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Tabula Rasa Receives Award

Courtesy: Pinewood Tabula Rasa

   Tabula Rasa, Pinewood’s student-led literary arts magazine, recently received the rank of REALM First Class by the National Council of Teachers of English. 

   The REALM program recognizes excellence in  literary magazines produced by students across the nation.

 Literature teacher David Wells and writing teacher Holly Coty help run the literary arts magazine as advisors. For the 2023 issue, they included a new addition that Wells believes helped elevate the magazine: QR code music compositions.

   The QR codes featured original pieces of music written by students, allowing students to showcase their creativity in ways unconfined to writing and art. Wells credits the music as something that played a major role in winning the awards, as it was a feature that no other magazines had. 

   However, senior Emma Hwang, the current editor-in-chief Tabula Rasa, attributes the magazine’s success largely to the diverse ideas of Pinewood students.

   “I have my own set of ideas, but when others present their own that they want to add to the magazine … it makes a more diverse team,” Hwang said. “I think that makes Tabula Rasa special.”

   Although publishing the magazines was a stressful process for everyone involved, seeing people’s faces light up as they read the magazine made it a memorable experience for Pinewood alumna Samantha Hsiung, last year’s editor-in-chief.

   “People were coming up to me and saying how they really loved how the magazine looked.” Hsiung said. “I remember feeling bittersweet because I was glad that they liked the magazine but also sad that I was graduating and wouldn’t be able to do it all over again.”

   With the general submissions deadline set for March 1, Tabula Rasa highly encourages students in all grades to give it a shot and submit their works to the magazine by emailing [email protected].

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