Coffee Break began in the spring of 1996 as part of a creative writing seminar at the English department. The class put all the writing they had produced that semester together, selected the best, and published it in A/5 format. Despite frustrations with the computer, lots of time-consuming hard work, and other pressing duties outside the class, the final product proved worth it. None of it would have been possible without the work of Éva Pataki and Siavash Moshiri (a non-English major).
A year later, a new group came together and, with the help and guidance of a couple of students from the previous year, the second issue came out in May of 1997. The third version in 1998 continued the evolution of the magazine: expanded contributions from students outside the class and the department, a series of excellent drawings by Sylvia Durda, and a blue cover were among the major improvements. One of the contributions, a group writing project called "Bus Stop," appeared as well later in a national English Language journal, NovELTy.
Coffee Break took a break itself the next year when attendance dropped off in the seminar, but in the spring of 2000 the idea of a forum for writing within the department was revived, this time in an electronic version. The first writings were chosen from first year student writing during the 1999/2000 year. Starting in the fall of 2000, the best writing was selected again from the new group of first year students. This time it was filtered through first by the teachers (Ági Godo, Ted Bailey) before facing a final, anonymous selection by a panel of second year students (nameless here, though not forever more. Just until after the Coffee and Cash Contest is over).
As an eZine, Coffee Break continued on and off for more than a decade, with these occasional writing contests as the highlight. But by 2012 it went dormant and has been revived only now in 2016.
A number of people have contributed to making the magazine a success over the years. It’s impossible to name them all, but names such as Balázs Erdődi, Viki Bagi, Gergely Utry—who recently published a short book on the history of the Orthodox Church in the United States—immediately come to mind. Also Martin Bihari, Kati Bőcsi, Edina Fekete, and Apolka, who each did much for the magazine at different times. And, of course, there is Sia, who gave the magazine it’s name and without whom none of this ever would have gotten this far. To you, and to all those who have contributed in the past, many thanks!!
In the future we hope to continue the project as part of our effort to encourage students to write. . . and to get some dialog going on out there. . . somewhere in the department. So get your pencils sharpened, pens out, computers & coffee makers turned on, and