Letter from the Argus editor


.Provine School Pictures, LLC

Kailyn Grace Frederick (she/they), the editor-in-chief of Argus, Northwestern State University’s Art and Literary magazine

Hello, everyone reading this! I am Kailyn Grace Frederick (she/they), the editor-in-chief of Argus, Northwestern State University’s Art and Literary magazine. I have been in this position since the Fall of 2021 and working for Argus as a junior editor since the fall of 2020.
I did not think about being editor-in-chief until I was practically thrust into this position by the previous EIC. I shot from the bottom of the totem pole straight to the top because everyone on staff was graduating at the time. This will be my second and final year as editor-in-chief of Argus because I am graduating this upcoming spring (Class of 2023, baby). I am at the weird age of 21 and I am a senior psychology major with a substance abuse concentration.
No, I am not an English major, despite popular belief. The English department just adopted me since I have a knack for English and crippling anxiety/perfectionism that is much needed in editing. Oh, and I think they like me just in general. That, too.
Okay, first thing is first, let me just say… SUBMIT TO CATHARSIS! That is the theme for this year so submit your poetry, prose, fine art, photography, and any other related thing to https://argusnsu.submittable.com/submit by December 9th, which is less than a week away. Guidelines on how to submit are on the submissions page. Also, check out our new website! See all my staff’s beautiful faces and all our other cool stuff at https://www.argusatnsula.com/!
Now that my obligatory Argus plug is out of the way, I wanted to shed some light on our process. Before me, the editor-in-chief used to just pick a theme and the staff just went with it. I implemented a new system where I picked three ideas I liked and had my staff vote. Sure, I changed it up because I want to get my staff involved in the process of choosing our theme, but that is not the main reason. The main reason is that I am terrible at decisions (please do not ask me where to go eat, I’m begging you).
This year the three theme possibilities were Catharsis, Spectrum, and Paradox. As you can probably tell, they are very psychology-centered and they are vague yet specific at the same time. They are malleable themes that can be thought of in multiple different ways.
When I think of Catharsis, I think of the rocky and volatile process of getting things out (which can include violence, fear, trauma, dread, hopelessness, pain, etc.) and the exhausting relief after the process is done (which can include peace, sleeping, love, hope, death, crying, etc.). Those are two different ideas that still fit this theme.
You can have other ideas related to the theme like mental illness and therapy presented in metaphorical terms that still technically fit the theme. We like to grasp at straws here at Argus. But hey, at the end of the day, you don’t even need to follow the theme to get into the edition. If a piece is good and we have space, we can definitely squeeze something in even if the theme is not followed.
So, you’re thinking about submitting to Argus but you don’t know if you should. Want my advice? Submit. Let me lay out some pros for you to submit:
1. If you make it into the edition, you can put it on your C.V. and/or resume because we are an accredited magazine.
2. If you win first through third place in any of the three categories, you can make money.
3. You can be anonymous or have a pseudonym and STILL HAVE ALL THE BENEFITS (i.e. getting the money and/or putting it on your resume).
4. If you don’t get in, you don’t get in! Nothing happens if you don’t get accepted and no one has to know. No harm, no foul. Just submit again next year.
5. You can submit a thousand different pieces if you want to. As long as they’re all your original work, they were not showcased in a previous edition, and there are no duplicate submissions, then you’re good to go. Just dump everything and my staff will get on it (Love you guys).
6. It’s fun. It’s a fun process and it is so fun to just see your name in the book. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.
7. It does not matter who you are, what classification you are or what major you are– anyone can create art. If you have something to say, say it. We are here for you in all your uncensored glory.
8. Because I asked politely.
I hope that won you all over and I see you in the newest edition! This magazine is nothing without submissions. This magazine is nothing without you. Be included and be brave. Nothing happens without taking one step forward.
Don’t worry, I’m wrapping this up soon. I’m just going to say something really quick since I have the spotlight and you’ve already read this far into my rambling. I want to say I love my staff, my advisor, my fellow student media, the student media advisor, the print shop on campus, the submitters, and all the other Argus supporters. Argus would be nowhere without you all. I would be nowhere without you all. Thank you, friends. We may not be in these positions for long, but you will forever be in my heart and mind as some of the most awe-inspiring people I’ve ever encountered. I have met so many amazing people while in this position that it is crazy. I’m glad I’ve met these people every single day. Thank you, Argus. I know it is weird to say, but I am forever indebted to this damned peacock.
I’m going to be honest and say that the main reason I am doing this for is myself, though. All this work is for the little girl in high school who thought she could not do anything because she was so caught up in self-doubt. Look at you now, baby. I know I was not kind to you then but look at you now.