PRESLM recognizes literary magazines made by students across the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American schools abroad. Only 26 magazines out of 371 submissions earned the distinguished Highest Honor award this year.
Bema is published by more than a dozen Upper School students who solicit original works from their fellow classmates. The magazine features poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama, photography, art, and even music. Its editorial staff not only approaches artists and writers for submissions, they also create ads, vote on submissions for inclusion, and work with writers, artists, and photographers to finalize each piece for publication.
The senior editorial staff has final say over the arrangement and layout of the various pieces in the publication. The senior staff that oversaw last year’s award-winning magazine included Sophia Swedback ‘17 and Emma Steiner ‘17. This year’s senior editorial staff includes Megan Pai and Julie Laporte, both Class of 2018.
Bema is named for the platform from which orators spoke in Ancient Greece and was first published during the 1996-1997 school year. The magazine’s faculty advisor, Jared D’Onofrio, has been there since its inception and said it was an honor just to be nominated for the prestigious award.
The magazine and its submissions have been recognized in the past for excellence. Bema was named the top small high school literary magazine in the country by the American Scholastic Press Association twice, and a sonnet written by Ashley Davis ‘17 was named the Most Outstanding Poem in any high school magazine in 2017 by the same organization. Many of the submissions showcased in Bema were written or produced by Upper School students who then went on to careers in those same fields.
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.