Outside Literary Magazine was founded in 2016 with the mission to empower high school students as writers, artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders through online and print publishing. Based in Central VPA high school, OLM was opened up to all Saint Louis Public Schools high school students in 2020. So far, the magazine has featured work from 79 young writers and artists across six different high schools.
Outside Literary Magazine is edited by students who take on all of the real-world responsibilities of making a magazine. Student editors gain hands-on experience in marketing, web and graphic design, bookmaking, and event planning, all while strengthening their literacy skills. Each year, student editors and issue contributors go on field trips to Central Print Studio in the Old North Neighborhood to handprint issue covers and bind each magazine, for sale at the annual OLM issue launch event and art gallery show. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release event for Issue 4 was canceled and the release event for Issue 5 is being held virtually through YouTube.
Outside Literary Magazine is more than a publication, it is a safe space to write, create, and share. In addition to biweekly editorial workshops with staff, OLM hosts bi-weekly writing workshops for all students to attend. Workshops feature samples from contemporary writers that reflect the wide diversity of SLPS students and incorporate craft instruction, writing prompts, and open mics to engage and empower young writers. Starting in 2019, workshops have been sponsored through a partnership with the St. Louis Poetry Center.
Outside Literary Magazine would not be possible without the generosity of our tremendous funders: the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, The Saigh Foundation, Wells Fargo, the Will Flores Fund, and our many individual donors. We are also so grateful for the incredible Central Print Studio, the amazing teachers at Central VPA High School, our fiscal sponsor Midwest Artist Project Services, and our past fiscal sponsor River Styx.