Harrast uses passion for writing for Solstice literary magazine

Seated comfortably in her chair, sophomore Maria Harrast peers at a computer screen, soaking in a new poem that was just sent for submission. After a long day at school and with golf practice later, Solstice provides relief for Harrast, and a chance for her to explore a personal interest—writing.

Solstice, Hinsdale Central’s literary magazine, features pieces of writing such as poetry and short stories as well as other works of art. Harrast joined Solstice her freshman year and has since become quite involved.

Given that Solstice is a rather small group, it is not as well known as Devils’ Advocate or El Diablo. The group consists of a few very active students that collect showcases of student talent to publish at the end of the year. Harrast is part of the literary branch of the group.

“(In literary), we sort the submissions we get, which is from anyone in the school,” Harrast said. “It’s all anonymous. There’s maybe three to four of us; we decide if we want to accept (each submission).”

Due to the small number of students that select the items to submit in the magazine, each person has a large responsibility. Harrast spends up to an hour every Wednesday after school working on submissions.

“We accept any kind of drawing, photography, paintings, prose, poetry, and short stories,” Harrast said.

Since there is a limit on the number of pieces accepted, it is very important for the club to choose a variety of pieces that display different styles of literary or artistic talent. Harrast looks for pieces that contain a unique idea and present that idea in an intriguing format. She also likes to find pieces containing interesting issues.

Harrast, now in her second year as part of Solstice, is experienced on how things are run. On the other hand, Agatha Krasuski, sophomore, is a new member to the Solstice club.

“I joined a few weeks after it started so I really didn’t know how everything worked,” Krasuski said. “(Maria) told me about the sides of Solstice and explained how each contributed to the magazine.”

Harrast’s main motivation for joining the Solstice group was so that she would get a chance to work with writing pieces.

“(Maria) really reads the pieces and gives valuable critiques for everyone,” Krasuski said. “She’s probably added the most input out of all of us.”

Harrast hopes that she can take her love for writing and pursue a career that relies on it.

“(Writing) is a way of communicating ideas to people,” Harrast said. “They can reread it, and it’s persuasive in that way.”

Solstice will be releasing the 2014-2015 edition of its magazine towards the end of the school year.