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The Daily Tar Heel focuses on literature and art

The editors of UNC’s newest literary and arts magazine are young by most writers’ standards, but they say that’s where their charm lies.

The online magazine,, is a branch of Carolina Creates, which is part of Chancellor Holden Thorp’s Innovate@Carolina initiative.

Should Does launched Aug. 19 and begins accepting writing and art submissions today.

The staff of 25 hopes to unify University readers and writers through a shared love of literature.

“Writing is our thing, but we’re not professing to be experts,” said Katherine Proctor, editor of the magazine’s non-fiction section. “For that reason, we’re all on the same operating level.”

Proctor, who is a columnist for The Daily Tar Heel, said she hoped the website would be an outlet for young writers — and an opportunity for young readers to see that quality work can come at any age.

The site’s editor-in-chief, Alex Karsten, agreed.

“I’m a junior in college, so especially in writing, I don’t feel like I’m an expert in anything,” he said.
“There are a lot of writers on staff — all of them, actually — that really humble me as a writer.”

Proctor and Karsten, both creative writing minors, said what they learned in their courses influenced the creative process and work flow of Should Does.

They focus on workshopping, a process through which writers critique each others’ work.

Before publication, writers must submit three drafts. During two remote workshops, members make suggestions by tracking potential changes to the story in Microsoft Word.

Karsten said criticism from fellow writers creates a collaborative and trusting atmosphere — one in which writers want their peers to succeed.

“You know as a writer how valuable the workshop is for you, so you’re going to do it for others,” he said.

Should Does is different from other campus magazines, the editors said, because it emphasizes collaboration and a daily publication schedule.

“People aren’t just cherry-picking their best work they’ve written and sending it in all at once,” said junior Meredith Jones, who works as fiction editor for both Should Does and Cellar Door, another campus literary magazine which publishes biannually.

“Should Does is more of an ongoing, everyday kind of project.”

Should Does publishes about one new piece every Sunday through Thursday. The ability to publish frequently is made possible by Innovate@Carolina funding, which goes toward the costs of designing and maintaining the website.

Carolina Creates Writers, a subset of Carolina Creates, receives $1,000 annually to fund its initiatives. Currently, Should Does is the only Carolina Creates Writers initiative.

Karsten said the online-only publication doesn’t have the same space constraints that other print publications face.

“There’s going to be no quota,” he said. “That’s one of the beauties of the Internet. We don’t have space requirements.”

Should Does also embraces experimental types of writing, like two-sentence stories or pieces written primarily in dialogue.

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Peter Schultz, editor of submissions, said Should Does simply looks for well-written pieces.

“We’re not really holding people to a standard that they have to write a certain type of story,” he said.

For example, Karsten said the magazine could potentially house a long-term comic strip because of the site’s flexibility.

“A lot of people have these big ideas that they can’t do by themselves,” he said.

“If we get all those people together, it’s not that hard. It’s just another email on the listserv.”

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