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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

‘Open Fruit’ magazine back in season displaying students’ work

Sydney Hammer
Open Fruit Magazine’s first two issues are available for viewing and reading on their website. Open Fruit’s third issue, “Everyone is Here” will be available on Thursday, April 28. The magazine was made by Joshua Escobar and Emma Trelles from the English Department at Santa Barbara City College.

The Open Fruit Magazine is preparing to publish their third issue, “Everyone is Here”, releasing on Thursday, April 28. 

Open Fruit is City College’s annual creative writing and art visual magazine made by the English Department. 

“We wanted to start a student magazine where students could be very involved,” said Editor and English Professor Joshua Escobar. 

When it was first created three years ago, the editors sent out a link to students informing them on the magazine and received multiple responses from students looking for a home for their work. Everyone seemed to enjoy the idea of a collaboration of creative students coming together to make something original. 

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“The name Open Fruit came from one of the original meetings we had,” Escobar said. “The magazine has a queer tone to it… it being cheap, messy, and punk.” 

The theme for the first issue, “Exhale”, was created from the chaos of the pandemic. Open Fruit contributors believed the world needed to slow down, and poetry was the perfect way to do so. 

“Open Fruit was already something tangible and ‘Exhale’ was showing what poetry and art does, being able to exhale,” Open Fruit Editor, Creative Writing Instructor, and Poet Laureate, Emma Trelles said.  

The second issue, “Transitions”, was a collaboration with the Transitions Program at City College. The magazine wanted to devote their resources to showcase the program’s work. “Transitions” was crafted around the work of the program helping incarcerated students, it was then titled after the program in order to highlight the issue. 

“We felt like that was not only speaking to the program but had an emotional register for the issue, being that it was in the pandemic and we were able to do something together,” Escobar said. 

The theme for the upcoming issue, “Everyone is Here”, originated from the idea of being together again. The issue focuses on finding importance in the present moment, and not waiting for something to be of value until it’s over. 

“We’re excited to amplify the diverse voices of our Santa Barbara communities with this issue,” wrote Trelles. “Poems and stories give us a way of sharing our lives with one another.” 

Unlike the first two issues, this issue will include music and sound, bringing the magazine to life. 

Each year, Open Fruit opens their submissions at the end of the fall, and they close at the beginning of March. With all of the issues made, they have been able to accept every submission received since the online platform gives them the space. 

“We’re looking for work that is weird, arts and crafty, overly personal, unconventional, curious, daring, authentic and fire,” he said. 

The third issue will include poetry, fiction and nonfiction writing, music, pictures, and graphics. While the first two issues were made in a PDF format, “Everyone is Here” will be fully online. 

Escobar creates all of the graphics found on the magazine from his Ipad, and he finds joy in doing it. 

“It’s very therapeutic and fun to create [the graphics],” the English instructor said. “The backgrounds and textures create an abstract home for the work.” 

Magazine creators Escobar and Trelles originally wanted it to be on print, but due to funding issues they decided it would be better through an online format, similar to zines. 

“A zine is an alternative publication, they’re kind of punk, spare of the moment, and made from cheap materials.” Escobar said. 

At first, they were hosting meetings inviting any students interested, until they ran into scheduling issues and realized things work best when they just let things flow. 

“We’re super resourceful, things fall through and come together,” he said, “it’s all made up of happy accidents.” 

Open Fruit will be having a launch party and open mic at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 in IDC 106 on West Campus to launch the third issue of the creative writing and art visual magazine.  

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