On Friday, June 1st, 2018, students gathered in the Olympia High School library for the unveiling of the school’s 2018 annual literary magazine, Petrichor. Streams of paper butterflies and balloons encircled the ceiling as students took turns in front of the room, reading excerpts from the magazine. Onlookers feasted on pizza and exchanged books for signatures.
The unveiling marked the year-long efforts of students and faculty in putting together the journal. Carolyn Gilman, an English teacher at OHS who spearheaded the project, praised her students for their countless hours of hard work. From editing to fundraising to design, students played a vital role in shaping all aspects of the book.
Petrichor presents students with a unique opportunity to practice real-world trade skills, such as outreach, computer design and copy writing, from a classroom environment. The magazine derives it name from the Greek words petra, meaning stone, and īchōr, meaning the blood of the gods. Both the front and interior designs were created by students of the art department at OHS.
The team behind Petrichor received a landslide of submissions, totaling more than 500 entries for inclusion in the journal. While many of the submissions came from members of OHS’ literary club, entries were accepted across the entirety of the student body.
In previous years, Carolyn Gilman and other faculty had served as judges for the entries. However, this year a small group of students volunteered for the daunting of picking the winners. After a lengthy and difficult review process, the team was able to pair down the submissions to just over 100 final selections. Winners included poems, short stories, song lyrics and at least one rap song.
Gorham Printing was honored to be a recurring sponsor of the journal by donating half of the book’s printing cost. We take tremendous pride in supporting the literary efforts of our community, especially those among budding writers.
Free copies were distributed to all contributors. The remainder of the books went on sale to friends, family and anyone else interested in reading the works of these talented, young authors.
After a few more readings by the students, the event concluded with a master copy of the book being passed around for signatures from all of the journal’s contributors. The copy was presented to Carolyn Gilman as thanks for keeping this exemplary and valuable literary tradition alive at Olympia High School.