Oats Logo


What is Oats?

Oats is Michigan State University's only exclusively undergraduate literary magazine. We publish creative writing of all kinds, and distribute 5000 copies free of charge on campus.


Why is it called "Oats?"

Dan Bouk, whom some consider the "founding father" of Oats (others consider him its "overly-worrisome mother"), recalls this tale of Oats' origin...

"In the middle of my second semester at Michigan State, I picked up a copy of the Red Cedar Review, MSU's only literary magazine at the time. Reading through it, I quickly realized it contained primarily the works of graduate students from other universities. My own chances of publication seemed awfully slim. So, I did what any starving, desperate author would do: I went down the hall and announced that a new magazine was in order! Legend has it I exclaimed, "I just need a place to sow my intellectual oats!"

A number of weeks later, after spring break had come and gone, Len Ford appeared at my door and declared, "Move it, Bouk! We have a meeting for the literary magazine!" Joined by Robin Sloan, we began with the most important order of business: the name (of course). Robin jokingly suggested "Oats", in reference to my earlier statement. We all had a good laugh at that. Two hours later (after Matt Penniman had stumbled upon us, joined up, and racked his brain, too) we realized we couldn't come up with anything better. Rationalizing that it "fits with MSU's agrarian atmosphere," we settled on Oats as the name of our new endeavor."


Who makes Oats happen?

Oats is made possible by a fairly small group of fairly laid-back people, including a managing editor, design editors, and numerous content editors, all of whom have titles which sound a lot more hoity-toity than they feel. The staff meets once a week or less, and publishes two issues a year. Oats is proud to have an ever-expanding staff, and is always seeking dedicated, creative people to join our ranks!


How can you be a part of Oats?

If you would like to help shape the masterpiece that is Oats, just send an email to oats@msu.edu!

How can you get your work published in Oats?

If you would like to gain the fame, fortune, and prestige your writing deserves, please don't contact Oats. However, if you would like a few thousand people on campus to see your work and think, "Hey, that was alright." send what you've got as a Word attachment to oats@msu.edu.


How can you get a copy?

If you want to experience the genius in person, look around on campus near the end of the semester. If you can't find it on your own, and your newsprint-sniffing dogs fail you, send an email to oats@msu.edu and we'll see what we can do. You can also check out back issues on this very website!

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