Tempered Steel magazine brings creativity out of students


Tempered Steel, Colorado State University-Pueblo’s annual literary magazine, continues to feature creative writing by students at the university.

The magazine, which is published every spring, has been on campus for almost 20 years. Writings include short stories, poetry, fiction and nonfiction.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Previously known as The Hungry Eye, the magazine was changed in 2008 when Juan Morales, associate professor of English and director of creative writing, and the student staff decided to change the name to something more fitting for Pueblo, known as “The Steel City.”

“The staff and I decided we wanted to change the name of the magazine to something that better reflected the community,” Morales said.

Into his ninth year as the director of creative writing, Morales teaches English 445, the class that produces Tempered Steel.

As a class, students learn more in-depth about literary magazines and about the skills required to put one together. The students recruit their peers for submissions, accept submissions that will be published, reject those submissions that will not be published, design the layout for the magazine, proofread the finished product, order more copies and then organize a reading to release the newest issue on campus.

Some students, like junior English major Cala Grayson, have previous literary magazine experience. Grayson is currently working for another off-campus literary magazine called Pilgrimage.

“My biggest challenge with working on Tempered Steel was that I had to take a step back and let everyone else focus on developing their talents and find out what they wanted to do to contribute to the magazine,” Grayson said.

This semester’s English 445 class consisted of mostly English majors but also some mass communication majors.

“When I first walked into class, I didn’t think that the students would come together as a team that well, but it was a big surprise to me that everyone exceeded my expectations and were working together really well,” Grayson added.

“Our primary goals for Tempered Steel are to keep it going and keep publishing. Budgetary issues and finances are always a harsh reality for literary magazines because sometimes budgets do get cut and it looks like that will be a possibility for us,” Morales said.

Even with budgets possibly being cut for the literary magazine, Morales says that Tempered Steel will live on.

“It contributes so much to the campus community and it helps students to celebrate their publishing endeavors and creativity,” he said.

This semester’s issue of Tempered Steel will be released May 5. The Tempered Steel staff will be hosting a reading party at 5 p.m. in the Library and Academic Resources Center auditorium.