TEMPLE, Texas — Temple High School’s The Wildflower student literary and art magazine has been recognized as a Superior magazine by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
The 2023 edition of The Wildflower received its Superior rating as part of the organization’s Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) contest. This was the first issue of The Wildflower published after the magazine was restarted last school year. Schools in 46 states and five countries nominated a total of 375 student magazines this year. Magazines from middle school, high school, and higher education were welcomed for the 2023 contest. The Wildflower was one of just 14 student magazines from the state of Texas to receive recognition in this year’s REALM contest.
“It wasn’t at the front of my mind because we submitted last May, but I was very excited to find out,” said Laura Betik, faculty advisor for The Wildflower and an English teacher at Temple HS. “I was still kind of processing it when I started getting congratulatory emails. It was a lot of hard work, so I am very proud of my students. It was really their vision and wanting this to happen that helped get it off the ground and made it all possible, so I am happy to see their hard work pay off. One of our stated goals is to foster a culture of literary appreciation and art appreciation for all our students.”
Temple High School produced a literary and art magazine called Wildflower from around 1970 until 2002 before bringing back the project in 2022-2023 based on student interest. The magazine staff worked with English and visual arts teachers on assignments to help generate submissions to the magazine and all students were able to submit written or visual pieces in a variety of genres. Rima Sikka served on the editorial staff for last year’s award-winning magazine before taking over as editor-in-chief for this year’s edition. She says the recognition means a great deal, especially with last year serving as a learning experience for the staff. Now, she is excited for the opportunity to apply those lessons to this year’s magazine.
“It means a lot because we put in so much work last year and to see that pay off with this recognition is very rewarding,” Sikka, a senior at THS said. “It gives you a lot of confidence and really motivates you for this year. I have always had an interest in literature and the written word, and I hope to pursue literature in college and maybe even major in English, so I definitely plan to stay involved with it.”
The REALM program publicly recognizes excellent literary magazines produced by students with the support of their teachers. REALM is designed to encourage all schools to develop literary magazines that celebrate the art and craft of writing. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, US territories, Canada, and American schools abroad are eligible to nominate magazines.
For more information about the REALM Program, please visit: https://ncte.org/awards/program-to-recognize-in-student-literary-magazines/.