PHS Lit Mag receives state award

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“Moving on to the Literary Magazine category,” the announcer said. “Receiving All-Alabama, the distinction for best publications in the state, are…”

The PHS Literary Magazine students were seated ahead of me. Through yearbook, broadcast, newspaper and website awards, they’d clapped politely. Now, they were frozen, silent, tense—and so was I. We’ve been All-Alabama and we wanted that title for our latest publication.

“And Pelham High School Literary Magazine, ‘More than Words,’ Phoenix edition!” As the announcer shouted these words, the staff all jumped up cheering—and I exhaled. Only four high school literary magazines received the All-Alabama Award this year. Thrilled that the students were rewarded for their extraordinary commitment, I knew they’d celebrate all the way home on the bus.

Fifteen individual awards were received, including a repeat design first place for Morgan Harris for the second year running. Also received were Destiny Reid’s first place award in poetry and Natalie Medrano’s first place award in student art. Anna Carden and Kathleen Kelley received second place in state for the magazine’s cover design. Since literary magazines are judged in the year following their publication, PHS alums were also award winners. Ally Braswell captured second place in landscape photography while Molly Stephens had a great showing with two of her photos capturing second place in portrait photography and third place showings in the photography portfolio and art portfolio awards. One more third place award and a few honorable mentions completed the PHS Lit Mag win.

Knowing they’d conquered the Alabama Scholastic Press Association Awards, students waited a few days to begin asking about other contests they’d entered.

Literary Magazines are hybrids. Because magazines are published, students receive publication and design training and compete with scholastic press/journalism. Since literary magazines are also filled with creative writing, students study the hallmarks of award-winning writing and participate in literary competitions.

With awards announced, students move to the final design of the 2018 literary magazine and discuss the details of their plan for taking the magazine beyond print. More details on this exciting new communication chapter are coming soon.