The Georgetowner literary magazine received Gold Medalist status from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association this winter, in recognition of the spring 2020 edition.
Just as the Georgetowner staff hunkered down to design their magazine, campus closed due to Covid-19. The design software was unusable off-campus and on iPads; the edition depended on them being together in the library. They pivoted to a new software quickly, collaborating fully online, and managed to produce - in record time - the spring 2020 Georgetowner.
“It was as if the circumstance pushed everyone to work more to get out the magazine in the face of our collective disappointment that after working together all year, we might not have a magazine,” said moderator and English teacher Dino D’Agata. “The final result was the most voluminous magazine we've ever produced, and everyone was on board--all of the editorial staff.”
Dino noted that the editors-in-chief, Emma Gorman ‘20 and Cece Swartz ‘20, proposed that the staff work daily 1-3 p.m. to layout the edition throughout the spring. “It ended up being manic and fun,” he said, adding that the end of the year brought sadness when the staff broke for summer vacation. “I was driving in Bethesda in August and Sofia Donahue pulled up next to me at a red light. We started yelling through our windows at how happy we were to see each other, and how much we were looking forward to doing the magazine again this year.”
Seniors Sofia and Isabella Iscaro took the reins this year as editors. Looking back at last year, Sofia said, “The staff together was resilient.”
Isabella credited Cece and Emma’s leadership. “It was an involved process,” she said. “We were really meticulous, and it showed. We spent a lot of time perfecting every last thing.”
The student work was particularly noteworthy, explained Isabella. “I think that a lot of girls put out really creative pieces of work. I’m always so impressed by people’s brains and how artistic and genius they are,” she said. “The Georgetowner did a good job of balancing people’s creative writing and their art. We have a good handle and flow to make sure artists and authors' spirit comes through while keeping a certain level of standard as well. “
Sofia said this current year has been challenging, as they haven’t had much time on campus to encourage writers and artists to submit their work. She’s excited for what they will accomplish: “We’ve had a lot more prose than normal come in this year,” said Sofia. “[We want to keep] up the high quality despite the circumstances.”