SPARTA, NJ - One of the lesser known clubs at Sparta High School, Beginnings is the school’s literary arts magazine.  The magazine is made purely to showcase Sparta High School students’ talent, as Beginnings is made entirely of student submissions of writing, art, or photography, gathered throughout each school year. The staff also creates all of the layouts readers will see, before putting the whole magazine together, editing it, and sending it off to be printed.

This is an enormous amount of work for the Beginnings staff. It takes time and dedication to create a magazine of this magnitude, and thus everyone involved with Beginnings deserves to be recognized.

Bridget Higdon, a junior, is the Editor in Chief this year. In addition Higdon and the staff of 10 students, Photography teacher Christie Graham and English teacher Jamie Barker help ensure that it runs smoothly.

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Of the process and effort it takes to put together the magazine, Higdon stated that “First, the staff chooses a theme. This year, we chose fairy tales. Then, we create the pages from scratch in Photoshop. We also read and discuss all literary and art submissions as a group. The final magazine is sent to the Columbia Press Association to be reviewed and scored.” These scores have ultimately led to the magazine receiving “a gold award in 2013 and a silver award in 2014.”

As a first time teacher co-advisor, Barker observed that she had a “wonderful experience” and found that “it’s nice to see the culmination of everyone’s artistic capabilities.” Similarly, Graham, a co-advisor since 2007, “loves to see the combination of the literary and artistic aspects” of the magazine.

Beginnings appreciates the support of Sparta. Anyone who wishes to take part in the creation of this magazine is welcome to join the club or submit their work starting next September. Anyone who wishes to buy this year’s book can find it at places like Sparta Books and the High School towards the end of the school year.