can submit work to in order to get published.”

Contact the writer: [email protected]