Gannon University’s Literary Magazine

Jillian Wells, Staff Writer

Gannon’s literary art magazine, The Totem, has been around for sixty years and is still publishing prose, poetry and art from students, faculty, and staff.  

A creative outlet, Totem has been a program of many names. Starting in the sixties as The Schutcheon, in which creative writing and essays were the only pieces that were accepted. 

 In 1964 the name of the Schutcheon changed to the Laureate. This change marked the acceptance of poetry and art into the magazine.  

From 1979-1980 the Laureate lost its popularity. To spark new interest a new name was given to the magazine.  

As its namesake suggests, The Phoenix rose from the ashes of the Laureate to spark new interest in the magazine.  

Through the eighties and nineties, the Phoenix grew and flourished into what we have had for the last thirty years in the Totem. Totem has been published under this name since 1992.  

As the Totem, the magazine has received Awards from the American Scholastic Press Association since 1996, and most recently in 2020. 

In the last couple of years, the Totem team has been in the process of digitalizing the magazine to reach a broader audience.  

Under the supervision of faculty, Joshua Taylor, senior 2022, the digital projects editor, gave a brief history and has managed to digitalize the 2021 Totem for public viewing. The digitalization, while still in progress, is set to continue with the published 2022 and up-coming 2023 issues.  

When looking for submissions, the Totem accepts pieces of writing from all majors, faculty, staff, from both Erie and Ruskin campuses.  

If looking to submit prose; memoirs, essays, short plays, and pieces of novels are encouraged. When considering poetry, song lyrics and links to the corresponding music are welcome, or all types of poetry whether narrative or haiku.  

Lastly when looking toward submitting art to Totem, photographs, images of physical art, drawings and paintings are all more than welcome.  

Once submissions are received it is time for the judging process.  

Art submissions are first, submissions are due on November 1st which allows the Totem staff time to prepare for Advising Day.  

November 8th is a time for students to think of looking toward the future of next semester and scheduling classes, while also being judgement day for art submissions.  

All names are removed from the artwork, and then laid out in one of the classrooms near the Totem office, Palumbo Center 3242.  

Students, faculty, and staff come through and vote on their top ten pieces of art. These votes are then tallied and those with the most votes are admitted into the Totem.  

Prose and poetry are judged blindly by an anonymous panel. This panel chooses pieces of writing which are then given to the staff to proofread and publish.  

Emily Cummings, the prose editor for 2023, Charlize Harding, the poetry editor, and lastly Jillian Wells the arts editor work hard through the fall semester to prepare the spring semester’s publication.  

Along with the editors, The Totem also seeks out proofreaders and assistant editors to analyze and read submissions, come January.  

Questions can be directed to Josh Taylor at [email protected], and submissions for art are due to [email protected] on November 1st, prose and poetry are due on November 14th