Thursday, April 15, 2021
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‘Number One’ magazine brings change to spring issue


“Number One” continues to showcase the best work that UMKC’s creative students have to offer with its latest issue released early April.

“Number One” publishes a range of creative work by students, including poetry, fiction, short plays, creative non-fiction and artwork of various mediums.

“We’re very much open to what any artist or author has to offer us,” said Nicholas Sawin, co-editor-in-chief. “We can take a lot of risks,” he added, noting that the magazine is “for the students, by the students.”

Sawin, a third-year MFA student studying fiction and playwriting, graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in English and journalism.

“It takes a lot to get this out,” he said.

To ensure there would be enough material, Sawin and other staff members solicited submissions by setting up promotional tables, visiting writing and photography classes and handing out flyers.

“I think this year we’ve been doing a lot more work than previous years,” said Liz Cook, co-editor-in-chief and second-year MFA student with a concentration in fiction.

This year there were over a hundred works submitted for publication.

“We got more submissions this year than we have in the last several years,” Cook said.

Narrowing down what pieces made the cut and which didn’t  can be an exhausting process, according to Sawin.

Staff members met in Cockefair Hall and lobbied for submissions they believed should be included in the issue. Eventually unable or unwilling to pare it down to the length of previous issues, the editors decided to print over 50 additional pages, giving the magazine a new weight, both physically and artistically. This year, comic strips are included for the first time.

There was also the added pressure of choosing the winners of two new awards, the John Latosi Award for Creative Writing and the Lena Vaughn Award for the Visual Arts, each having a $100 prize.

“Being able to offer those awards was really great,” Cook said. “Anytime you can pay someone for their work, it’s great.”

“Being that kind of cheerleader for new art is really rewarding,” Sawin said.

A free launch party will be held April 19 at 3:30 p.m. on the patio of the University House, 5101 Rockhill Road.

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