Sunset Magazine: Behind The Scenes

Jane O'Donnell ‘19, Staff Writer

At the end of my freshman year, I was sitting in Ms. Miller’s English class when another teacher walked in and handed Ms. Miller a large cardboard box. She then proceeded to pass the contents of the box out to all of the students in my class. I examined the small book she handed me and was immediately attracted to the dark, beautifully photographed cover and became even more entranced as I admired the contents of the book. Marymount’s literary and arts magazine Sunset is quietly assembled by a small group of dedicated students who meet twice a week for the majority of the year.

Courtesy of Jane O’Donnell ’19

Every Period 9 from the beginning of September to the end of January, the Sunset staff meets in Ms. Cowan’s room to read poems, short stories, and prose submitted by students throughout Marymount, as well as view art and photographs submitted by Marymount’s talented student body artists. The staff then votes on whether they believe a certain piece should be included in the book, and then we move on. In addition to these tasks, the staff also must choose a theme and come up with the title for the magazine. The most daunting part of this process, however, is assembling the magazine once we stop accepting submissions. This task entails matching writing pieces with complementary art and photography, deciding what order to put the pieces in, and knowing what to do when there are more photos than writing submissions, which is often the case. This is mostly done by a smaller portion of the staff, primarily students who have been worked on Sunset before. Finally, anyone skilled in Adobe InDesign is tasked with creating the InDesign template, designing each page of the magazine, and completing tedious yet important tasks such as creating disclaimers for fictional stories and keeping track of the various fonts used in order to properly cite them. Overall, the creation and assembly of Sunset is no easy feat, but I think anyone who has seen the magazine would agree that both the creativity and the craftsmanship speak for themselves.