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Apiary – new literary magazine launches in University City


The popular image of a writer has evolved over the years to include a range of stereotyped behaviors. There’s the laptop-wielding columnist who spends hours at a time at her local coffee shop, while she sips enough caffeine to keep an army of infantrymen fueled for a week. Or the brooding Ernest Hemingway-type, whose spark of creative energy flows from a never-ending supply of alcohol. There’s even the jet-setting collector of tales, who always returns home to share his experiences with a crew of eager listeners. At the September 26 launch party for Philadelphia’s new all-ages literary magazine, Apiary, writers of every style across the city gathered together. As part of a day-long celebration of the written (and spoken) word, they shared their passions, their foibles, and their inspirations.

University City Arts League, site of Apiary launch on Sept. 26

Attendees of the Light and Honey multi-arts festival, presented by the Apiary Corporation and Light of Unity, were ushered in to the event at the University City Arts League by a giant handmade banner. After picking up a performance program in the lobby, guests were free to wander the four floors of the former Victorian twin home.

Apiary, the new, all-ages literary magazine

It was on the first floor, the focal point of the festivities, where the pop culture images of the writer were given life. In a white room, where a mirrored wall multiplied the gathering to Lewis Carollian proportions, tables bedecked in brightly colored cloths sprang up across the room like manufactured flowers. Some offered a banquet of chicken wings, pastries, and sandwiches, others a selection of storybooks and poetry CDs. The table where copies of Apiary roosted was whimsically and cleverly placed between the ‘bar,’ consisting of Pabst Blue Ribbon and boxed Almaden wine, and on the other side a coffee pot of gigantic proportions. A bright yellow sign happily promised “Free Coffee,” courtesy of Earth Cup at 45th and Pine. Other amenities included an art table and face painting, while live music, from performers like Funkadelphia and Professor Jazz, pulsed forth from the alcove. In the meantime, in a wood-paneled room across the hall, guests gathered in a modern day reprisal of the salon, as they shared samples of writing.

A majority of the rooms in the Spruce Street building were devoted to poetry and story readings, spread out in intervals throughout the 1 – 6 pm party. Audience members and performers of all ages and skill levels intermingled, as they expressed their support for the Apiary launch.

Participants at the Light and Honey gathering

The new magazine, founded by locals Tiana Pyer-Pereira, Lillian Dunn, Michelle E. Crouch, Nick Forrest, and Tamara Oakman, began as a small, informal writing group of friends. When it came time for the quintet to publish the pieces they composed, they soon realized what the city was missing: a publication open to writers of every style and age.

“We came up with the name first,” said Dunn. “What an apiary does is cultivates and brings together honey from many different hives…There’s many distinct communities in Philadelphia, each doing their own thing, but they also work together as well.”

Reading, at the Apiary launch in West Philadelphia

After performing research and networking among the city’s literary scene, the search for submissions began. Eventually, the self-funded magazine morphed from concept to reality.

Soon, the editors of Apiary hope to distribute copies of the zine to area elementary schools and high schools, where they wish to encourage teachers to submit student pieces. Other future plans for the team include organizing a Kickstarter campaign over the next few weeks. In the meantime, copies of Apiary are available for purchase at the website,, at the metrically satisfactory rate of $10 an issue.

According to Dunn, submission guidelines are relatively simple. “It has to be awesome,” she explained. “We’ll take anything as long as it’s moving in some way – exciting and original.” Any writers or visual artists interested in submitting a piece can send writing samples and/or artwork to, while formatting requirements are available on the website. Compensation upon acceptance will include one copy of Apiary, as well as a link to the applicant’s portfolio at All writers accepted for publication will then be invited to attend a reading and share their work with a live audience.

Apiary’s first edition appears as a sleek, square 65-page booklet sporting a cover with honeycomb design. From poetry that treats of werewolves and whiskey, to visual art populated by monsters and mountains, within its pages are contained more than just an outlet for creative style, but a paperback sanctuary for the human heart.