By Hannah ’25
If you’re interested in journalism at Harvard-Westlake, there are tons of different publications you can work for. Apart from the official middle school newsmagazine and the upper school newspaper, students across both campuses work on a variety of different magazines from arts to sports and everything in between.
I work on a few different publications at school, but one of my favorites is definitely The Elbow, the upper school comedy and satire magazine. If you don’t know exactly what that means, satire is a genre of writing that exaggerates certain aspects of the community using humor and irony. And the great thing is, you don’t need any experience to write! All it takes is coming up with an idea and writing some jokes about it.
As one of the Editors-in-Chief, my responsibility is to make sure we have a finished product. Every year, we publish two print issues with funny articles written by our club members. Since we meet as a club, anyone on the upper school campus can write articles, make art, and help put together our magazine.
During our club meetings, we have brainstorming sessions for article ideas, artwork, and themes that we want to cover in our next issue. Once every few meetings, we have a pitching session, where we ask our staff to come up with ideas that we can approve for them to start writing.
Unlike some other more serious publications at the school, our pitching meetings are very unique. During our last session, we all stood around in a circle in HW’s blackbox theater and did rapid fire pitches. None of our quick ideas were fully formed at all, but we came up with some pretty good ideas that our members are writing about! Every single meeting is different and you’ll never know what to expect, which is the fun part!
The hardest part of the process is gathering everyone’s articles and deciding on what goes where in the magazine. Once we’ve figured out the order of the pages and what we want all the articles to look like, we get to editing. After editing and getting all the writing done, we find artists that can make digital art for the publication. When we finally have all the elements, everything is put together to make “The Elbow.”
In our last print issue, our staff wrote articles about fantasy football, personal narratives, and classes at Harvard-Westlake! When we published our first issue of the year in September, it was so cool to see all our hard work on the Quad with tons of people flipping through, but the process of putting everything together was the most rewarding part.