Inspired by Japanese surrealist art, co-editor-in-chief Grace Naify, ’19, designed last year‘s Glass Knife cover. (Photos by Miles Morrow)

Strong staff, writing, art help Glass Knife earn rank of Excellent

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) awarded the rank of Excellent to the Glass Knife on Jan. 28 in the 2019 Recognizing Excellence in Art & Literary Magazines (REALM) competition.

The ranks, in order of prestige, are REALM First Class, Superior (Nominated for REALM First Class), Excellent and Merit.

Librarian Joanne Melinson has run the Glass Knife since 2000.

“I was really proud of the staff,” Melinson said. “They all worked very hard and did a very good job. It was a very seasoned staff.”

The 13th volume of the Glass Knife was 60 pages long, filled with poems, riddles and comedic drawings with corresponding photos, drawings and paintings. All of the pieces were by students from the 2019-2022 classes.

“Our writing and art were all very good and one of the strongest parts of the book,” Melinson said.

Co-editor-in-chief Grace Naify, ’19, designed the magazine’s cover. She re-formatted the title from “Glass Knife” to “GK” in the corner and moved more information to the back, making the writing more “discreet.”

“It was my second year being editor-in-chief, and it was my year to do the cover,” Naify said. “When I first joined as a freshman, I really wanted to do the cover, and 2019 was my year to do it.”

Naify said she took inspiration from Japanese surrealist art.

“I had been thinking about designing the cover for years,” she said. “I combined different things I had picked up in previous years to use. The bowls and lanterns on the cover are things that I frequently paint, so it made sense to add them in the cover art.”

She added that she was most proud of the cover.

“It was super exciting to know that the edition that I did the cover for won an award,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised, and I felt honored to know that I played a role in us winning the award.”

“Peony Girl” by Grace Naify, ’19, accompanies the poem “Use Me” by Brandy Riziki, ’19. (Photo by Miles Morrow)

This was the Glass Knife’s first time participating in the REALM competition.

“We didn’t even have the rubric when making the (magazine),” Melinson said. “There were a lot of easy things that we didn’t know we had to do that could have gotten us a higher score, but I think that if we have the rubric next time, we will be able to score even higher.”

Art editor Heidi Johnson, ’19, said she was proud of the younger staffers.

“They worked hard to learn so that they could take over next year,” Johnson said. “We had more seniors and needed some younger students to learn the ropes for when the seniors graduated.”

A key factor in winning the award was the strong staff, according to Johnson.

“We had a good number of more experienced seniors,” she said. “A lot of them had been on the staff for a few years, and they all contributed ideas and helped with the publication.”

Melinson said she’s proud of how much the staff enjoys the Glass Knife.

“They always do a really good job,” Melinson said. “It’s just a club, and there aren’t grades involved. They just do it because they love it and they love what they’re doing, which really makes me proud. They always put in their effort and passion, and I’m really going to miss working with them.”

This is Melinson’s final year advising the Glass Knife.

“After doing it for 20 years, I thought I would like to direct my time and efforts toward other pursuits that I feel passionate about,” she said. “Some of those being diversity, inclusion, equity, civic engagement and fostering our community of readers. It has been a bittersweet decision, as I have loved supporting the creative arts through the magazine.”

The school is searching for a new adviser, according to Melinson.

—By Miles Morrow