Redwood Literary Magazine helps student writers find their voice


Redwood Literary Magazine, a BHS student-run organization that publishes short stories and poetry, has just released its latest issue. Redwood publishes a new issue each quarter, offering a safe space for young writers to express themselves creatively.

Nora Sachdeva, a junior, began her journey with Redwood in 8th grade through its Emerging Writers program, which encourages incoming high school students to submit a piece of writing for publication. She has been on it ever since and just published the fourth part of a story that she has been working on over the last few issues.

“I’m proud of the fact that I stuck with it and hope to finish it before I graduate,” Sachdeva said. “The process was tough, but I’m proud of myself for being able to write it out in a story-like form.”

Meghan Malone, a senior and the editor-in-chief of Redwood Literary Magazine, spoke on the most recently published stories and poems. Malone said, “I personally thought that the writing was really great. I genuinely was invested. I thought a lot of our writers are very talented; it’s just very low membership at the moment.”

Ori Boozaglo, another junior who found Redwood through its Emerging Writers program, joined the club in her sophomore year.

“It’s such a great community,” Boozaglo stated. “It’s super nice to be a part of that.” 

Despite the current low membership, this latest issue has thrived in terms of creative variety and expression.

“Personally, I think that this issue just shows how diverse our group of writers are,” Boozaglo said. “You can find all different kinds of poems and short stories in various ways that relate to you because there (are) all kinds of writers on Redwood.”

The only requirements for the stories published in Redwood are that they contain no profanity, explicit violence, or sexual content. According to Malone and Bouzaglo, this necessary policy ensures that Redwood’s publications are appropriate and inclusive for audiences of all ages. This includes stories about mystical questions that are left unanswered, working towards self-improvement, and the desire to explore a small, yet seemingly infinite world.

Boozaglo’s short story, “The Theodore Residence,” was inspired by a picture she found on Pinterest that spoke to her.

“It was this drawing – and it inspired me to write a story, sort of like magical realism, sort of a mysterious short story,” she said.

Malone, having been a part of Redwood Literary Magazine all four of her years at BHS, has seen a decline in membership compared to the first year, mainly because the original members have now graduated. Malone hopes for this to shift going forward, and is very proud of the club’s current writers. The process of publishing personal short stories and poems for anyone to read can seem daunting to many young writers, but the result tends to be gratifying.

“To me, the scariest part was knowing that other people would be giving me feedback because I think that’s a barrier in writing for a lot of people,” Malone said, referring to her own experience. “(The writing) is very precious and very personal, especially with poetry and short stories, which more often have something to do with a reflection of your life, just because that’s often where the ideas come from. It’s a very intimate idea, so that is very scary for a lot of people I know.”

Specifically in this issue, Malone noticed a bolder and more confident approach in the writing of the newer club members.

“I will say one thing I noticed is, typically when we get new members who are underclassmen, they have a very timid voice when they’re working with others or they’re writing their pieces, but compared to other issues, I’ve noticed there was this confidence in a lot of the writers that I haven’t seen before that was very heartwarming. It made me very happy to see people who have never done this before get very invested very quickly.”

“I love writing for myself, my own creativity, but if people get anything out of it, whether it’s a little bit of escape from their day-to-day life, because that’s what fiction offers for me, then that’s great for them,” Boozaglo shared about her own work. “Or if it’s just a fun story for them or it inspires them in some way creatively, that’s really all I can ask for.”