Connecting years, disciplines and campuses

Literary magazine working on 4th decade at UW-Eau Claire

Connecting years, disciplines and campuses


Story by Glen Olson, Chief Copy Editor

It’s been 43 years, but NOTA maintains a low profile on campus.

And that’s something the group is trying to change with a variety of events including open readings, musical performances and release parties for the biannual publication.

NOTA, a literary magazine featuring art, poetry and prose from students at UW-Eau Claire began in 1972, and is now an award-winning publication.

It has received a Certificate of Merit from the National Print Awards, and has won awards for layout and design.

In addition to being a showcase for student work, the publication is designed, edited and curated by students, cover to cover. That includes printing, which has been done at UW-Stout through their publishing program for more than 20 years.

B.J. Hollars, English professor and NOTA’s faculty advisor, has been guiding the students who compile the publication for three years. He said the organization is a great venue for students, and provides experien

ce that would be hard to get otherwise.

“It’s a way to showcase writer’s work, and in a time where there is often limited venues, at least in print form, of these kind of things,” Hollars said. “So it brings what we do in the classroom into a real world application.”

The organization is open to students from all disciplines, whether they’re interested in submitting work, selecting pieces for the magazine or reading at open mic nights.

Sydney Flottum, junior English and graphic design major, is a NOTA co-editor. She said she got involved after attending a meeting and has worked with the group since.

Community members picking up copies of NOTA at a book release party at The Local Store.
Community members picking up copies of NOTA at a book release party at The Local Store.

She said editors try to showcase all art forms taught at Eau Claire,

and the Fall 2011 issue included features of local musicians, bands and DJs with a picture and


“It brings together all these creative elements of Eau Claire students,” Flottum said. “It’s a really cool environment when we can get all those creative minds together.”

Flottum said their main goal now is to raise the publication’s profile on campus.

She said while they have had an increase in participation at events this year, there have been times in the past where the publication has been more obscure.

“No one really knew what our organization was, or what our books were,” Flottum said. “So we’re really trying to raise visibility of our organization on campus and remain as transparent to attract as many students as we can.”

Despite that, the group has managed to represent UW-Eau Claire in a number of ways.

NOTA prints more than 2,000 books a semester. And for the first time, NOTA editors will represent the publication at the American Writers and Writing Programs conference in Minneapolis in April.

Hollars said the admissions department sometimes distributes copies to prospective students, and as an organization they try to promote the university as much as possible.

“Given the accolades we have been fortunate enough to win in the past, and opportunities like this conference,” Hollars said, “it’s a chance for us to expand beyond Eau Claire and show people the great work going on here.”

NOTA will hold their next open reading from 8-10 p.m. Thursday at The Cabin in the Davies Center.

A complete schedule can be found at their website.