About Us

Aura Literary Arts Review

Aura Literary Arts Review is an award-winning creative literary magazine that is published through the Student Media division of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The publication is led and run by UAB students from various departments including English, communications, foreign languages, computer science, biology, and more.

Our goal is to promote creative artists and give them the recognition they deserve. We also seek to provide opportunities for growth and learning for artists. We host events throughout the school year, feature artists’ work online, and release a literary magazine each fall and spring semester.

The pieces in our magazine are produced by UAB students, faculty, and staff as well as Birmingham artists and artists around the country. We accept entries of the following types: art, essay, music lyrics, photography, play script ,poetry, and short story (fiction and non-fiction).

Now that you know about us, #ShareYourAura.



 aurastaff2021

Aura Team

Ashley Tippit

Ashley Tippit

Editor-in-Chief

Ashley Tippit is a Creative Writing master’s student at UAB. In addition to her work with Aura, she teaches EH 101/102 and is a Graduate Assistant Director for the University Writing Center. She is currently most passionate about developing and publishing her writing, especially in the genres of creative non-fiction, children’s/Y.A. literature, and poetry. Her research interests include gender and sexuality studies, mental health, Marxist literary theory, ethnic studies, and environmentalism. She ultimately hopes to sustain a career as a writer and become a children’s/Y. A. editor or teach at a college level while overseeing a writing center.

Kafui Sakyi-Addo

Kafui Sakyi-Addo

Submissions Editor

Kafui Sakyi-Addo is a sophomore majoring in Psychology and minoring in Film and Creative Writing. On UAB’s campus, she is involved in multiple aspects of college life, being a member of the University Honors Program, a Trailblazer, a USGA Senator, and a Promoter of Wellness. She deeply values storytelling in all its forms and loves writing and film photography in her free time, along with occasionally hyper-focusing on various other forms of creativity, the most recent being rug making. As a whole, Kafui cares deeply about mental health awareness and storytelling and hopes one day to pursue a career involving her many interests.

Sindhu Dwarampudi

Sindhu Dwarampudi

Managing Editor

Sindhu is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience from Suwanee, GA. She has always been passionate about writing and telling stories and through Aura, hopes to encourage others to find their own creative outlets. At UAB, she is also involved with research and social justice initiatives. In her free time, Sindhu enjoys reading, practicing yoga, spending time outdoors, and playing with her two dogs.

Kyla Cowan

Kyla Cowan

Social Media Coordinator

Kyla Cowan is a freshman currently studying English at UAB. In her spare time, she enjoys photography and spending time with family.

Samuel Harris

Samuel Harris

Podcast Producer

Sam has earned his A.A. in English from Bevill State and is currently enrolled as a junior at UAB, pursing his B.A. in English with a concentration of literature and minor in French. Since his studies, Sam has developed a multitude of creative interests, from discussing the works of Donne and Chaucer to the more contemporary like that of Vonnegut and Bradbury. His favorite, however, is that of 20th century Modernist literature with such writers as Joyce and Eliot. However, while a lover of poets and admired of novelists, Sam has deep appreciation for theatre and cinema and is always willing to discuss the ins-and-outs of his favorite plays and movies. Ultimately, Sam hopes to take his pursuit and joy of knowledge to one day earn his Ph.D. and teach at an accredited university.

Jordan Blankenship

Jordan Blankenship

Short Fiction Editor, Reader/Copy Editor

Jordan Blankenship is a Junior English Major and a Spanish Minor. Languages has always been a passion of hers and the combination of English and Spanish lets her have a creative outlet in multiple languages. When she is not studying or competing on the UAB Rifle team, Jordan enjoys writing her own fiction or taking pictures outside. These creative outlets help her relax after a long day of school and practice. While the rifle team requires her to be very precise, art lets her color outside the lines with words and pictures to push the boundaries of what one can do with art.

Olivia Blanton

Olivia Blanton

Creative Non-Fiction Editor, Reader/Copy Editor

Olivia is a burgeoning UAB freshman majoring in public health with interests in intersectional advocacy and accessible resources. Although she is typically found studying the scientific side of things, words—in any form—are her most effective means of catharsis. Elsewhere at UAB, Olivia serves as Secretary of the Public Health Student Association, Residence Hall Councilwoman, and is a member of the Global and Community Leadership Honors College.

Ashley Frith

Ashley Frith

Art Editor

Ashley Frith is a junior studying neuroscience and studio art at UAB. While her concentration in studio art is videography and animation, her true love is painting. She draws inspiration from her loved ones as well as the new people she meets, and she is constantly aiming to broaden her perspectives in both artwork and life through exchanging knowledge and experiences. Her works range from realistic portraiture to dynamic, abstract expressionism. An avid animal-lover (especially cats), she hopes to go to vet school to take care of and promote the conservation of endangered, exotic species. She also hopes to visit each continent at least once.

Anna Ulrey

Anna Ulrey

Poetry Editor, Reader/Copy Editor

Anna is currently a sophomore majoring in Philosophy in the Early Medical School Acceptance Program. She is passionate about helping people in multiple facets of service, but my primary career goal is medicine. She also loves writing and literature, and intends to continue cultivating this passion throughout my life!

Elena Chesnokova

Elena Chesnokova

Reader/Copy Editor

Elena Chesnokova is a sophomore majoring in neuroscience and philosophy at UAB. She is a part of the University Honors Program and Early Medical School Acceptance Program. Throughout her life, she has found an extraordinary love for writing and art and strives to incorporate them in her life. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine where she can treat and research neurological manifestation relating to gastrointestinal disorders while nurturing her love for the arts.

Anna LaCruz

Anna LaCruz

Reader/Copy Editor

Anna LaCruz, A Senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is excited to finally be working with AURA magazine. In her free time, she loves hanging out at home reading, writing, and hanging out with her dogs. She loves all things Star Wars and hopes to pursue a career in teaching and writing.

Samantha Pittenger

Samantha Pittenger

Reader/Copy Editor

Samantha is a freshman majoring in Nursing from Knoxville, Tennessee. She spends most of her free time either at the Rec or out shopping with her friends. Samantha has always been drawn to writing and is excited to get to be a part of Aura!

Aura Literary Arts Review is a student literary arts journal produced by students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Aura’s Awards and Accomplishments:

  • Pacemaker winner 2006
  • CPSA Silver Crown 2005-2006-2007

Aura Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines for a Blog Post Feature

  1. All entries should be sent to auraartsreview@gmail.com with the type of entry as the subject (poetry, art, short story, etc.)
  2. A cover letter should be attached with each submission with the following:
    • contact information (email, mailing address, your pronouns)
    • a short biography of 3-5 sentences (will be featured alongside your work should it be published)
    • indication of whether or not you give Aura permission to feature work on Aura websites
  3. Any piece submitted to Aura is expected to be the creator’s own original work. Any submissions that do not meet this standard will not be published. Any artist that knowingly tries to submit work that is not their own will not be published and will not be allowed to submit to Aura for two semesters.
  4. No previously published material can be submitted to Aura for publication consideration unless the previous journal of publication stated otherwise. Submitters are responsible in this situation for notifying Aura of the submission’s previous publication, upon submission. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but the submitter must notify Aura immediately if the submission is published elsewhere, so the submission can be removed for consideration of publication in Aura.
  5. All text entries MUST be submitted as Word or files.
  6. Include your name on every page of the work.
  7. Length: No more than 5,000 words per submission
  8. You may submit up to five written works.
  9. Art submissions may have a maximum of five works per submission. All Art submissions should be submitted as a jpg. For any questions or concerns, please contact auraartsreview@gmail.com.