Exceptions showcases the perspectives of visually impaired and blind individuals through creative work. A print journal, also available in audiobook, and an accessible multimedia website make the worldviews, personal experiences, and artistic ideas of students with visual disabilities available to a diverse audience. By highlighting fictional and nonfictional depictions, artistic portrayals, and musical interpretations of navigating the world with limited sight, Exceptions opens all of our eyes and minds to new ways to see.

We publish new work online once a month during our reading period. The Spring 2016 reading period is open from January 15th to April 1st. For more information about submitting work, visit our Submissions page.

The first print edition of Exceptions Journal was dual-published in print and audiobook in April 2015.


Editorial Board

EmilEmilyy Claus, Managing Editor

Emily is an undergraduate student at Michigan State working toward her degree in Professional Writing: Editing and Publishing and her minor in Digital Humanities. Second to her love for novels and writing, Emily has a strong passion for social equality and justice. In addition to working at Exceptions, Emily does freelance editing and works as a Writing Consultant for the MSU Writing Center, tutoring and aiding students with their writing. After graduation, Emily’s goal is to work as a fiction editor for a publishing firm.




Lana Grasser, ALana Grasserssistant Editor

Lana is an undergraduate at Michigan State University studying Neuroscience and Dance. She is currently the undergraduate lab lead at the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition (DHLC) lab, investigating the neuroscience of reading and aesthetics whilst leading interdisciplinary research. Lana aspires to incorporate dance movement therapy into treatment for developmental and mood disorders, such as Autism and depression, and thus loves working at Exceptions, making the arts and literature accessible to all, and providing creative outlets and opportunities.



Maddie Heise, Assistant Editor
Maddie is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University studying Experience Architecture and minoring in German. As a lover of the arts, she joined Exceptions Journal to help bring the arts to people with visual impairments, as well as raise awareness for the neurological phenomenon that is synesthesia. Her interests include human-centered design, writing, art, and technology. She hopes to pursue a career in User Experience design and research after graduation.





Arik Hardin, Assistant Editor

Arik is a senior undergraduate student at Michigan State University studying English with focuses in Communications and Popular Culture. When not studying or working with Exceptions Journal, he enjoys crocheting, watching Disney movies, and cuddling with his two dogs. After graduating, Arik dreams of moving to New York City and working as an Acquisitions Editor for the Young Adult literature division of a book publishing company.



Nayirah Muhammad, Assistant Editor

Nayirah Muhammad is a double major in Journalism and English with respective concentrations in Editorial reporting and Popular Culture Studies. Her interests include reading young-adult, high fantasy, and historical fiction, practicing with her makeup kit, world-building for her impending fantasy novel, and working on getting her Youtube channel started. She is an Aries in case you couldn’t figure it out her enthusiastic disposition. Her dream job is to become an editor at Harlequin Teen and work with as many up-and-coming young adult authors she can!




Katherine Stark, Assistant Editor

Katherine is an undergraduate student at MSU majoring in Professional Writing in the Editing and Publishing track, as well as majoring in Arts and Humanities and minoring in Spanish. Her interests include reading, writing, and playing piano. At MSU, she is involved in a couple of literary journals and is planning to study abroad to learn more about the Spanish language and experience different cultures. After graduating, Katherine hopes to move to New York and pursue a career at a book publishing company.




Katie Nicpon, Assistant Editor

Katie is a passionate and energetic soul hoping to make a difference in the world. After receiving her B.A. in French and teaching high school, she is currently studying Professional Writing at MSU and working for MSU Extension. She loves travel, nature, hiking, history, yoga, social justice, building relationships, and a good book.






Hannah Warren

Hannah is an undergraduate RCAH and English student. She is the co-leader of the ROIAL writers and has enjoyed being a helping hand in getting others heard whether through art, theater, writings, or just by being a listener towards another’s cause. Her dream is to write, as long as she’s doing that, she’s happy.






 Craig Pearson, Founder & Chief Consultant

Craig Pearson is a 2014 Marshall Scholar and NIH Cambridge Scholar, currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. His research investigates the molecular mechanisms of neural regeneration in the optic nerve and seeks to develop new treatments for glaucoma and other forms of blindness.



Former Editors

Katie Grimes, Managing Editor, 2014-16.

Erin Surge, Assistant Editor, 2014-16

Jordan Sickon, Assistant Editor, 2015-16

Breana Rich, Assistant Editor, 2015-16

Vanessa Gonzalez, Assistant Editor, 2015-16

Danielle Schwartz, Assistant Editor, 2015-16

Alex Valenti, Assistant Editor, 2015-16.

Phil Olson, Assistant Editor, 2014-15.

Savannah Smith, Assistant Editor, 2014-15.

Zach Reilly, Assistant Editor, 2012-15.

Andrea Zuchora, Assistant Editor, 2014.