The PHS Literary Magazine Staff celebrates a day of awards. Front row from left, Maggie Smith Sarah Sansom, Ashley Williams, Drew Hooper and Megan Harris. Second row from left, PHS aluma Catherine Schmidt, Dale Duke, Mareth Saville, Michael Owens, Hannah Blackwood, Devin Stevens, Everardo Villalvazo, Juan Cruz and Bailey Stephens. (Contributed)
The PHS Literary Magazine Staff celebrates a day of awards. Front row from left, Maggie Smith Sarah Sansom, Ashley Williams, Drew Hooper and Megan Harris. Second row from left, PHS aluma Catherine Schmidt, Dale Duke, Mareth Saville, Michael Owens, Hannah Blackwood, Devin Stevens, Everardo Villalvazo, Juan Cruz and Bailey Stephens. (Contributed)

Archived Story

Day of Awards for Lit Mag staff

Published 3:35pm Friday, March 1, 2013

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

While attending the Alabama Scholastic Press Association State Convention with the PHS Literary Magazine staff, my worst fears were realized when my smart phone started cycling through shut downs screaming “Droid!” at the top of its electronic lungs every 20 seconds. My phone was in full cardiac arrest.
Since the students and I attend different sessions, phones connect us. Logging online with my laptop, I sent a Remind 101 group text alerting students of my phone crisis and telling them to email me if they need me. An email popped up that startled me. The tagline read: “Congratulations on your HSLAA winners!”
Later, the awards ceremony of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association’s statewide competition revealed how our 2012 magazine compared to other high school publications around the state. To hear from Montgomery while we were in Tuscaloosa scrambled my competitive compass.
This early HSLAA email was from our other competition sponsored by Writers’ Forum, which is headquartered in Montgomery. The High School Literary Arts Awards allows high school students competition in all writing genres and offers seniors scholarships based on a lengthy portfolio of at least two genres. Receiving awards from both organizations within a couple of hours was thrilling!
The Writers’ Forum email revealed that PHS junior Belle Griffin placed in poetry, senior Ashley Leach won a $500 senior Portfolio Scholarship and the “Catalyst” edition of the “PHS More than Words Literary Magazine” won first place in the state for Exceptional Graphic Design and Layout.
In the ASPA awards ceremony, the “Catalyst” edition of the “PHS More than Words Literary Magazine” won the highest distinction possible—an All-Alabama rating; PHS students published in the magazine won 20 individual awards.
Winning awards provides a timely reminder that teamwork leads to a magazine that not only honors and preserves the creative work of PHS students, but also creates a magazine staff that wins state championships. Celebrating was sweet, but short-lived. The Literary Magazine staff is back at work—the 2013 magazine is under construction.

Connie Nolen can be reached by email at CNolen@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.

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