With 37 columnists, this may very well be the largest monthly issue of Oasis ever. But even though we are getting more and more writers, there still seems to be a misconception about writing for Oasis.
A lot of people inquire about writing for Oasis, but question whether they can commit monthly or want to constantly analyze their lives in a column. Our columns are just one aspect of Oasis.
There is definitely room for additional writers in other capacities. If you have an issue you want to explore, but don't want to commit monthly, we do run opinion pieces. We also need more pop culture columnists, who can look at the queering of the larger culture and the straightening of gay culture. Music and movies and books are under-reviewed in Oasis. Write poetry, write fiction. Write your coming out story. Write anything.
We've always had too few female voices in the magazine, although we finally do have more women writing on a regular basis. We're seeing more columnists from foreign countries sharing their lives as gay teens, and giving us all a peek into being gay in other parts of the world. Oasis is still a little too white, and more minorities are encouraged to write.
But the main thing to remember is that there is room in Oasis for everyone. Oasis' mission is to serve queer and questioning youth. That includes everyone and every voice. People who read Oasis and don't find anything that speaks to them should write, so that people like them can relate and then they will start submitting as well. A good percentage of our current crop of columnists started out as Oasis readers who wanted to give something back for the help and comfort Oasis gave them.
Next month, everyone will get their voice heard on what they like/dislike about Oasis with our first-ever Readers' Survey. The survey will give us an idea of how many people read Oasis, what you like, what you'd like to see more of and how we should go forward from here.
I would urge everyone to take the time to fill out the survey next month. Most of the writers and staff of Oasis work in vacuums, all adding our piece to the larger monthly magazine. the survey will give us insight into the perceptions about Oasis.
But even as our staff and readership continue to rise, it forces us even more to look at what groups we aren't properly addressing. Because even though some people have been visiting the Oasis for over one and a half years, for others it's still a desert out there.