Literary magazine The Folio wins NSPA All-American rating

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For 53 years Conestoga’s literary magazine, The Folio, has been compiling and publishing literature and art produced by the student body. After working through unprecedented challenges, the magazine managed to release its Spring 2020 issue for which it received an All-American rating from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA).

By Zakiyah Gaziuddin, News Editor

For 53 years Conestoga’s literary magazine, The Folio, has been compiling and publishing literature and art produced by the student body. After working through unprecedented challenges, the magazine managed to release its Spring 2020 issue for which it received an All-American rating from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). The rating, the highest of its kind, is awarded by judges, made up of professional journalists, to the best-scoring publication during their critiques. Publications are scored in several categories including coverage, writing, and design. The magazine has received the All-American rating in years past, most recently for its 2016-2017 issue.   

Continuing a tradition of framing each issue around a central concept, the editorial board settled on the theme of playlists as they found music to be a common source of comfort through the unfamiliar nature of the year. Because of the pandemic, the issue was released online in place of physical copies. Pieces were grouped into four playlists expressing different moods: “Wholesome Vibes”, “Emo Hour”, “Alternative/ Indie” and “Podcasts”

Current managing editor senior Lydia Naser who’s been working with the magazine since her freshman year noted the group settled on the idea for something music-related right before abruptly having to leave the school building. Naser feels proud of what the magazine has accomplished and the importance of its consistent role as a creative outlet for students. 

“I think because of the high school format, lit mag really is kind of like a cycle of students and it’s always changing,” Naser said. “I think it’s really just kind of a sense of pride and just happiness that we’re continuing to explore creativity and get the students involved in ways that are effective and seem to be paying off.” 

Monisha Gupta, a graduate of the Class of 2020 and one of three art editors last year who worked together in organizing the pieces for the issue, agrees. She recognizes the ability of The Folio to bring both people and pieces together and admires the work it’s done. 

“As you’re putting this together just seeing naturally that pieces end up having the same sort of feeling, it’s like two puzzle pieces coming together that you just didn’t expect,” Gupta said. “It’s a great process of seeing that happen.”

Junior Ashka Patel who currently serves as one of the magazine’s art editors remembers feeling a sense of pride while reading through the judge’s comments and seeing them take note of her pieces “Canyon” and “Forest.” 

“For me, personally, it makes me feel proud. She said that vivid colors were captured in my canyon’s photograph and the photo of the trees is a strong perspective so that made me feel really good,” Patel said. “I feel like, as a whole, the magazine, the entire staff, should be really proud.”

Senior Angeline Ma, currently serving as one of the literary editors, although feeling like the Folio’s work is underappreciated, remarks on the high quality of student-led publications at ’Stoga.

“I feel like the Folio is more underrated of a publication, especially in comparison to the Spoke. Both of them are just really astounding and reading through them, the calibers so high. I surprise myself when I remember that they’re just high school publications,” Ma said. “I would just like to see more people to submit to the Folio and read the Folio. The work that everyone puts into it is so great that I feel like you know, it would be a shame if people didn’t like the issues.”

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