University of Wisconsin–Madison

17th Edition of Curb Magazine Embarks on FEARless Pursuit of Storytelling

The 17th edition of Curb magazine, which presents themes of courage, risk, nerve and uncertainty, launches Wednesday, bringing the relationship between emotion and storytelling to a whole new level.

This year, 23 students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison embarked on a journey to share a variety of perspectives relating to the binary of fear and fearlessness.

Fear is one of the few universal characteristics of humanity. But the Curb staff found it is also about conquering your worries, challenging yourself and finding excitement in the unknown. In this issue of Curb, the students explore how fears across the state of Wisconsin can push us to take risks that can have incredible rewards. The magazine hopes to show that fear is boundless, and we are only limited by it if we allow ourselves to be.

Olivia Jones, editor in chief of Curb magazine, fostered a collaborative environment that sparked the vision for FEARless. Jones’s ambition to take a step in a new direction led to the adaptation of a challenging, yet fulfilling, theme for the 2018 issue.

“Vision, vision, vision.” Jones says. “Being open-minded and remaining curious on innovative storytelling methods and new story angles allowed us to achieve the end result we had been striving for.”

Since early September, the newsroom staff of Curb magazine has shown immense dedication, spending many hours perfecting the philosophy and cohesiveness of the 17th edition. From content development and designing, to funding and external promotions, this capstone course provides graduate and undergraduate students with first-hand experience and full, creative range in a publication that in the past has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Milwaukee Press Club.

Developing a podcast called “Psyched,” illustrating a comic strip based on a true ghost story and creating a Spotify playlist with songs associated with being fearless are a few ways the Curb staff took the plunge in finding new storytelling methods.

Stacy Forster, course instructor and Curb publisher, inspired students to be bold and reach out of their comfort zones. Forster also encouraged students to write about topics they were passionate about so the stories would convey more emotion and stronger ties to the FEARless theme.

“This group of students has incredible ambition and drive, and they are just as fearless as their magazine,” Forster says. “Using their strategic thinking and creativity, each staff member played a critical role in crafting our final product.”

The Curb business team led the charge in raising the funds to cover the costs of publication. For the ninth year in a row, Royle Printing, located in Sun Prairie, donated half the cost of printing.

The 17th edition of Curb magazine will be distributed to more than 10,000 UW-Madison alumni across Wisconsin. The print publication will be available on newsstands around the Dane County area, and the online version can be accessed at curbonline.com.