Here it is, the webpage you've been dreaming of, the Frequently Asked Questions of Parnassus. Hopefully we can answer those burning inquiries that have undoubtedly been churning about in your head regarding our humble little literary magazine. Some of these questions may not actually be frequently asked, but they should be, and we're taking a proactive stance on them for the time being. Feel free to contribute your own questions, if we don't cover them here. If they're worthy of being potentially frequent, we'll answer them for you!

Last updated February 27, 2015.

So what the heck is a Parnassus, anyway?

Nice question. We understand the confusion. Here's the actual, dictionary definition of the word:

[Greek mythology] a mountain in central Greece where
(according to Greek mythology) the Muses lived; known
as the mythological home of music and poetry.

Parnassus the literary magazine is often a mystery to many far and wide at NECC, but we're doing our best to counteract that misjustice. Parnassus is the award-winning literary arts magazine of Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It has been published continuously since 1965. Tell your friends!

We are not affiliated with the Parnassus poetry literary magazine and journal of criticism, but we support their great work as well. Feel free to check out the other Parnassus at their website.

How does Parnassus work?

Parnassus is a student-staffed magazine that is published once a year, at the end of the spring semester. The content of the magazine is made up entirely of student writing and artwork from both the fall and spring semesters that is chosen and sometimes edited democratically by the staff. Since the 2008 issue, we have featured a guest author or artist as well as an author or artist from the NECC faculty.

Who can be on the staff? What do they do?

Any NECC student can join the Parnassus staff. We publicize the first staff meeting of each semester around campus and online, but students can join the staff during the semester as well. Feel free to email Faculty Advisor Patrick Lochelt for meeting times.

Being on the staff is a lot of fun, and is hardly a big commitment. We meet around five times a semester to discuss submissions, content, design, publicity/advertising, and whatever other crazy ideas our staff always tends to come up with to get the word out about all things Parnassus related. Each semester, after each deadline, the staff reads every submission and votes to determine which entries will be published. We will sometimes contact authors with editing ideas or concerns to help polish their submissions and make them as best as possible for publication. The staff also views each piece of artwork or photography and chooses which will be printed. Sometimes free pizza or other types of food are involved. Absurdity, a sense of humor, and a love of great art and writing are most definitely a prerequisite.

What does Parnassus accept and from whom?

Parnassus accepts short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, as well as various art media and photography. As of spring 2015, we also accept original music compositions. We do not censor any entries, so any kind of work is eligible for consideration.

Submissions are accepted from NECC students only. Any NECC students who have been enrolled within the last year before publication are eligible, including Parnassus staff members and, additionally, any NECC faculty or staff.

We encourage all students to submit as much work as they wish. That said, we do not publish all submissions. Our creative philosophy is to publish the best of the best of what NECC students have to offer in order to create the best possible product each year. As such, if you are submitting, please send us only what is best representative of your work and style - the things you most want to show off. In addition, we often attempt to work with some writers to help edit their work for publication.

When are the deadlines?

There are two deadlines for each publication of Parnassus, once near the beginning of December, and once near the end of March.

Each yearly publication will feature work from both semesters. Chosen writers and artists will be informed near the end of the semester in which they submitted, and they will be published near the end of the spring semester.

Specific deadlines for each semester will be announced on posters/flyers around the NECC campus. If by chance you happen to miss a deadline, it still may be possible to sneak your submission in; email us and ask!

How can I submit?

You're in luck; we've got a fabulous webpage here with all the specific info you need. Click here for all the incredibly exciting details. Try to contain your enthusiasm.

I saw on the Archive page that Parnassus used to come out twice a year, but now it's only once? What gives?

Yeah, that's true. A quick look through the hallowed past of our book will reveal that a spring and fall publication was the norm for many years, all the way up until 2007. Our 2008 issue marked the first issue that represents work from both semesters in one publication. Our reasoning behind this change was to double our budget for one publication to improve the overall quality. We think the changes we were able to make in that issue, including it being the first full-color edition, exemplify exactly why we moved to a yearly publication, and we have taken those ideals even further with our subsequent issues as well. We hope our readers will agree.

How can I get a copy for myself? Is it free?

Parnassus can be found, completely free, in the lobby of the C Building in the NECC Haverhill campus, or by emailing Faculty Advisor Patrick Lochelt. Copies are limited. Some copies of older issues are available as well. Please ask!

What's this I've heard about free donkeys?

Don't ask.

Any more questions? Email Faculty Advisor Patrick Lochelt and ask away!

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