MUSINGS receives “Most Outstanding” designation from ASPA


Shelby Foster

Each year, MUSINGS receives potential artwork from art teacher Todd Little’s students and picks a design to display on its front cover. Last year, sophomore Julia Edwards designed the cover for the 13th printing of the school’s annual literary-art magazine.

Ximena Bejarano, Features co-Editor

For the past several years, MUSINGS, Starr’s Mill’s literary-art magazine, has consistently earned top ratings from the American Scholastic Press Association. The 2016-17 school year was no exception to their streak of high marks. MUSINGS received the highest evaluation score in the creative writing program’s history — 116/120 — four points short of perfection.

“I’m extremely proud of the work that our students have put into the magazine,” MUSINGS co-adviser Jillian Bowen said. “Being four points away from a perfect score illustrates how diligent and creative our students are in both their work ethic and writing ability.”

There are various aspects of a literary magazine that ASPA takes note of during evaluation, including “content, both quality and variety, and the graphic standards, which actually carry more weight than the content,” Bowen said.

MUSINGS did exceptionally well across the board, earning perfect scores in layout, typography, organizational structure, editing, and quality of content. The magazine also scored 15 out of 16 in variety of genres, seven out of eight in cover design, and 14 out of 16 in illustration and photography.

Bowen says that despite attaining a nearly perfect evaluation score, MUSINGS can, “improve on some of the fine-tuning aspects of the graphics, like selecting and enlarging more intricate artwork, as well as taking risks with some of the design,” Bowen said.

Regardless of the improvements left to be made to the magazine, the MUSINGS staff has reacted to their success with a sense of gratitude. “Having Starr’s Mill’s literary magazine come so close to earning a perfect score means so much to me,” MUSINGS co-editor-in-chief Dana Gould said. “After spending three years as part of the MUSINGS staff, it is wonderful to see how far the magazine has come as a whole.”

Even with the progress made throughout the years, Gould hopes that MUSINGS can continue to move forward. “This is the first time the magazine has been so close to perfect, which means MUSINGS is heading in the right direction,” Gould said.