CLAM to return with artistic student-led publication

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Creative writing teacher Matt Bowden teaches his fifth period class. All of Bowden’s creative writing students are required to submit a work to the CLAM (Coppell Literary Arts Magazine) as part of their curriculum. The CLAM is currently taking submissions for the 2015 year.

By Shruthika Pochampally
Staff Writer

Every year, the CLAM (Coppell Literary Arts Magazine) produces a professional magazine produced by the students and for the students.

With the help of GT/AP English IV and Creative Writing teacher Matt Bowden, writing students are given the opportunity to put together a production that Bowden says is a great way to display the talented art by the students. Students can submit works including prose, poetry, scripts, photography, paintings and more. This will be the CLAM’s 11th year of publication.

The publication is primarily student-led.

Creative writing teacher Matt Bowden teaches his fifth period class. All of Bowden's creative writing students are required to submit a work to the CLAM (Coppell Literary Arts Magazine) as part of their curriculum. The CLAM is currently taking submissions for the 2015 year.
Creative writing teacher Matt Bowden teaches his fifth period class. All of Bowden’s creative writing students are required to submit a work to the CLAM (Coppell Literary Arts Magazine) as part of their curriculum. The CLAM is currently taking submissions for the 2015 year.

“[Students] start sorting through all the submissions, and then look for the merits of each work,” Bowden said. “We start pairing up the writing with the photography and art, tone-wise or thematically. The chief editors will pick a theme they want that year’s magazine to have.”

The CLAM has come up with many interesting themes over the past few years, from the cycle of the sun and the life cycle from birth to death, to different Greek gods and what they represent.

“It [is] an authentic publication process from taking submissions to going out and finding local businesses that would like to sponsor it by taking out ad space to support the non-profit spirit of the whole thing so that we can sell it to the students for a manageable price,” Bowden said. “Everyone in the [creative writing] class has to submit one work [for CLAM].”

The group spends several weeks deciding on artwork to include in the publication, and have it ready for sale in the spring.

“The CLAM is a much smaller endeavor than the newspaper and yearbook. It [is] a labor of love, [and] it’s got a very small circulation, [but] in many ways I feel like it chronicles the artistic abilities of the students for a given year,” Bowden said.  “It’s like the artistic yearbook.”

Students are a major part of the production of CLAM.

“This is my first time being a part of the CLAM,” AP Art and Creative Writing senior Sruti Gorantla said. “I plan on submitting both artwork as well as a poem.”

With the help of other teachers like art teacher Tamera Westervelt and science teacher Laronna Doggett, Bowden is able to help students produce this annual publication.

Gorantla enjoys that CLAM is a great forum for students to express their artistic talents.

”It is a place where students can show their talents without being afraid because the whole thing is student-led,” Gorantla said. “CLAM makes [expressing your art] feel less restrictive.”