Laurus

Undergraduate literary magazine

Laurus is the definitive collection of writing and visual art created (and edited) by University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduates. The magazine accepts poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and scripts, as well as photography and other artwork. Funding for Laurus is generously provided by the Orin Stepanek Fund from the University of Nebraska Foundation. The annual issue is published in spring.

Submit Your WorkApply to be a Laurus MemberOur History

Call for Submissions

Laurus encourages undergraduate students to submit their visual art, fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction for our Spring 2023 issue now through Sunday, January 23, 2023. To submit your work, go to laurusmagazine.submittable.com, and follow the submission guidelines below. You must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to have your work included in Laurus.

Submission Guidelines

  1. No more than five submissions may be made per student per academic year. Submissions beyond the fifth will not be considered.
  2. The submission deadline will be January 23, 2023.
  3. Submit finished work only. Laurus editors will generally not provide feedback.
  4. All submissions of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction should be in a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format.
  5. All written submissions must be 12 point font, Times New Roman, and double spaced. Exceptions can be made for creative purposes upon request.
  6. Fiction and creative non-fiction submissions must not exceed 4500 words.
  7. Visual art may be submitted as a JPEG, GIF, or PNG file. Be sure that you upload the largest file size available of your visual art piece.
  8. Please include an author or artist bio to feature in the magazine if your work is selected along with how you learned about Laurus' call for submissions.
  9. If there is a technical problem with the submission website, submissions may be sent to laurusmagazine@gmail.com.
  10. By submitting to Laurus you are granting permission to publish your work in the annual Laurus print magazine. Upon publication all rights revert back to the author; this means that, once the issue has been produced, you are free to submit your work for publication elsewhere. (Keep in mind, however, that many publications will require first publication rights, which may mean work published in Laurus is ineligible.) If a piece that has been submitted to Laurus is accepted for publication elsewhere, please notify us immediately so that we can remove it from our submission pool.
  11. As all submissions are read blind, no cover letter is necessary with your submission. In lieu of a cover letter, please write a brief statement acknowledging that you accept these terms of submission.

Submit Your Work

Apply to be a Laurus member (editor, web design, marketing & social media)

Laurus seeks new members every year during the fall semester. This year we are looking for editors as well as people interested in web design and marketing & social media. Below are descriptions and the application materials for each role. Please keep in mind that if you are a member of Laurus, you cannot submit your own work. This is to prevent bias in choosing the content of our issues. Submit your application and direct your questions to laurusmagazine@gmail.com. The deadline for all applications is October 31, 2022.

Editor Application:

Editors meet weekly to discuss and vote on submissions during the spring semester. Note that as an editor you will not be able to submit any of your own work as it is a conflict of interest. For your application, please submit a cover letter detailing your interest in becoming a Laurus editor, past experiences with editing or other literary matters, understanding of the time commitment, and how you heard about this opportunity. Also include a brief resume of relevant experiences and course work along with a paragraph length review of Madeleine L’engle’s poem “Instruments” (1) or of a nursery rhyme (that is 8 lines or less), explaining your thoughts on whether or not the poem was effective. If submitting a review of a nursery rhyme, provide a link to the nursery rhyme you used. Keep in mind that you do not need extensive publishing and literary experience to be an editor. We value insight and opinions as to what will go into our next issues from all majors and through the application materials are looking for interested persons with the ability to analyze and engage with submissions.

Web Design Application:

Laurus is looking to increase its digital footprint and as such is in the process of building its own website for e-commerce, membership applications, submissions, and archiving/highlighting past Laurus issues. You will have significant creative agency over the presentation of our site and be in charge of keeping all information on there current. Editor meetings, where we discuss and vote on submissions, will be open to you but not required.

To apply, please submit a brief resume and a cover letter detailing your interest in Laurus, any relevant experiences, as well as how you heard about this opportunity.

Marketing & Social Media Application:

We are looking to strengthen our community bonds and presence within and beyond the UNL campus. You will handle the marketing of our Laurus 2023 issue as well as proposing ideas for and designing social media challenges, posts, and encouragement to our writers. Editor meetings, where we discuss and vote on submissions, will be open to you but not required.

To apply, please submit a brief resume, a few example posts, and a cover letter detailing your interest in Laurus, any relevant experiences, as well as how you heard about this opportunity.

The History of Laurus

Laurus is the undergraduate literary journal of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, supported by the English Department and the University of Nebraska Foundation. Laurus is a registered student organization at UNL. Laurus publishes fiction, poetry, non-fiction and visual artwork created exclusively by UNL undergraduates. The annual issue is published in the spring.

Laurus was founded in 1983. Over the years, Laurus has published early work by such notable writers as Timothy Schaffert (1990), Amil Quayle (1987, 1989), Amy Knox Brown (1987, 1989), James Cihlar (1989), Erin Flanagan (1994), Rainbow Rowell (1996), and Danielle Luther-Luebbe (2005). Schaffert was also an editor in 1991, as was Pulitizer Prize finalist Lee Martin in 1992. Faculty advisors over the years have included James Roberts, Marcia Southwick, Judith Slater, Anthony Hawley, John Chavez, John Schulze, Michael Page, Rachel Cochran, and Scott Guild.

Professor Emeritus of Poetry Greg Kuzma had the longest tenure as faculty advisor, through much of the 1990s and 2000s. Greg writes, “My work with Laurus was the most important service work I did for UNL. During the years I was advisor Laurus became entirely an undergraduate literary and fine arts magazine, printing only undergrads and edited by undergrads. I had no hand in the choices selected to publish, although I did do a lot of the proofreading. We worked hard to print full color covers, gained funding from the Art Department to support cover art and inside art, and reached out across campus to try to become a campus wide magazine. We published literary criticism, stories and poems, plays, panel discussions, essays on science and sociology, book and film reviews. For many years Laurus was the most exciting thing I did at UNL.” Through Greg’s efforts, Laurus has become an important institution within the UNL English Department.

If you would like to purchase previous issues of Laurus, copies are available at the English Department office and at the University Bookstore and other area bookstores. To order past issues, e-mail Michael Page at mpage3@unl.edu.