In hopes of strengthening connections between the nine undergraduate University of California campuses, a group of young entrepreneurs from UC Santa Cruz are creating a new literary arts magazine that will showcase the creative accomplishments of talented students from across the state.

The staff of Matchbox Magazine, comprised of about 15 creative writing and art students at UCSC, are currently working to produce the publication’s first issue by next April. Matthew Branch, the magazine’s editor, said he hopes Matchbox will increase unity across the UC schools.

“Individual UC campuses have no real sense of community. We want to create a cooperation between the creative and artistic community and the general UC student population,” Branch said.

The magazine – which is the first publication of its kind to be created and produced solely by UC students – will be available for free at the university bookstores on each campus throughout the system. Branch said the publication will showcase various types of creative works – including short prose, poetry, art, photography, comics and computer design – that UC students have produced throughout their time in college.

According to Branch, Matchbox has recently made an agreement with the UC campuses to keep the publication free and available in UC bookstores. Each school will contribute money to fund the expenses of publishing the magazine, and in return, the bookstores will receive 500 free copies for student distribution for every $1,000 they contribute, Branch said.

Matchbox Art Editor Sarah Fox said UCSB has shown strong participation in the project.

“We are really excited to see what life is like on all the UC campuses,” Fox said. “Currently, UCSB students have sent in the most submissions to the magazine.”

According to Branch, the idea for a magazine arose within the group last winter, when a group of UCSC students announced they wanted a medium to showcase some of their work, but concluded no such outlet even existed.

“We were tired of having to send in $20 dollars with our applications to literary arts magazines, hoping that our work would get published,” Branch said.

According to Branch, Matchbox will accept submissions from undergraduates enrolled at a UC campus.

“Matchbox is geared toward primarily undergraduate students because they have the most difficulty in getting their work published. However, the magazine will be available to whoever wants a copy,” Branch said.

An on-staff web designer is currently working to create a corresponding Matchbox website to help promote the publication, in addition to increasing publicity for the wide range of artistic accomplishments by UC students. The magazine also has a group to provide students with information about the publication, and how they can submit work for potential publication.