MACON – Mercer University’s literary magazine, The Dulcimer, received a Gold Medalist Critique by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) for the 2020-2021 edition.

CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925 to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.

The association offers its Medalist Critiques each year to help student print or online media improve their final product. Newspapers, magazines, yearbooks or online media are invited to submit issues or hyperlinks to the CSPA’s experienced adviser-judges.

Medalist Critiques contains a written set of standards developed by CSPA to itemize best practices for student media. An adviser-judge reads the print or online publication and analyzes its strengths and weakness as described by the critique, writing out comments and making constructive suggestions for building on current strengths and correcting deficiencies.

A Gold Medalist Critique is the highest distinction offered by CSPA, representing a total score between 800 and 1,000 points.

“I continue to be amazed at the creativity and imagination of The Dulcimer staff who approach this project with thoughtfulness and enthusiasm. I am proud of their continued success and the high caliber of artistic works showcased in the publication,” said Craig Coleman, professor and chair of art and faculty adviser to The Dulcimer.

The Dulcimer’s 2020-2021 edition, Vol. LIV, featured the theme “Labyrinth,” and included nearly 100 pages of art and literature produced by Mercer students, faculty and alumni.

“The theme of ‘Labyrinth’ really resonated last year, which made for an excellent magazine,” said Cecelia Poehlman, current editor-in-chief who served as copy editor and designed the cover for last year’s magazine. “Personally, I learned a lot from my experiences with ‘Labyrinth’ that helped me this year as editor-in-chief. The Dulcimer provides a lot of opportunities for its staff to learn and develop new skills, and it shows when we send the magazine to competition.”

“I joined The Dulcimer staff as a general staff member my freshman year, and I knew I had found something special. I was lucky enough to serve as editor-in-chief for two years, which furthered my love for Mercer’s arts community. It was really fulfilling to be a part of an organization that takes students’ art and literature and makes it into something for every Mercerian to enjoy,” added alumna Emily Bartlett, who served as editor-in-chief for the 2020-2021 edition. “The Dulcimer not only gives students the opportunity to put a publishing credit on their resume, but, more importantly, the magazine gives students the opportunity for their work to be seen or read by hundreds of other people. I’m so grateful that I found The Dulcimer, and I can’t wait to see what the magazine does next.”

Originally published in 1966, The Dulcimer is a student-run publication promoting an appreciation and love for the arts through the publication of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork of all mediums.

The literary magazine has two submission periods – one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester. For more information, email