‘Sippizine’ to offer creative outlet to South Coast writers

Feb 14, 2023

MARION — When Alanna Nelson first moved to Marion, she saw that everyone in town had a tale to tell, but nowhere to tell it.

From fishermen to cranberry farmers, she encountered “a million stories.”

“It really struck me how many creative literary folk were around here and yet there really wasn’t a way to bring us together,” she said.

Now, Nelson plans to provide a “snapshot of local arts” on the South Coast with “Sippizine,” an online, semi-annual literary magazine.

Sippizine aims to publish creative writing, poetry and artwork by local writers and artists.

“It was an idea that I thought about and I couldn’t stop thinking about,” she said. “So I decided ‘why not?’”

According to Nelson, who is also executive director of the Sippican Historical Society, Sippizine is still largely in a planning phase, with the first edition scheduled to come out in April.

However, through a partnership with the Marion Art Center, Nelson has been holding “Writing Prompt Sessions” since January, the most recent of which was held on Feb. 11.

At that session, participants were given a writing exercise that consisted of three images that could be paired with different emotions. Writers were prompted to select a pairing, write on it for 15 minutes and then share their work.

Nelson herself is no stranger to art and poetry. While she often finds herself writing blog posts or emails as a part of her day-job, she finds enjoyment in expressing herself through artwork and creative writing.

Last year she submitted two haikus to “Anomaly Poetry,” a New Bedford-based online poetry magazine. She was published in their winter “Tidings” edition in December.

“I finally got the courage and submitted to [Anomaly Poetry] last year, which wasn't so difficult,” she said. “Pressing ‘send’ isn't so hard.”

Aside from writing, Nelson is a fiber artist who “loves the way words and images can go together.”

She added that she encourages artists and writers to collaborate on submissions to Sippizine.

“Right now, my [goal] is to create community and shed light on our literary folk here in the region,” said Nelson, who has already received a grant from the Marion Cultural Council for Sippizine.

Her next steps for the project include getting the funds to offer an honorarium to people who are accepted into Sippizine, noting that money is “often very useful for artists.”

Submissions for Sippizine open online on Feb. 20 and close on March 31. The theme for the first issue is “beginnings.”

“Press send,” said Nelson, urging local writers to submit work. “It's not that hard, and I think you'll find a welcoming community waiting for you writers.”

Sippizine will accept poetry, prose and non-fiction of 1,000 words or less. Visual and video contributions are also welcome. One literary and one visual contribution will be accepted from any artist or collaboration of artists.

For more information, visit www.sippizine.art.