Community of Writers
Daedalus is the art and literary magazine of Greenwich Academy. In our proud 29-year history, we have earned more than 40 national awards from the National Council of Teachers of English and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. What makes Daedalus unusual among other top magazines are the:
- Leadership and close collaboration of the Chief Editors and Art Editors
- Size and participation of the staff
- Related activities that encourage a culture of writing
Students are involved in every aspect of publication, from soliciting writing to designing the perfect page layout. In the production stage, from March through May, the chief editors and art editors work tirelessly to design a coherent book. Choosing from hundreds of writing submissions and digital photos of art, the editors narrow selections to approximately 120 beautiful pages that are created on InDesign. Further collaboration with our printer involves precise choices of color, placement, and readability. We love the look and feel of a printed copy, but we’re also interested in exploring multi-media, so in the last few years we have included QR codes to link to student films and song.
Preliminary decisions about writing are shared by a staff of more than 50 students who meet every Friday to vote on manuscripts, interact with visiting writers, or play with writing prompts designed by the chief editors. Instead of one traditional deadline, manuscripts are submitted monthly and read anonymously. Editors remove names, post a ballot and submissions on the school website, and lead active discussions among the staff in grades 9-12. While all writing with positive reviews is held for consideration, the top pieces earn Writer-of-the Month prizes, which include a gift certificate to a local book store and an audio podcast posted on the Daedalus website with original student art. In 2017, links to spoken word and dance were included for the first time.
- Coffee house readings
- Trips to literary events
- Visiting writers
- An annual Writers’ Festival
Student readings have sprouted up in the GA Student Center as well as at outside venues, such as Arcadia Café, Waterfront Roasters, Just Books, & Le Pain Quotidien. More recently we’ve filled the Luchsinger Gallery for readings. Daedalus frequently hosts visiting writers who share their work, run workshops, and talk informally with student writers. Recent visitors have included Tom Feigelson (Head of NCTE’s PRESLM); Joann Hill (publisher and book designer); Anna Brenner, Aisha Gawad, and Eileen Pollack (novelists); Sarah Kay, Hanif Willis-Abdurraquib, and Taylor Mali (performance poets), Marie Howe, Spencer Reece, and Bill Zavatsky (poets), Steven Levenson (playwright), Nalini Jones (short story writer), Leslie Jamison (novelist and essayist), and GA alums—Courtney Maum, Kristin Gregory Meek, Lauren Redness, Radhika Jones, Katie Duennebier, and Paula Brady. Since the 1990s, Daedalus writers have attended the biennial Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey and the Poets Forum in New York.
In 2008 the Dodge Festival inspired one of our editors to organize the first Writers Festival (WF) with readings and workshops by the poets Robin Becker, Brad Davis, and Dan Donaghy. This has become an annual tradition, in collaboration with Sacred Heart and Brunswick School. Typically, junior editors organize the Writers Fest that includes a Saturday in February of readings, food, talk about writing, and writing workshops. In 2017, visiting writers were Chuck Evered (screenwriter), Katie Rainey (poet), and Caroline Kitchener (non-fiction writer)— the first WF alum to return as a published author.
The Daedalus website includes archives, photos, audio podcasts of student writers, and lists of resources for writers. Writers have attended summer programs at Kenyon, UVA, Iowa, Sarah Lawrence, Emerson, Columbia, Writopia, Skidmore, and the Juniper Institute, among others. Their writing has earned recognition from prestigious local, state, and national competitions, including American PEN Women, the Connecticut Young Writers Trust, the Connecticut Poetry Society, Greenwich Education Group, the Hill-Stead Museum, the Princeton Poetry contest, the national Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Stamford Literary Competition, and in magazines such as Aerie International, The Apprentice Writer, Blue Pencil, The Claremont Review, Connecticut Student Writers’ Magazine, Hanging Loose, Portico, Repentino, Teen Ink, and YARN.