What is Prairie Light Review, and How it Can Make You Famous

The deadline for COD’s literary arts journal is coming quickly, and students have the opportunity to have their works published and win a $500 scholarship.


Graphic by Zainab Imam

Bee Bishop, Staff Writer

Works of art can take a long time to complete – finding the right medium, mixing the correct color and making sure the work is just on the other side of perfection. Yet, despite all the hard work artists put into their work, many still find it hard to get noticed. Enter Prairie Light Review, COD’s literary arts journal. But what exactly is Prairie Light Review, PLR for short?

PLR has been running at COD for the past 40 years and releasing journals every fall and spring semester. Val Garay, editor-in-chief for PLR, said the publication is a prime outlet for creativity. 

“We are a student-run organization that selects literary and art submissions that we get from faculty, alumni and students,” Garay said. “And we essentially create a huge journal that kind of captures the beauty in all those things.”

The editorial staff is composed of COD students enrolled in 2 credit hour course offered at COD. These students get to experience how the publication process works in an involved setting including evaluating each piece. An individual writer or artist’s name is blocked so the editors are blindly evaluating and offering critiques to determine if a piece is worth publishing. The premise of having a work judged is a very daunting experience, however, production editor Jennifer Nambo believes that it is worth the push.

“Submitting to PLR allows individuals to take that first step of getting out of their comfort zone in terms of the nervousness of others viewing their work,” Nambo said. “At the same time it let’s people showcase their creativity to the school.”

Staff editor MJ Dillion agreed.

“It’s a great stepping stone to get your name out there if you want to be any type of artist,” Dillion said. “I’ve had my work published in it, and there’s no feeling like that recognition of getting published.”

Anyone in College District 502 is welcome to submit to PLR, whether they are COD students, COD faculty or staff or community members. Additionally, PLR offers a $500 scholarship for best student writing. Submitting work is as easy as sending an email to: [email protected]

Anything from fiction to essays to scripts are welcome for submission. On the visual angle, 2D or 3D works of any medium are welcome, including paintings, photography, jewelry, and sculptures. Simply take a picture with good lighting and send the email. Additional guidelines may be viewed here. Deadline for this semester’s submissions is Feb. 24. 

“I think PLR is beneficial to the college in the sense that we’re getting a lot of perspectives from people in the school,” Garay said. “COD is kind of a melting pot of different cultures, and PLR is kind of bringing in the culture that is creative writing and art.”