A few PHS Literary Magazine staffers show off their publication including, from left, Hannah Buillion, Sarah Sansom, Casey Brooks, Kaitlin Van Dorsten, Haley Giffin and Maggie Porter. (Contributed)
A few PHS Literary Magazine staffers show off their publication including, from left, Hannah Buillion, Sarah Sansom, Casey Brooks, Kaitlin Van Dorsten, Haley Giffin and Maggie Porter. (Contributed)

Archived Story

PHS students working on real-world talents

Published 11:44am Thursday, August 29, 2013

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

Marketing is the challenge the 2013-14 PHS Literary Magazine Staff faces as this year begins. I’ve started class by showing a television ad for a creative product. The class is quiet momentarily, but the atmosphere buzzes as their own creative campaigns begin taking shape.

“I know this guy who works in advertising for a big soda company,” senior Dixon Atkinson said. “He says marketing is not about telling people how great your product is; it’s about telling people why they need your product or what your product will do for them.”

“Agreed,” I say. “So why do people need the Literary Magazine? What can this publication do for PHS students?”

Responses overflow from students around the room:

“Owning a lit mag is like having Write Night 24/7—and everyone wants Write Night 24/7.”

“Studying the literary magazine is the only way to discover who is creative and brave enough to publish at PHS.”

“Reading a lit mag helps you know more about this school and the people in it.”

They’re right—and they’re fascinating. These students intuitively know more about creating a following and appealing to the masses than any adults I know.

As a teacher, I’m beyond experienced. As a Literary Magazine adviser, I’m still a rookie. Beginning my 10th year as adviser, I work at staying out of the way while my students create a magazine.

Taking note of what PHS senior Matt Hill calls, “the diversity of our staff,” I’m anticipating what Southern writer Eudora Welty would identify as the “confluence” of this group—the result of all of their energy and creativity joining together like many rivers flowing into the ocean.

This year begins with the staff marketing their 2013 magazine, “Passage.” Soon, they’ll shape our 10th Write Night and the 2014 magazine.

Groups of students are creating commercials and signs. Senior Maggie Porter is already looking at Write Night T-shirt colors.

“We’re a lot more driven this year,” Porter said.

This staff is driving a convertible sports car of creativity and energy. Wherever we’re headed, I’m looking forward to the journey.

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