The Literary Magazine: One of NPHS’s Best Kept Secrets

Sofia Espaillat, staff writer

Over the course of a typical school year, high school students of all ages complete various writing assignments. The essays, creative writing stories, poetry projects, and more seem to pile up by the end of the year, leaving students stumped as to what they should do with the work they put so much effort into. 

The good news is there is a creative outlet within the very walls of New Providence High School that gives students the ability to share their outstanding writing abilities: the Per Scripturam Literary Magazine. 

For those who don’t know, the literary magazine is essentially a compilation of literature that students from the high school have volunteered to share with their fellow teachers and classmates. The genre of creative writing ranges drastically, from science fiction to poems to short stories, and more. Pieces can either be published under a student’s name or anonymously. 

Just three years ago, librarian and media specialist Dr. McGraw inherited the literary magazine from previous educator Mrs. Trimble. Ever since, her goal of the literary magazine has been to serve as “a showcase for the students of New Providence and their creativity.” 

Despite being called the literary magazine, the publication has a long history of including student art work as well.  Students are welcome to submit original photographs or other visual art pieces.  

“The literary magazine is a microcosm of our students,” noted Dr. McGraw. Reflecting on her time involved in its publication, she said that the bonds she forms with students is something she will cherish forever: “I think the thing that I’m blessed with is that the students that [have gotten] involved with literary magazine all the years that I’ve been here have been really exceptional. And I’ve gotten an opportunity to get to know them better that I never would have had if I wasn’t involved with the publication, and that I’m really grateful for.” 

Working alongside Dr. McGraw are editors-in-chief Durga Venkatesan and Brooke Poisz, two seniors who will soon be leaving their roles in the magazine’s publication. 

“Brooke and I have two very different jobs,” said Venkatesan. “She works [on figuring out] how good the writing is, the editing, and the fact-checking. I work on the more creative side. So I plan events, do a lot of service projects [and] art selections, just basically put the actual magazine together.” 

Despite the struggles of COVID the past two years, the literary magazine has been an aspect of NPHS that has never failed.

“Last year I had to literally chase people down at times,” Venkatesan revealed. “I had to do a lot of editing myself and I got a lot of submissions in, like, April, which is really late. But it was a very humbling process.” 

Dr. McGraw and the rest of the literary magazine team encourages students to get involved in their school community by considering submitting some of their work to be published.

“We just want good work,” she said. “There’s all kinds of ways that you can express yourself, all kinds of things you can contribute.”

Submissions are scheduled to end around mid-April so that Poisz and Venkatesan have enough time to put together and finalize what will be their last literary magazine at the high school. 

For those interested in taking over their jobs next year, feel free to reach out to Dr. McGraw directly ([email protected]) or Durga ([email protected]) and Brooke ([email protected]) themselves.

They would love to have more students be a part of what is, as Dr. McGraw put it, one of the “best kept secrets at New Providence High School!”