Mercy’s Student Literary Magazine Wins National Recognition for Excellence

Mercy University students working on Red Hyacinth magazine

Mercy University students working on the Red Hyacinth magazine.

Mercy University’s literary magazine, Red Hyacinth: A Journal of Writing & Art, has been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The journal, which is written, designed and produced by Mercy students, was selected to receive the rank of Excellent in the 2023 NCTE Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) program.

In an award letter shared by Dr. Kristen Keckler, associate professor and department chair of Literature and Language and faculty advisor for Red Hyacinth, the selection committee wrote:

“Congratulations to you and your students on this exceptional publication. We commend you for inspiring a love of writing that your students will remember for the rest of their lives. Your magazine is a fine example of our mission in action, and the REALM committee looks forward to seeing future publications from your school.”

Red Hyacinth is produced annually through a collaboration of students in the English and the Design + Animation programs in Mercy’s School of Liberal Arts. From reviewing submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art submitted by their fellow students to performing the work of producing a print journal, it’s hands-on every step of the way. Among the benefits is the opportunity to gain relevant, real-world experience.

“Producing Red Hyacinth is similar to working in a professional setting,” said Keckler. “Our contributors come from a variety of majors, and the editorial team works hard to ensure the magazine represents many different voices and perspectives. The result is a tangible print journal that can be passed around to family members or shown to prospective employers.”

This year, schools in 46 states and five countries nominated 375 student magazines for consideration. In past years, the competition has accepted nominations from schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and American schools abroad. Mercy was among only 16 New York schools to receive the designation of “excellent.” The recognition has inspired the student editorial team to seek more opportunities for showcasing their work on a broader scale. We faced competition from very large universities with big budgets and programs in creative writing and visual arts,” said Keckler. “This honor proves Mercy can compete with the best.”

Mercy University student poses with issue of Red Hyacinth magazine