Behind the Scenes: Making Mush 2012

Kendra Eckert, Art and Layout Editor

Designing the cover for the 2012 issue of MUSH was a ‘noteworthy’ task.

Some of the most difficult aspects of designing the cover dealt with the software and technology components. There are many things to keep in mind when designing something which is going to be printed. First off, it is important to work with the correct color profiles on the computer so that it is the same profile the printer will be using. This makes sure that what is being designed on the computer will look nearly the same after it is printed, so that there are no surprises with the final publication. Typography is also another aspect key to designing not only the cover, but also the internal written layout. Using the same font on the cover as we did inside for the contents page really seemed to initiate an overall theme for this 2012 issue. We also used inspiration from the editor’s letter to help chose colors and the imagery to reflect the mood Nate wrote about this year.

Jamie Johns, Prose and Layout Editor

As someone who had never done layout before (at least, not a task as big as MUSH has been) I thought the most difficult thing would be in figuring out an all new program, and learning how to work with it within a short period of time. While I admit it took me a couple of days to get used to the new software, the major thing for me was the amount of time it took to create a finished product – and not just finish it, but make it into something that people would be proud to have been part of. One of the things that I cannot stress enough is the importance of communication. While the vast majority of what has made up MUSH has taken place digitally and online, one of the best things to do is sit down across from real people for immediate feedback and debate over what goes where, and how things should look. This is especially true when editing things such as the prose pieces; believe it or not, the editors at MUSH don’t just pick what they like and plunk it into InDesign (the program we have been using). The entire process of creating MUSH has not really been difficult; so much as people only needed take the time to get tasks done.


Submission and Selection Process

A MUSH editor speaks about our submission and selection process.

How does someone submit a piece of art or literature to the MUSH Literary Magazine?

We begin taking submissions of art, poetry and prose, fiction and/or creative non-fiction, in November and continue to take submissions until the end of February.  We accept only submissions that we receive via email to the mush email account (

How did you advertise that you were accepting submissions?

We had flyers hung up around the UW-Marathon County campus and the surrounding communities.  In the back of the 2011 issue of MUSH there was a call for submissions advertisement for the 2012 issue of MUSH.   Word of mouth communication by those in the class helped let others that did see ads. As well as having a table set up outside the Student Union on the UW-Marathon County campus allowing Mush to make more direct contact with even more individual’s, specifically UWMC students.

How many pieces can a person submit?

We will accept up to five pieces from each artist, author and/or poet.

Who decides what pieces get chosen?

Currently MUSH is offered as a class on the UW-Marathon County campus, ENG 205.  The students that take the class choose different jobs they would like to take on during the semester.  We try to get every student in the class in the editing process and they have the option of choosing to be a part of the art editor team, the prose editor team, or the poetry editor team.  Once those groups are decided we were given online packets of all the submissions we received.  We would all read(or look at for art!) a packet, pick which ones we enjoyed and then when we got back together as a class we would discuss each piece and decide on which ones we wanted to publish.

Did you publish any pieces based on who submitted it?

No. None of us in the class knew who submitted a piece because the names of those that submitted pieces were removed so we could focus on the pieces and not be swayed one way or another by who submitted a piece of art or literature. This is known as the blind review process.

BY: Chelsea Hahn

So Many Good Submissions, So Little Space!

 An inside look at one of our editors feelings toward one of the many excellent submissions we received.

By: Sheenab Her, Prose Editor

There is one poem that I voted for publishing into Mush that didn’t end up getting published. What really turned me towards that particular poem and what I loved about it was the vast array of personified imagery that it involved. All these images that the poem painted in my head gave me the feelings of summer and fresh, crisp produce. The poem had a very homey feel. The imaginative descriptions were very unique and gave the poem an upbeat and welcoming tone. I also loved, for the poem, how the author compared life and dreams to a garden gate and vegetables that grow in the garden. The author invoked the simile that vegetables are like your ideas and dreams; that you have to choose which ones to tend to and to help flourish. The reason why I liked this poem so much is because it is relatable and down to earth. All in all it is probably my favorite poem from the MUSH submissions. Unfortunately as stated, the poem did not get published. While some may consider this a “bad” thing, I think it only further attests to the high amount of excellent submissions we received.

A Note From The Editor

Mush is an organic, locally driven literary magazine produced and compiled by the students of the UWMC. Mush features a strong variety of creative works. Artwork such as photos, paintings, drawings, poetry and prose, are admitted.   

Mush, this year, last year and in coming years, was and will be offered as a class to students. Students meet during class and assume roles in production of the magazine and in its promotion.

This year, I have seen mush grow considerably. The quality and quantity of the submissions we received have exceeded our expectations. We received over 200 unsolicited submissions from local and national authors. Last year we received considerably less, around 150 submissions total — a growth rate of 133 percent. Following this trend, we expect to receive an upwards of 1,100 submission by 2020. We also plan to drastically shrink the size of Mush each year, eventually publishing only one poem, half of one prose piece, and the upper-right hand quarter of one art submission, making Mush one of the most exclusive literary magazines on the planet, virtually obliterating anyone’s chances of being accepted into Mush.

Our editors sifted through these numerous submissions blindly and objectively. Each submission was compared fairly clearly and thoroughly. Author titles were removed during the reviewing process; each piece was compared side by side without bias.

Our review process is extensive and painful, like strip mining for oil in the Arctic Circle, or plucking a uni-brow. Many of our editors left in tears, or developed serious psychological disorders after a particularly difficult reviewing session. I, myself have developed a festering brain tumor that may become fatal if left untreated.

With impending national and global financial ruin looming large, we fully expect that upon a collapse, a new currency will replace the frail, fiat dollar or garish gold and silver nuggets. We anticipate a new currency to take their place, one more stimulating, more practical and much more elusive: Mush. We predict a desolate hell-scape; tribal warfare breaking out along a bombed-out highway 51 — hordes of leather clad heathens wielding hatchets and maces careening through marathon park on chopped-down mopeds in search of the coveted cover page of the 2012 edition of Mush.  It is rumored that Jill Stukenburg has already started hoarding back-issues, preparing for the worst. Send an email to to reserve a copy.

Luckily, Mush 2012 is available to students, faculty and community members free of charge. 600 copies will be released May7th, just in time to distract students from studying for final exams.


-Nate Beck, Managing Editor

About the Editors

Kendra Eckert

“I made practice runs down to skid row to get ready for my future.”

-Charles Bukowski

Kendra Eckert is someone who wants to do what she wants when she wants. With a passion for slaying zombies in Call of Duty and milk, she was drawn to MUSH by her interest in publication. She loves EI-Pop, House on the Leaves, Rumble Fish. She admires photographer Jeff Wall and her high school friend Niki, as well as her family. Her self-proclaimed spirit animal is either the Otter or the Snow Leopard. Fire is her element of choice, ironic considering one of her spirit choices lives in the water, and the other in snow.

She favors magic over technology, and thinks cowboys are better than pirates or ninjas.

Jamie Johns

“I can’t fill my bookshelf with Nooks!”

-Jamie Johns.

Gunning for an English and Business-based major, Jamie Johns has a life goal to leave something beautiful for the world to enjoy. Her inspiration is driven by her feelings, by what makes her heart leap to her throat and forces her brain to a screeching halt. Perhaps this is what gives her her love to write, and to see what publishers have to go through to get pieces out. That’s what landed her here at MUSH, after all.

She enjoys films like Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Kiki’s Delivery Service. She reads from authors Kanoko Sakurakoji, Rumiko Takahashi, and other folks with Japanese names.

Her spirit animal: the cunning Wolf, her element: flexible Water, her pick in the pirate/ninja/cowboy debate: the stealthy Ninja.

She can never say no, but she can write it.

Sheenab Her

This quote-less fellow listens to classical music and Imogen Heap to get inspiration. He likes Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Paper Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and other stuff. Obviously.

Oh, and his favorite childhood story is Jack and the Beanstalk.


Amanda Drake

You can’t look back, only forward and you can’t change the past, only the future. Instead   of just             looking back at who you were and who you wanted to be, look at who you are        today, look ahead and see tomorrow. Live life and create the “you” that you want to      become…the “you” with those dreams and the love for something that makes “you”       happy …you are the one who can conquer anything and succeed, if “you” just believe.          -Amanda Drake

A passion for writing drew this editor/contributor to MUSH. She admires an English teacher named Mr. Cepress, loves coffee and tie-dye.

Her opinion on the pirate/ninja/cowboy debate is as of that date unknown.

Clay Davis

“At the moment we can’t afford to go to other planets. We don’t have the ships to take us there. There may be other people out there (I don’t have any opinions about Life Out There, I just don’t know) but it’s nice to think that one could, even here and now, be whisked away just by hitchhiking.”

-Neil Gaiman, the Salmon of Doubt.

This contributor/editor fancies himself as something peculiar. Born with a passion for writing, reading, and watching funny films with zombies, he admires anyone who is open minded and can have strong opinions without being disrespectful to those who disagree. He frequently pretends to be both of those things.

He enjoys movies like Zombieland and Casablanca, books like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and To Kill a Mockingbird, video games like Portal 2 and Paper Mario, as well as other things that seem to contradict themselves in terms of taste. He is also a brony, a trekkie, a Baker Street Irregular wannabe, and all sorts of other geek things.

His spirit animal is hibernating in his basement, his element is Air, and believes pirates can whoop cowboys and ninjas.

Nicole Sterling

English and photography are in Nicole Sterling’s sights for Major. Her life goal is to make a difference. In her off time, she likes to read books by Ken Follet, listen to Paramore and Modest Mouse, and watch movies like Sherlock Holmes and Despicable Me.

She gets her caffeine fix with coffee, and is grounded to her element of Earth.

Evan Travis

Universal badsmartass.

Mat Riedel

“Don’t think harder, think smarter”

Like Evan Travis but +1.

Chelsea Hahn

Kinesiology is the major of choice for Chelsea Hahn, who plans on transferring to the University of Eau-Claire. Little is known about her, except for the following. She gets her caffeine fix from coffee, which fuels her activities of swimming laps, ballroom dancing in the middle of the grocery store with her boyfriend, and most rigorously watching television.

She can be found at the Mosinee Community Pool as the Aquatic Manager, and at Victoria’s Secret as a Salesperson.

Coming Soon!

Hello All,

The release of Mush is upon us soon!!! The editors are extremely excited and we believe this will be the best edition yet! Our website is now active and you can expect to see original and exclusive content soon! The website will also include detailed bios for our contributors and of this year’s editions editors. Also please check back later this afternoon for all the details on our Release Party.


Mat Riedel, Online Content Editor