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Stagg literary magazine earns award of Excellence

The 2022-23 edition of Stagg High School’s Labyrinth Literary Magazine, entitled Whoomp! (There Goes Gravity), earned an award of Excellent in the Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) Contest, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

This year, schools in 46 states and five countries nominated 375 student magazines. Magazines from middle school, high school, and higher education were welcomed for the 2023 contest.

2023 sponsor Giedre Kazlauskas said, “Whoomp! (There Goes Gravity) is an explosion of quirky color meant to celebrate a return to (somewhat) lighthearted reality after years of stress and fear.” She explained that the publication went remote in 2020 and the entire production needed to shift online, which meant new design platforms, editing tools,  publishing methods, etc. In 2023, the Club decided it was time to shift back and release the first physical issue in four years, so the process was entirely new for almost the whole editorial staff

Labyrinth Literary Magazine compiles student writing and art and publishes an annual book or online edition to celebrate the school's creative talent. The magazine’s weekly meetings include everything from graphic design to poetry writing, depending on the needs and interests of the group. Throughout the year, the club also hosts several Coffeehouse open mic events for the student body and participates in the annual literary magazine conference.

Literary magazine students don't just work on the magazine. They also host writing competitions, "Coffeehouse" open mic events throughout the school year, and help create a campus where all students, even ones not involved in formal co-curriculars, have an opportunity to freely express—and be celebrated for — their creativity. 

In the words of  2021-2023 Editor-in-Chief Iza Lepkowski, "Thank you to all students who supported our fundraisers, participated in Coffee House, and submitted their work. You make Stagg a brighter, more exciting place, and the 2022-2023 Literary Magazine reflects that. This year, our design team unleashed all of the cooped-up chaos of the past few years, putting student creativity in a neon spotlight. We thank you for helping us combat stagnation within Stagg."

The REALM program publicly recognizes excellent literary magazines produced by students with the support of their teachers. REALM is designed to encourage all schools to develop literary magazines that celebrate the art and craft of writing. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, US territories, Canada, and American schools abroad are eligible to nominate magazines.