The November 15th Deadline is quickly approaching! Get your submissions in, and encourage your peers to do the same!


One More for the Road…

Here’s just one more prompt to get you all going for a summer (hopefully) filled with lots of writing, drawing, and photo taking!

You are wandering around at night trying to find your way back home and stumble upon your local musty graveyard. No one has been buried there in years because of the incidents. That was in the year 84′. It has not happened since so it won’t happen again, right? You feel a shadow looming over your every step, is it happening again? You fall to the ground, petrified after a heavy hand pushes you off your path. The shadow scurries over to graves, digging up what was left behind. Grotesque body parts are soaring over your motionless body… it’s happening. Are you next?

Come up with a scary story to tell around all those summer bonfires!

-The Catalyst Team

Volume 18 is Up!

Hello all!

Volume 18 is officially published for this semester! What better way to start off your summer than by checking out all the amazing stories, poetry, and artwork in this new issue? Go check it out under the “Current Issue” tab now!

Have a wonderful summer, and start getting those submissions ready for fall!

-The Catalyst Team

Interview with Rylee Hedberg

Please enjoy this interview with UWL student, Rylee Hedberg!

rylee headshot

PC: Received from Rylee Hedberg

To read some of Rylee’s works check Volume 17 of The Catalyst!

What is your major?

Where is your hometown?
Waseca, MN

What do you do for fun, besides writing?
I enjoy running, yoga, nature, reading, music, hanging out with friends, Netflix, and drinking beer!

What inspires your writing?
Usually, things that are happening presently in my life, whenever I have a lot going on in my head I write it down and most of the time the writing manifests into itself.

You wrote a piece for The Catalyst called ‘News’. Can you describe what inspired that piece specifically and what kind of role the news has in your inspiration?
I was researching a book for one of my classes called Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. I had read a few excerpts from it and was overwhelmed with what Postman had to say about the way technology is shaping our lives as well as the way we communicate with one another. I suppose I just channeled all of my thoughts into writing which usually helps me gain a clearer image about things in my life.

Do your career goals include any aspect of writing?
Hopefully! I’d like to be a journalist, maybe specializing in music or travel…or try my hand at a book or short story!

A Little Inspiration for You!

The deadline is coming up quick! Here’s another prompt in case writer’s block has got you down!

Midwest Landscape

PC: Retrieved from

Sam has lived on the coast of Connecticut since birth. However, rising sea levels change the real estate market as properties on higher ground and properties further inland become more valuable, causing many on the coast to become impoverished and flock inland. Sam decides to move to a booming Midwestern city foreign to him/her because they’ve only ever been exposed to widespread flooding and poverty. Now Sam must start a new life, and meet new people…and today Sam bumped into you. Where do you take Sam? What must Sam learn, appreciate and accept in your town? What does Sam have the most trouble with? Where is Sam’s family?

Interview with Austin VanBuren

Please enjoy this interview with UWL student, Austin VanBuren!

Austin Interview Pic

PC: Austin VanBuren from Volume 17 of The Catalyst 

Austin VanBuren is a veteran artist who has been featured in The Catalyst frequently. Austin is passionate about art and photography and is a sophomore at UWL, studying computer science.


When did you get into photography?

I think it was senior year of high school, around December. That’s when I decided to get a camera, but I had started taking photos with my phone earlier.

Your photos are always so lush- it seems like you really concentrate on some life force whether that be fog, condensation, etc.

I definitely try to go for a living, breathing world kind of thing. Lately, what I’ve been trying to do is create a sense of mystery. My biggest thing is how people interact with their environment, but not in a formal way. So, I observe a lot of people- and to me, it’s colors and what people wear, how they move.

Do you think having a nice camera is necessary to take good photos?

I personally don’t believe you need an expensive camera to take good photos- I started out on my phone. A lot of people see an expensive camera and creamy backgrounds with bokeh, and yeah, that is nice- but it’s just making it look a little better. For me, getting a more expensive camera and more lenses is about opening up opportunities. I’ve had the same Nikon with a 50-ml lens, and I’ve been using that for 2-3 years now.

 What projects are you working on right now?

I got really into this project I started, ‘A Collection of Men’. It’s just like dads, your stereotypical middle-aged men. It’s really fun, going up and just talking to them, being like, ‘Hey, I’m a photographer, can I take your picture?’ I wanted to do something that incorporated my humor with my photography. And I thought about it, and I wanna make a book, or a magazine or something. I thought all summer, ‘I’m gonna get it done.’ I didn’t get it done, unfortunately, but I made a lot of progress, and I’m pretty happy with that.

I wanted to ask you about this- where do you set your portraits up? There was one with a pink and yellow background that I loved.

One day I thought about those blinds and how that shadow is there every day, so I popped out my tripod at like 12:30 at night and did the self-timer thing and clicked the button. I grabbed my cactus off my desk, I don’t know why, and I sat there thinking, ‘What can I do with this?’ Self-portraits are so hard with not being behind the camera. You have to think about everything beforehand, which I don’t like because I feel like it has an unnatural kind of thing. It really targets the self-confidence, to learn your own good angles. It also makes me appreciate taking pictures of other people, because they’re going to think some angles are poor, and you have to fight with how they see themselves and how you’re seeing it and kind of mix and match.

What are you excited to do in the future?

I’m looking forward to playing with this diamond filter and splitting the picture, playing around with that. I wanna do some more creative things with light. I want to mount this new flash off-camera and mess around with shadows.

To see more of Austin VanBuren’s photography, check out some of the past issues of The Catalyst!