Stylus Student Journal has announced the theme for volume 22

This year’s Stylus editor Ruben Paredes gives us more insight on the student-run creative journal

Student-run creative projects are popular at The University of Tulsa. One of these projects is Stylus Journal of Art and Writing, an annual journal of art created and compiled by active students.

TU has published Stylus since 2001, and the journal accepts art in various media. Specifically, submissions are open for digital art, printmaking, sculpture, photography, 3-D art, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, plays and screenplays. While submissions can be submitted for personal enjoyment and the desire to share with others, there is also a contest with a cash prize for best in art, best in writing and first place in each category.

One of the few limits with submissions is length. Poetry can be no more than five pages, fiction and creative nonfiction can be no more than 15 pages and plays and screenplays can be no more than 20 pages.

Every year, Stylus is guided by a theme for submissions, this year’s theme being “the body.” These themes can be taken as directly or indirectly as the artist desires, but submissions are not required to follow this theme.

I had the opportunity to interview Ruben Paredes, this year’s Stylus editor. Discussed below were thoughts on Stylus as well as the expression of art in general.

Why did you want to get involved with Stylus?

Well, I had been wanting to get some editorial experience now in my third year at TU. I had my sights set on Nimrod initially, but the opening for Stylus came just in time. They needed someone to fill in the role pretty urgently and so I went ahead and applied. I felt partly responsible as an English major but also very capable. It was exciting!

What does creative writing and art expression mean to you?

I believe writing and visual art speak to the human experience like no other medium. A lot of writing really is revelation; as you write, you uncover parts of yourself and put them into words. With art, you put your vulnerabilities on full display and let others see themselves in it. I think this creative ability is inside everyone, it just has to be nourished and that’s what I hope to do with Stylus.

How do you feel about the theme: the body? (I, personally, think it’s awesome!)

I am glad you think that! I feel it’s great, too. What I love about it is that it’s both very broad, and very specific so that it invites a variety of work. You can interpret the “body” in any way, be it a body of water, a building, a legislative body or any kind of structure. You can always come back to home base and take its most literal meaning, too. Also, it is the most personal thing there is! Everyone alive has a relationship to their body.

How do you think Stylus will differ this year from previous years?

I have looked through and I admire all of the work, and love, that Stylus alum have put into the journal throughout the years. I don’t think it would be what it is, perhaps even exist, without their dedication and care. I really have my work cut out for me, thanks to them. Now, this year, we are wanting to get the word out more and diversify our submissions. I don’t think many students are even aware that Stylus exists, and we want to change that. Not just English and Arts majors, but we want any student who has even a mild interest in having their story heard to send stuff our way! Seriously, make Stylus a big deal.

What are you most excited about for Stylus and your position this year?

Honestly, I am most excited to read everybody’s work and pass it along to our area editors. They are looking forward to it, too.

Why should everyone read Stylus?

Everyone should see the insane talent that exists within campus, and hopefully be inspired by that. Also, Stylus is one of the few entirely student-led and created journals on campus. Reading it, you’ll see familiar names— perhaps your friends, or the person who sits right next to you in class. It’s also a nice feeling to know this was curated entirely by your peers, just for you.

If you are interested in being a part of Stylus, please submit your work by Dec. 15 to Every student is allowed up to five submissions, and must include the submission form as well as an artist’s bio. This is a wonderful opportunity to get your work published as well as build up your resume.

Post Author: Myranda New