Catherine Kwon

There are at least 17 undergraduate publications currently publishing at Yale. That is, 17 that I can count. There are surely more that I’m not aware of.

Yale, advertised as a Great Bastion of arts and expression, teases its students with too many options for involvement. Beginning to write at Yale is overwhelming. How does one know which publication will want their work? Should you write for the daily news or the weekly news? What even is the YDN Magazine? In the end, most who want to write find a place for themselves—or multiple places, as it turns out. But the problem of Yale’s expansive index of newspapers, journals and magazines is not who is going to write, but rather who is going to read. So, here is your beginner’s guide to reading and writing at Yale.


When I ask my friends what they are reading outside of breaking Yale Daily News pieces, it’s usually the Yale Herald—self-proclaimed to be Yale’s “most daring publication.” Their recent “fronts” have discussed everything from Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Visiting Fellow Sheila Heti, and the age-old question of how to “poop like a hero.”

The Herald’s pieces cover Yale’s campus, offer cultural critiques, review films and albums, and include a weekly “blocklist” (8 things the editors hate that week—nothing from seahorses to NATO is safe). Herald contributors not only submit articles, but also create little “treats and marginalia” as Co-Editor-in-Chief Josephine Steuer Ingall ’24 says: crosswords, cheeky jokes, and artworks that make each issue unique.

The Herald was founded in 1986 as the first campus weekly to emphasize long-form reporting. According to Steuer Ingall, the publication leaned slightly conservative until the 1990s, when it began to take the shape students recognize today—that of a cheeky arts publication featuring comics, commentary, and prose. “We were founded with the ethos of ‘what do people want to read?’” Steuer Ingall told me, noting the publication’s “situational awareness.”

The Herald is tailored to the student as the reader. “We are college students at Yale producing a college newspaper for college students to read,” Steuer Ingall said. The Herald plays with the dynamic between student readers and writers; people who “consider themselves alt in some way,” Steuer Ingall explained. The Herald emphasizes its community of staff and readers, and the publication’s content reflects that.


During a gap semester in 2020, friends Alexandra Gers ‘24 and Eden Bray ‘24 noticed that there was no publication designated for “editorialized fashion, photography, and writing” at Yale. Their venture, FUSE Magazine, attempts to fill this gap. The magazine published its first issue in spring 2022 and its second the following fall. Both have been print exclusives distributed at themed parties open to the student body. This method of circulation creates a community around FUSE, allowing readers to talk with the student artists and models who participate in making the magazine. Gers considers the issues to be “tangible art,” a status which elevates FUSE from something catalog-adjacent to something students can proudly display. She emphasized that “there is something to be said about scarcity”—making each covetable issue something a student will want to physically pick up.

Along with the success of their first print issues, the FUSE team is also building a website to incorporate different media like videography. According to Gers, the major hurdle for a new magazine is that it lacks the decades of accumulated pedigree which older Yale publications have. “We have open calls [for contributors], but some people don’t know it exists. We’re missing some of the talent at Yale because people don’t know where to look,” Gers said.

FUSE has modeled itself for a specific audience: the style-driven, artistic Yalie. FUSE gives student writers and artists the chance to publish work that isn’t confined to the style or editorial perspectives of older publications–and creates space for an existing audience that is eager to share this aspect of student life.


When a student thinks about publications at Yale, the Yale Daily News is typically the first to come to mind. Across its many desks, the News covers the city and the university, as well as churning out student-run podcasts, and video content. The WKND desk and this very publication (the YDN Magazine) also publish creative pieces. The YDN is attractive, in part, because of its prominent physical space on campus: the building at 202 York Street, where editors can be found at most times of day.

Alex Ori ’24 is an editor for the WKND desk, which she describes as “a home for off-beat entertainment pieces, where writers can explore their own bounds of creativity.” WKND is its own editorial island, but it stays in conversation with other desks. “Being tied to the YDN is really exciting for writers,’ Ori said, as the “wider breadth is inevitable.” Andrew Cramer’s piece on selective clubs at Yale had 24,896 hits last spring, as the YDN is not read only by students, but also by professors, alumni, families, and even those with no Yale affiliation.

For writers who wish to cover matters even less tethered to student life, The Politic—a political journal founded in 1947—offers a compelling platform. The organization has been a home to editors and writers who later ran magazines like Foreign Affairs and Slate, as well as become CNN hosts and policy advisors. One of The Politic’s two Editors-in-Chief, Bryson Wiese ’24, said the original idea of the journal was as a place for students to express political opinions.

“The interesting evolution that has happened, at least since I have been involved, is that we emphasize long-form journalism over opinion writing,” Wiese said–while they do publish some opinion pieces, “our bread and butter is journalism.”

“[The Politic] is one of the only major publications at Yale that doesn’t focus on Yale,” Wiese said. “That appealed to me. I wanted to write about the world.” Wiese explained that they are building a search engine optimization and indexing system so that The Politic’s articles will appear following related searches. Because of this, the journal has become a resource. The readership is broad because their coverage is not directly related to Yale. Despite its wide issue focus, The Politic is still an undergraduate journal. Wiese explained that the student reader is a good “proxy for the typical reader that a publication like The Politic would be targeting, which is a reasonably well-informed person, but not a person with particular expertise in what we’re writing about.” For the editors of The Politic, Yale student readers are informed individuals who just so happen to go to Yale. Campus publications can serve both as a training-ground for journalism careers, as their own free-standing journals, and as creative spaces for students to try their hands at writing.


“I wrote pretty much all of my high school career, and I was really excited to write at Yale, but I felt really daunted by the process of writing,” Fuse’s Gers commented on her first year. “There’s already such an established process.”

At Yale, if you want to write, there is a space for you to be published, provided you are persistent and able to navigate publications’ particular bureaucracies of pitching and submissions. And if there is no space, there are always people who will want to create one.

What Yale has are many interested writers, many available publications, but a lack of students regularly engaging with what is offered. Students face an array of relevant periodicals to read, but enduring information and availability struggle. Alongside a possible over-saturation of material, many publications’ circulations are limited. Yes, niche and narrowly targeted writing builds consistent foundations of readership, but what must happen now is reading across one’s defined interest and “demographic” in the sense of relationship to Yale. As students, we should read more student-produced work about what happens outside of the institution and New Haven, those outside of the undergraduate population should try to read the works of traditionally student-focused groups like the Herald.

Students can change this culture through deeper engagement—through sharing their peers’ work in the P-set group chat, sending their published work to their professors, and reading more peer-edited poetry; it’s better than you might think!

Beyond this, perhaps there is solace in considering that Yale’s publications are as much training grounds as they are legitimate magazines. Writing for one’s own edification is, at least, one kind of end in itself.