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Westlake Student Magazine Wins Award Of Excellence

The staff of Scrap Paper
The staff of Scrap Paper Photo Credit: Contributed

THORNWOOD, N.Y. -- Westlake High School’s literary magazine Scrap Paper received an Award of Excellence in the 2015 Student Literary Magazine contest sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Open to middle and high schools nationwide, the contest attracted 355 entries. Magazines were rated on variety of writing genres, editing, graphics, theme, design and degree of student-led production.

The Award of Excellence is given to school magazines that demonstrate high quality in all ratings categories but in particular strong writing. It is the second highest honor behind a “superior” rating.

The Scrap Paper staff, headed by juniors Chloe Burns, Jillian Cannata, Lauren Unger, Valeria Venturini and Blerina Verzivolli, solicits written pieces and artwork from the student body for the pages of the magazine.

With help from new members Kyra Higgins, Sarita Servidio, Katie Burns and Denise Nguyen, the staff will select the entries and work on the layout and design of the book.

“We tried to make it cleaner and less cluttered,” said editor Chloe Burns referring to their first effort — the 2014 edition of Scrap Paper — that earned a second-place award in the American Scholastic Press Association’s Literary Magazine Contest.

With feedback from that contest, Burns and the staff set out to improve their product. Tightening up their design and layouts and being more selective helped the overall look of the magazine.

This year the staff and adviser Donna Gelard were happy to receive news that the 2015 edition of Scrap Paper had won two awards: The NCTE Award of Excellence as well as a first-place award from the American Scholastic Press Association.

The students said they were thrilled by the honor.

“It puts us on the map,” said Venturini. “We have a nice thing going and people recognize it.”

Cannata was happy with the awards, because to her it meant that the talent of each person in the magazine had been recognized. With their past success as a blueprint, Burns and the Scrap Paper staff are gearing up for a great 2016 issue.

“We’re striving to make the best magazine we can,” Cannata said.

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