Books Editor Henry Crabtree reintroduces his section for the 2018/19 academic year, calls for your wild and off-the-wall contributions, and describes his aims for the Books subsection of The Tribe this year.

From 2009 The Tribe has proved a platform for any of St Andrews’s multitude of student voices, from opinion pieces to event reviews and creative writing. As we approach the ten-year anniversary of this student magazine, I implore anyone who has ever sought to have their words read and their ideas published to contact any one of the section heads for The Tribe with pieces, no matter how zany (though within the bounds of good taste). This magazine has always been for you, and I hope to any burgeoning writers that thetribeonline.com might provide a mouthpiece for you.

S. Styron said “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” I would love to hear any and all thoughts of yours about literature. To introduce myself, as would be expected from an introductory article, I am Henry Crabtree: a fourth-year English student with a particular interest in the Romantic poets and classic Russian literature, I have been the Books Editor of The Tribe for two years now (entering my third) and it has been a joy to work with the members of this magazine to allow a comprehensive and accepting website for diverse opinions and topics. I implore anyone who has wanted to write for the Books section or about literature to contact me on books@thetribeonline.com or my personal school email with pieces, suggestions, or hate mail. Hopefully not the latter. I would heartily recommend writing for the Books section – alongside bolstering your CV/résumé with university writing experience, it can prove an outlet for all those literary hot takes your friends hear about after tutorials.

Despite my obvious bias, I feel like the Books section can offer a stage for any students, new or old, who have ever wanted to write about literature in any of its forms. While academic writing throughout the year may diminish your love for a text (particularly, writing an essay hungover might make you hate words altogether), the Books section can be a platform for any and every piece you can think of pertaining to literature. Want to write about why you despise a certain text? Want to eulogize on your favourite author’s genius? Or perhaps fancy writing a character assassination on the semi-colon? From reviews and ‘best of’ lists to literary theory and your own takes, I’ll happily give you the freedom of this website to espouse your literary hot takes, simply because of the diverse effects that even one piece of literature can have on two different people.

As I’ve said in previous introductory pieces, The Tribe is your chance to write about whatever you’d like, in whatever way you’d like: from foreign language reviews, to study group guides, or book club session minutes! Feel free to send in articles in your first language, in order to truly capture the sense of an author’s piece in the language it was written in, or pitch me an idea for a regular column where you dissect your favourite works. As an independent arts magazine, The Tribe depends on St. Andrews students for contributing pieces just as much as we depend on you for our readership, and we’d like you to make this magazine your own. Literature affects us all in different ways and, without waxing lyrical in too fantastical of a way, can completely change your world. Clichéd, I know, but true. The ways in which one can discern good writing from bad in just a glance really speaks to the communicative power of the languages we speak, and I hope you can share your work with the rest of the student population and make this place your own.

So open up a Word doc or a WordPress article, and turn that blank white space facing back at you your own. Dash it with these little squiggles of black that you’re reading now, ones that frankly don’t mean anything at all unless you let them – and, forming your own meaning from them, write something, anything. Poet and author Glyn Maxwell espouses about the power behind black lines on a white page, suggesting that even ‘fifty, a hundred, a thousand years after its maker is gone, what’s signalled by the black shapes is a human presence.’ The Tribe can be your platform and, with the Books section, I hope to read your words and the humanity behind them.

Also, be sure to follow us across social media to keep up to speed with The Tribe:

Instagram: @thetribeonline
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If you would like to contribute to our books section, you can contact Henry at books@thetribeonline.com.