The Johnson Center Bistro is silent except for a single voice infiltrating the darkness from the stage at the front of the room: “I know now that he will never go away. He will never leave me alone. The Scary Man will always be there, hidden in the darkness of my room.”

The audience listens rapt as Kathryn Makin, a senior at Mason, reads her short story Shadows in the Dark, which won second place in a contest hosted by Volition, Mason’s undergraduate literary magazine.

When she finishes, her voice fading into silence, a wave of appreciative applause goes up among the wooden tables scattered about the restaurant.

Welcome to Harvest Moon Café, a Halloween-themed event organized by Volition, the student-run creative magazine and WGMU, the student-run radio station, that incorporated everything from costumes and live music to open-mic poetry and short story readings and, of course, free food.

Although originally planned for October 30, the event was postponed for a day due to Hurricane Sandy.

Even so, the JC Bistro was full of people eager to celebrate Halloween by listening to their fellow students share their work and local bands perform their songs.

WGMU recruited The Ash Lovelies and Star FK Radium by perusing concert listings and reviews on a website focused on the DC music scene.

The radio station works to cultivate strong relationships with local artists, who gain exposure by performing at WGMU-hosted events.

As part of the event, Volition held a Scary Story and Poetry Contest, inviting participants to write a piece revolving around the theme obscure phobias.

First-place winner Mary Grant received a $100 cash prize, and her poem “Linonophobia” will be published in the fall issue of the magazine. The runners-up Makin and Shumalia Ahmad, who placed third for her short story “Anatidaephobia”, are published on the Volition website.

“We decided to create Harvest Moon Café for the same reason we hold many great events throughout the year: to provide students with a fun and positive place to come interact with GMU’s creative community,” said Alexandra Hoey, Prose and Poetry Editor at Volition, in an email.

The event was primarily organized by Hannah Wing, Volition’s Co-Executive Editor, and Hannah Landsberger, WGMU’s Music Director.

“[I] really liked the idea of giving students a way to celebrate the holiday,” Landsberger said, also via e-mail. “Not everyone likes to go out and party, so this was a different kind of gathering that people could come to have a good time and feel comfortable in. Once Volition agreed to cohost and we added a local mic hour to the event, all the places just seemed to fall into place.”

Volition and WGMU are just two of the many components of Mason’s Student Media. The various branches frequently collaborate on events.

In fact, later in November, Volition is holding an event with the Mason Cable Network, during which they will show the winners of the Volition & MCN Volonté Film Festival, and on November 6, WGMU will cosponsor the Mason Votes Election Night Party with Mason Votes, MCN, Broadside and Connect2Mason.

The event involves a panel of Student Media leaders who will provide live commentary on the election as well as free pizza and giveaways.

Events like Harvest Moon Café are essential for engaging Mason’s creative community.

Not only is it an excellent opportunity for socializing, but it also provides students with an outlet in which they can share their work and fully engage in their artistic sides.

“Reading at the Harvest Moon Cafe event was actually a lot of fun,” Makin said. “I’d never done anything like that before, and I was a bit nervous, but the people were really nice and were totally laid back. It was awesome. I liked being able to showcase something that I’d written, and I liked being able to be recognized for it.”