Parish’s Upper School (US) Literary Magazine, The Midway, made its debut in 2009. Eight years ago, it was the newly-formed brainchild of two passionate US students, Kelly Cole ’11 and Shelby Kling ‘11. They called the publication the P.A.W. Print, with P.A.W. standing for Parish Arts and Writing. For the first few years, Kling and Cole were the only staff members, combining their passion for the creative arts with their self-taught Adobe® publishing skills to create a magazine from scratch. After its founders graduated, the magazine needed a new faculty advisor and more student staff-members, so in stepped Chris Schmidt, the current US English Subject Area Coordinator, to serve as the magazine’s advisor. He recruited every student he could find to be a part of the P.A.W. Print team, a process he admits was difficult because at the time, “It was a pretty high barrier of entry with not a lot of payback.”
Little by little, the literary magazine grew until Schmidt handed his advising duties off to Kyle Vaughn, a member of the US English department at the time. It was then that the magazine became known as The Midway. For Vaughn, the ‘midway’ at the Texas State Fair® was the intersection of everything: sights, smells and sounds mingling together to create something magical on that hallowed stretch of ground. That’s the feeling Vaughn wanted The Midway to inspire in students. Now, with Shastan Kuschke, US Photography/Yearbook, and Jill Shreve, US English, advising The Midway, it still represents that unique combination of creative writing and visual arts at Parish. It’s the go-to outlet for Parish US students to express themselves through the arts, both literary and visual.
Every year, The Midway’s team has expanded the publication to match the diverse talents of the US. The magazine includes works from a wide array of the student body represented in all realms of PARISHarts. For example, Katie Wall ‘18, a published contributor to The Midway, says that the magazine is “the best way for Parish students to get their work across.”
“Everyone can submit anything that means something to them, and it’s a chance for the student body to see what [the] community has to offer,” added Wall.
The Midway is not only for art students; it provides everyone with a chance to see what their peers are passionate about outside of the classroom.
“I love [the magazine] because it's a way for me to see what my friends can do,” said Emma Román ‘18, a published contributor and avid reader of The Midway. “Everyone at Parish is so talented, and this is a great way to demonstrate that talent!”
Reaching up and out, The Midway’s team submitted its Volume IV publication to the nationwide American Scholastic Press Competition and pulled away with first place in 2017. Taking home this esteemed award has pushed this year’s team to widen its reach and develop strategic initiatives such as, a summer intensive, designated publishing software, new editorial roles and a stronger evaluation process for all submissions. In addition, the Literary Magazine team has partnered with Parish’s US Coffee House (a PARISHarts initiative) and with US English teachers to encourage a diverse range of submissions. The Midway truly is the pinnacle of communal creativity.
“We enrich one another when we create together,” noted Schmidt.
The 2017-2018 team members are excited to showcase the creativity of this year’s US, and looks forward to sharing its publication with the community this year. Keep your eye out for Volume V of The Midway, coming this May!