The Yahara Journal started out as a newspaper pullout published on March 15, 1994. Sponsored by the student newspaper, the S.L.A.N.T., the eight page collection of artwork, poetry and prose was called "Title Unknown." The editor-in-chief, Robb Westby, left the publication untitled, asking the readers to determine a name.
On April 25, 1995, a second newspaper pullout titled "The Yahara Journal" was published by the S.L.A.N.T.’s successor, The Clarion. In 1996, however, the Yahara Journal broke away from the newspaper and was published as a staple-bound booklet under the advisory of Karen Faster and John Galligan.
Some of the biggest changes for the Yahara Journal occurred in 2001, when the publication transformed from a product of creative writing classes to a collaborative creation of a student organization. Rather than relying on students in specific classes to write and edit the content, the staff editors accepted pieces from all interested students. Also in 2001, the Yahara Journal lost its staples and was published as a perfect-bound paperback book for the first time.
By 2002, the small student organization expanded beyond the publication of our little book and began holding events to promote writing and the visual arts. On September 17, 2003, the Yahara Journal adopted the following mission statement to guide the growth of the organization:
The Yahara Journal will support learning and creativity at Madison College through the publication of a print journal and the sponsorship of events and activities that facilitate growth in writing and visual arts.