The Black Line is new creative outlet for middle school students

The Black Line is a new student run literary magazine started by three eighth graders, John Towfighi, Charlie Gorrivan, and Andrew Shaffran. The students run the magazine with seventh grade English teacher Darnell Fine as an advisor.

In September the idea for the magazine started, and it became official in October. The magazine now has ten editors. The editors work on finding writers in the middle school to publish work, and they layout and put together the issues. A literary magazine is a magazine that normally contains things like poetry, short stories, reviews, interviews and letters. There are many ways for students to contribute to the magazine, so it is very easy to find something for your taste. The editors will accept poetry, short stories, articles, artwork, and much more. The goal is for students to express their creative side, so anything showing that will be accepted by The Black Line.

The magazine is important because it gives students opportunities to show off their artistic side, and get their work out to the public. “Students can show who they really are just through writing which is a simple thing, but can be such an effective thing,” said Shaffran. The students also have more freedom with what they write about, as there are no set articles people must write. Students can choose to write about anything they want, and turn it into the editors. After work has been turned in, the editors will then read through them and choose the best to be featured in the magazine.

Working as the advisor for the magazine, Mr Fine makes sure everything is going smoothly and the magazine doesn’t run into problems. He overlooks the work of the editors, but doesn’t get in the way too much since the magazine is student run. “The staff is student centered, student run, and it is very collaborative,” said Mr. Fine, “so there is not really a hierarchy of students ruling over each other. It is a very collaborative environment where everyone gets to share their ideas equally.”

Since the The Black Line is just starting, it is really hard for the editors to make their first issues. As the magazine is student run, they do not have the full authority of a teacher to push students to turn in work on time, and they do not have as many connections to teachers who sort out the cost and actual printing of the magazine.  Since it takes awhile for them to publish their magazines, they want to host events like openmics to keep their relevance in the middle school. Andrew Shaffran exclaimed “Anyone in the middle school can submit writing and we are also going to have an open mic, maybe in an assembly.”

The Black Line is a way for students to express themselves, and the group are really laid back and easy to contact. You can email any work to, and the editors will look over it and possibly publish it. The deadline to turn in work for the first issue has already passed, and the first issue is set to come out in late February. Throughout the year, the staff hopes to publish two issues. The staff can’t wait to publish their first issue, and hope you feel the same way.

About Spencer Towfighi ('23)

Staff Writer

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