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Literary arts magazine wins Columbia Scholastic Press Association awards

BOONE—The 2012-13 edition of The Peel Literature and Arts Review at Appalachian State University has received two awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Circle Awards competition – a certificate of merit for overall design and second place individual achievement award in the traditional form poetry competition for “Mesas” by Connor Childers.

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Childers is a senior English and creative writing major at Appalachian. The poem is about pondering the difference between natural and man-made architecture, he said.

“For me, winning the award means validation,” Childers said. “I’m at the point in my writing where I don’t feel completely comfortable calling myself a poet, but this to me is a mark of progress in the right direction.”

The Certificate of Merit in overall design recognized Corwin Harrell, print designer and senior graphic design major; Melissa Shields, online designer; Sallie Oliver, associate editor; and Olivia Wilkes, editor-in-chief and technical photography major.

“Our design was representative of our school and the school year in which it was published,” Wilkes said. “It was very unique and a design that could not be replicated by any other university.”

The design of the print edition portrays Appalachian’s campus. The cover features an illustrated townscape of the campus and the surrounding community of Boone, framed with trees, the mountains and landmark buildings.

This was the first year that The Peel participated in a national competition.

“If you scan down the list of CSPA winners, it is awesome to see Boone, N.C., intermixed with large cities such as Miami, Portland and Atlanta,” Wilkes said. “This really puts ASU and The Peel on the map and shows that we are capable of achieving great goals.”

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Circle Awards program received 12,847 newspaper, magazine, yearbook and digital media entries provided by students at colleges, universities and secondary schools throughout the United States. There were a total of 1,780 winners for either the first, second or third place or for Certificates of Merit. Winners are chosen from 78 news categories, 34 magazine categories, 42 yearbook categories and 51 digital media categories. The Gold Circle Awards were first given out in 1984.

In February, The Peel won awards along with The Appalachian student newspaper from the North Carolina College Media Association. The two publications brought home 18 awards combined.

“These awards are a true testament to the work and commitment of ASU students, and it is clear that they have put in a ton of hours to produce a quality publication,” said Jamar Banks, Center for Student Involvement and Leadership director. “I commend their efforts and salute The Peel’s leadership.”

Visit The Peel’s website at