The Chirp: On the Wings of Creation

SHS creative writing classes release online literary magazine


Jordin Baker

Creative writing student Mackenzie Riddle talks with teacher Tim Jamriska during a creative writing class on April 11.

This past March, the creative writing classes hatched a third publication to the nest at SHS: The Chirp. SHS has existed as a two-publication school for just shy of 100 years. However, as opposed to The Journal and The Anchor, The Chirp is intended to represent the purely creative side of the student body, according to English teacher and adviser Tim Jamriska.

“I wanted to create a better creative culture at SHS, and I wanted to give the writers in the school a platform to showcase their talents and a way to express themselves,” Jamriska said.

The Chirp is an online literary magazine that publishes many different types of creative content, including poetry, art, novel excerpts, flash fiction and short stories, Jamriska says. He adds that the main purpose of The Chirp is to show off the talent SHS has to offer that doesn’t get much appreciation. Originally, he wanted a way to put his creative writing classes’ work out there for others to see, but he also had the intention of encouraging more people at SHS to get involved in creative writing.

According to Jamriska there are 28 people working together across the two creative writing classes. These people write, edit and then post their content on the website. The Chirp already has published an assortment of stories and art on their website,, and featured student pieces cover the home page.

Although the creative writing classes may edit their submissions, students are given creative liberty over their work. One piece that has been recently published is the science fiction story called “Inside the Mind of a Broken Machine,” written by senior and Instagram manager of The Chirp Morgan Riddell.

“‘Inside the Mind of a Broken Machine’ is a story set somewhere in the far future,” Riddell said. “It’s about a robot that has fallen in a hole and has ended up stuck. Throughout the story, the robot reminisces about his past life and how he misses it.”

According to Riddell, she is excited for The Chirp because she loves to write and produce different types of art. She also says that it’s a great way for student creations get noticed by colleges and other people in the school.

Anyone in the school can get their work published by The Chirp. Senior Carson Smith, The Chirp’s website editor, has been writing “One Flight to Paradise,” a story that he has been posting periodically on the website as he finishes writing each chapter.

“‘One Flight to Paradise’ is about a family in 2028 that go on a week and a half vacation to the Maldives.” Smith said. “A bunch of things happen to this family, and I’ve had a blast writing it so far since I’m really interested in tropical places.”

According to Smith, he plans on writing seven to nine chapters of “One Flight to Paradise,” and two of them have already been posted to The Chirp. Smith says that he has come to enjoy writing for The Chirp and that he has had a lot of fun creating and sharing his experiences with others. But because he is a senior, he hopes that he can help kickstart the publication and get more people interested before he graduates.

“Since this is the first year of The Chirp, I hope that we can build a solid foundation for future students to use and take advantage of,” Smith said. “I think that this is a great tool and a great opportunity for students to express themselves and show off the talent that SHS has.”