How does the Looking Glass work?


Raven Chamberlain-Whaley

The Looking Glass is Rocky’s award winning literary magazine showcasing student work.

The Looking Glass Magazine is a literary magazine at Rocky Mountain High School that anyone can submit to, but what happens to your hard work once you submit? Let’s take a peep into the looking glass and see if we can understand the process.

Once you submit your visual art, music, fiction or nonfiction writings, or poetry it will go to one of three teams.

The art team looks at all submitted visual art ranging from pottery, photography, and visual art of all kinds. Once the piece is looked at by the six people that make up the art team they will decide what to accept into the magazine. Sometimes accepted pieces require additional information. For visual art, the team may require a different photo of the piece or they may require additional information about the materials used in order to display it correctly.

If you submit any poetry or music it will be reviewed by the four people on the poetry team. They have the same task as the other teams reviewing the submissions and deciding whether or not the art should be accepted. They also have to deal with correcting spelling punctuation in the submitted poems. When music is submitted they may have to help rerecord a piece and then figure out how to incorporate it into the magazine.

If you submit any nonfiction or fiction piece including essays, short stories, interviews, screen plays and many more, it will go to our Fiction/Non-Fiction team. This team of six will read through your pieces and select what they believe should go into the magazine. They will also make minor changes such as correcting spelling and punctuation to make the story correct. If any major changes need to be done they will either contact the author or possibly not submit the work.

For any team contacting the author is very precarious. They don’t want to contact an artist and tell them they made it into the magazine before publication. It is hard to ask artists for additional information without giving false hope. The reason that the artist’s accepted submission may not be included in the final publication is because of layout day.

Our last, and arguably most important team, is the design team. They are in charge of putting all of the submitted pieces into the final magazine and printing. On lay out day, a few members from each of the teams, as well as the entire design team, get together with the submitted pieces and lay out what each page of the magazine will look like. Unfortunately, some pieces just don’t fit and could be cut from the magazine. It is always a very sad day when a piece that the teams loved has to be dropped at the finish line.

Our design team will then take all the accepted pieces, put them in the magazine and make sure everything is formatted correctly. They also add drop art and other formatting details to match some of the written submissions in order to add interest and fill the page. They don’t do all this on the last day. As pieces are accepted, design team formats and places them in a rough draft that is used on layout day.

Something that you should know when you submit is that no matter what you submit it will be looked at and reviewed with care and as little bias as is humanly possible.If a member of The Looking Glass submits a piece they have no say in whether their own piece gets accepted.

You can submit as many pieces as you would like, but the design team has the hard task of making sure the magazine isn’t filled with just one person. Typically, they try to limit accepted pieces to three per person and two in any one genre.

Each team does have some criteria that an author should meet in order to increase their chances of being accepted. Those criteria are laid out on The Looking Glass website along with the place to submit your pieces and lists of all the things that are accepted.

Hopefully this article makes it a little bit more clear the things that The Looking Glass team does to make the publication you know and love and helps you understand what the process your art goes through when you submit.


Submissions are still being accepted until February 17, 2023. More information can be found at