For two years, publication of literary works by Augustana students was limited to an annual two-page supplement in the Observer . A committee of friends enjoyed reading and discussing papers; so with a little faculty encouragement they organized the Writer’s Club in the fall of 1937. The group met once a week on Monday afternoon for an hour in the Scandinavian room. Original manuscripts were read, criticized, and revised. Works of contemporary writers were read and discussed in regard to technique. Evening meetings were held for lectures, parties, and the reading rehearsal of a one-act play written by one of the members. Dr. Henriette C. K. Naeseth, Dr. Traugott L. Richter, and Professor John W. Ostrom are advisers for the club. When Christopher Morley visited the campus on the lyceum program, he was entertained by the group and accepted honorary membership into the Writer’s Club.
The Board of Student Publications and Forensics voted to finance and encourage the publication of a literary magazine if the Writer’s Club would undertake the project. Manuscripts were received from 26 students, both members and non-members. Thanks to the generosity of its backers, the magazine was and still is distributed gratis to students regularly enrolled at Augustana College.
The name of the magazine, originally suggested by Ed Stone at a Writer’s Club meeting, was chosen from several titles by a ballot conducted in the Observer. “Saga”, which means a Scandinavian myth or heroic legend, is intended to suggest creative writing arising from the influence and atmosphere of Augustana with its Scandinavian background.
Saga intends to present the best that is being written by Augustana students, alumni, faculty and staff. The bases of selection are originality, interest, clarity, and sincerity.