Creative Writing at ISM: Spotlight on Liham

Liham, ISM’s one and only literary magazine, is dedicated to fostering a constantly evolving community of creative writers and providing a platform for their work to be published and shared. In honor of Liham’s first wave of publications for school year 2017-2018, we’ve interviewed the Liham Council to give the ISM community an inside look at this unique publication.

What is the aim of this publication?

Liham is the only publication that serves as a platform for creative writing. Though Liham is a publication that demands the highest quality of work, we also stress inclusivity by providing an outlet for all of the ISM community to contribute. Our motto is Ang Kapangyarihan Ng Salita which means “The Power of Words” in Tagalog. We celebrate the voices of all different parts of the ISM community, featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry and foreign language pieces. What sets us apart from our counterparts is our inclusivity. Creative expression in all forms and all languages is the foundation of all that we do.

What are some changes from last year and new activities of the club?

This year, we want to reinvigorate both Liham and the ISM literary community by increasing Liham’s level of activity and asking for a higher degree of professionalism and commitment from our staff writers. We also want to bring back the Liham print publication in addition to Liham’s website. This year’s managing team– composed of Janel P. and Nikki H. as Co Editors-in-Chief, Andrea L. as Assistant Editor-in-Chief, and Dana T. as Public Relations Officers, and advised by Mr. Butcher and Ms. Hunt– is fully committed to encouraging the ISM community to realize the power of their words.

We are also reimagining Liham beyond words on the page. We will be launching Liham’s FireLit Radio and FireLit TV in partnership with the Forensics and Debate club to cultivate the spirit of collaboration between the creative community at ISM and bring to life the words of our contributors through performance, film and sound.

How do you hope to involve the ISM community through Liham?

In addition to accepting submissions from the entire ISM community as we’ve always done, we will be starting a variety of campaigns to increase community involvement. This includes the previously mentioned FireLIT Radio which will feature a writer in the ISM community each month based on  a new monthly themed writing competition hosted by Liham. We will be releasing the first prompt September 30th and are open to all submissions from anyone in the ISM community. At the end of the month, we’ll announce the winner who will be featured in our podcast.

We are also planning a week-long literary festival later in the year, akin to the cultural club hosted weeklong events that have happened in the past.

Why do you think creative writing is still an important means of expression in today’s society?

Creative writing is the truest and most cathartic form of self- expression that provides a respite from all the stress and drudgery. Creative writing provides a sense of release and closure yet simultaneously provokes new questions. It is not inherently competitive – it stems from a desire to express, to connect, to invent. Creative writing allows for more freedom than most other modes of expression. Words are so powerful, and by painting a picture full of emotion, plot, and character, entire worlds can be created. It’s a chance for the writer to play God, and give others a peek into their individual mind’s eye.

Liham’s publication waves take place on the 30th of each month, and starting in October, they will begin bimonthly releases of their podcast and videos. Be sure to keep an eye on their website!