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Student-Produced Literary Magazine Wins Acclaim of MS Scholastic Press Association

November 2, 2020

November 2, 2020   Murrah High School's Pleiades Literary Magazine received 18 recognitions from the Mississippi Scholastic P

Murrah High School's Pleiades Literary Magazine received 18 recognitions from the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association's Best of Mississippi awards. Sarah Ballard was named an Advisor of the Year finalist for Pleiades and Tarasa Brierly was named Advisor of the Year finalist for the school's yearbook, The Resume.

The Mississippi Scholastic Press Association (MSPA) selected Murrah High School's student-produced publication, Pleiades Literary Magazine, for its Best of Mississippi – Literary Magazine Award. Additionally, the magazine's staff and sponsor were recognized as winners or finalists in eight categories. The full list of awards for Pleiades are as follows:

Best Personal Essay

  • Maisie Brown, Winner
  • Jeffrey Caliedo, Finalist
  • Nia Johnson, Finalist

Best Dramatic Composition

  • Meagan Fuller, Finalist
  • Ella Rockoff, Finalist
  • Mackenzie Williams, Finalist

Best Photo

  • Ashley Thurman, Finalist

Best Hand-Drawn Art

  • Sarah Demus, Winner
  • Charles Rounds, Finalist
  • Imari Funchess, Finalist

Best Poem

  • Jeffrey Caliedo, Finalist

Best Short Fiction

  • Jeffrey Caliedo, Finalist

Literary Magazine Advisor of the Year

  • Sarah Ballard, Finalist

Yearbook Advisor of the Year

  • Tarasa Brierly (The Resume), Finalist 

Overall Magazine Awards

  • Best Literary Magazine of the Year, Winner
  • Best Cover Design, Winner
  • Best Continuity of Theme, Winner
  • Best Quality of Writing, Finalist
  • Best Quality of Visuals, Finalist

The backstory of the 2019-2020 publication is epic. Due to the pandemic that closed schools unexpectedly last spring, Murrah staff had to pinch-hit by selecting the creative content pieces, gathering and matching art, and choosing the cover. Since students were not able to return to school as anticipated following spring break, three senior editors, Christopher McDonald, Jeffrey Caliedo and Micaha Burton, worked from home and communicated virtually to finish the magazine. This team decided collectively to share the 2019-2020 Pleiades digitally with all the Murrah family as a gift in response to the unparalleled challenges of the time.