At an afternoon picnic on the UC Davis Quad, a group of undergraduate writers decided to start a literary and arts magazine simply because it was something they were all passionate about. It was at this moment that UC Davis’ Nameless Magazine was born.
Nameless was started six years ago by a group of first-year students who wanted a literary and artistic outlet on campus but couldn’t find one, said junior English major Samantha Mandell, editor in chief and president of Nameless Magazine, in an e-mail interview.
“There was a literary magazine at Davis before Nameless called Seele, but when Nameless was started, Seele was losing steam,” Mandell said.
The main goal of the magazine is to provide a creative space for students on campus. Nameless Magazine publishes an online edition every quarter on its website and it also showcases the best works of the school year in a print edition that comes out once a year.
Since UC Davis is known for its focus on the sciences, Mandell felt that the importance of creativity can sometimes get lost.
“We want to provide a way for students to share their work with each other and with the greater artistic community in Davis,” Mandell said.
Mandell became involved as a first-year student when she met some of the founding members at an activities fair. For her, being part of Nameless has defined her college experience so far, and she would consider herself lucky to continue this kind of work in the future.
Junior English major Corrie Jacobs is the head of the Mixed Media board for Nameless, which oversees all submissions that are not poetry or fiction. It mostly receives photography and two-dimensional art, but is open to accept a film, music, sculpture and anything else creative.
“With Mixed Media, you just know a great submission when you see one. First impressions are an important part of the critical process, but even if a piece has a plethora of color or lots of studied angles, that doesn’t mean automatic submission,” Jacobs said in an e-mail interview.
Senior English major Thomas Michael Travagli said that the most memorable submissions do not hold up to any template. The only characteristic that the magazine looks for is originality.
“There are no trends among our favorite works except that they stray from the average and give us a surprising perspective in an extremely artful way,” Travagli said in an e-mail interview.
The motto of the magazine is “Anything that tells a story.” It’s not about the ideas of the editors, but of the writers and artists who contributed to it, hence it is Nameless.
“Nameless can be whatever you want it or need it to be. For me, Nameless is about a sense of equality and unity,” Jacobs said. “We all have distinct names, thoughts and feelings that cannot be labeled with just one name.
The deadline to submit a creative piece for the next online edition of Nameless is Dec. 3 at 11:59 p.m. at namelessmagazine.com.
“Advice to people on the fence about submitting: don’t be afraid. The editors at Nameless are the nicest people ever and negativity doesn’t exist. It’s all about positivity, constructive criticism and smiles,” Jacobs said.
PRISCILLA WONG can be reached at email@example.com.