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West Sound Academy's Mud Pie Wins Highest Award in National Literary Magazine Competition

Mud Pie, West Sound Academy's annual literary magazine, has received the Highest Award from the National Council of Teachers of English in that organization's 2012 Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines (PRESLM).

 
 
Mud Pie 2012
Mud Pie 2012
PRLog - Feb. 10, 2013 - POULSBO, Wash. -- Ten West Sound Academy (WSA) students worked diligently for four months last spring on the 2012 edition of the school's art and literary magazine Mud Pie, and then proudly handed copies out to staff and students on the last day of school in June.  Eight months later, the verdict is in from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).  Mud Pie was one of 26 literary journals from American and Canadian high schools submitted to NCTE’s Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines (PRESLM) chosen to receive the Highest Award.  Gab Vogt, WSA junior and editor-in-chief of the 2012 Mud Pie, was thrilled when she heard the news.  "I was so excited when we won this award. Our 2012 staff worked really hard. I think the journal has reached a level of professionalism and seriousness that should make everyone who contributed to it very proud."  
       The NCTE's goal for their review and ranking of student literary magazines is three-fold:  to encourage all schools to publish literary magazines; to encourage excellence in writing; and to promote greater participation by entire student bodies in the production of these publications.   Magazines submitted must be the work of students.  The phrase "students dominate" appears throughout the PRESLM scoring rubric.  Magazines are evaluated on literary merit (quality and variety of the content; precision of the editing and proofreading), design and artistic quality, and on the graphics as seen in the title page, table of contents, staff credits, and pagination.  The judging criteria are rigorous, and any magazine recommended for the Highest Award has to be deemed superior in all areas by the judges. A total of 417 schools participated in the 2012 NCTE program, and the awards given were based on the merit of the publications without regards to school size.  Two of the 26 magazines receiving the Highest Award were from Washington State: West Sound Academy's Mud Pie and Tattoo from Shorecrest High School in Shoreline.    
       WSA's Mud Pie staff has taken NCTE's challenge to increase school-wide participation in the production of the magazine very seriously.  Last year they issued a challenge to the school's 90 students:  if they made 75 submissions of poetry, prose, fiction, and visual art to the magazine, a ceremonial Pie Sacrifice would take place at a school assembly, involving cream pies going into the faces of editor-in-chief Gab Vogt and faculty advisor Eleanor Johnson.  The bribery worked better than anticipated. Over 150 submissions were received, so another WSA faculty member, Allan Batchelder, helped out by volunteering to be on the receiving end of a pie.  Vogt, editor-in-chief of the 2013 Mud Pie, sees a high degree of participation by students as essential to having a superior magazine.  "This year, we are setting our standards even higher and aiming for 200 submissions. The more pieces we receive, the more selective our staff can be, and the better our journal is." Her goal:  two submissions from every student at the school.    
    West Sound Academy students and faculty have also helped out with fund-raising.  Many an ice cream bar was sold at lunchtime and out of the freezer in the faculty lounge, and a few unsolicited donations came in from WSA teachers.  Mud Pie editors wanted a high-quality publication, and the funds raised were essential in keeping the cost down for students who wanted to buy a copy for themselves. "It would be a shame if people who contributed could not have something to hold onto because of the journal becoming too expensive," Vogt says.  
    A blind submissions system was used to protect the anonymity of contributors.  Vogt notes, "The purpose of Mud Pie is to showcase the best talent from inside our school, and blind submissions is a measure we take to make sure everybody feels good about participating."  The process involved a month spent reviewing submissions, a week or two of selecting which to use, a week more of editing, then the difficult work of putting Mud Pie together, trying to keep a balance of genres and Middle School and Upper School entries.  
     Memories of last year's hard work and long hours have faded for Vogt.  "I don't think there was that much celebration [when we were finally done], mostly because we were so tired! I vaguely remember drinking sparkling cider out of paper cups with the staff," she recalls.   For Vogt and the other students involved with Mud Pie, nothing beats the exhilaration of working under deadline to produce an exquisitely crafted magazine that truly represents the WSA school community. "The best part of working on Mud Pie is the adrenaline rush at the end of the year, when you are very worried that something could go terribly wrong, but you are too excited to stop laughing."  Vogt is looking forward to working on the 2013 edition. "This year's staff has been terrific so far, and we're hoping to publish an even better journal than last year."  And in a vote of faculty confidence, four staff members have volunteered to be the Pie Sacrifice - their part in helping insure the success of the newest Mud Pie.

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http://www.prlog.org/12077006/1

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Contact Email:
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Source:West Sound Academy
Phone:360-598-5954
Zip:98370
Location:Poulsbo - Washington - United States
Industry:Education, Literature
Tags:poulsbo, private school, bainbridge, literary magazine, award
Last Updated:Feb 10, 2013
Shortcut:prlog.org/12077006
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