The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

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The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

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The Playful Porpoise: by students, for students

Monica+Nitu+works+meticulously+to+produce+the+fourth+issue+of+The+Playful+Porpoise.+She+balances+this+while+finishing+off+her+senior+year+at+Xavier+College+Preparatory.+
Chloe Beery
Monica Nitu works meticulously to produce the fourth issue of The Playful Porpoise. She balances this while finishing off her senior year at Xavier College Preparatory.

Senior Monica Nitu’s love for literature began in the 6th grade, now it has evolved to her running her own literary magazine, The Playful Porpoise. 

“We were reading Ray Bradbury [a popular science fiction author] and I just really liked that, so I decided to do it myself,” Nitu said. This is when she began her writing career. 

Then, during her sophomore year she became inspired to begin her own literary magazine; that summer, The Playful Porpoise was born. 

The magazine includes a variety of literary samples. This includes but is not limited to essays, poetry, science fiction and non-fiction. 

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Nitu explained that one of the first matters she took care of was getting writers to submit their work. She does this via Instagram. “I make posts saying we need submissions or editors and attach a form for anyone to fill out.”

Nitu has been able to reach a variety of audiences through her online activity; this is what she says is the stark difference between her own literary magazine and the work she does as editor-in-chief for Xavier’s literary magazine, Pierian Spring. 

At Pierian Spring, Nitu is tasked with designing the layout of the magazine as well as pairing artwork with the pieces of writing chosen by the whole staff. 

Dr. Clayton Zuba, Pierian Spring advisor, said, “I find it astounding that Monica has the time and the energy to run The Playful Porpoise and devote so much time to creating such a wonderful magazine as she did in Pierian Spring.”

An image of a group of dolphins greet the viewer of The Playful Porpoise. Behind the scenes, the editorial staff works diligently to produce the fourth issue. (Chloe Beery)

While working on The Playful Porpoise, Nitu has been able to maintain a fluctuating staff of approximately 15 editors. 

She meets with her staff via group calls; here, they go through all submissions and grade them based on the magazine’s qualifications before they are approved to be in the actual issue. 

One former member of this staff is fellow senior Chloe Chun who worked as the projects manager for The Playful Porpoise. This came with a variety of responsibilities, such as overseeing the deadlines and designs of the magazine. 

Chun speaks highly of the work she did for the magazine but is adamant that all of the credit lies with Nitu. “She [Nitu] balances her passion for literature with the necessary pragmatic elements that come along with managing an international magazine of this size,” Chun said.

Chun referring to The Playful Porpoise as “an international magazine” is nothing short of the truth, as Nitu notes that she has been able to appreciate the work of writers from various countries, such as Nigeria, China and India. “Being able to read other peoples’ writing from all over the world has been my favorite part of this project,” Nitu says.

Word about The Playful Porpoise has also spread throughout campus. Junior Chloe Tang-Hynes says, “I had heard someone talk about it and the name piqued my interest.” Tang-Hynes has read parts of all three issues and is eager to read future issues. 

Tang-Hynes added, “I’ve always been a reader, so short pieces like the ones in The Playful Porpoise are perfect for me.”

Chun notes that the magazine is not simply a magazine, but rather a community. “Outside the issues that are published multiple times a year, Porpoise also has a dedicated community of young authors and artists who participate in book clubs and critiques,” Chun said. 

While the magazine is currently on hiatus due to the business of senior year, The Playful Porpoise has three previous issues available online at any time. 

This story was originally published on XPress on May 3, 2024.