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We love getting to see the work and artistry of our students! Our Magazine Showcase celebrates the hard work and creativity of our students. To celebrate their achievements, we host the FINISH LINE contest at the end of the academic year, where we award prizes in several categories. Click on the cover photo to read the magazine. Enjoy!

All magazines shared with permission. These are not presented in order. Where a student won special recognition, the award is noted.

The Wonder Wanderer

By Nicole S.

Age 15, in British Columbia, Canada

Winner of “Best in Show” in the 2017 Finish Line contest. $25 Amazon gift card. Nicole does an amazing job of matching theme and content—what a great example of taking advantage of unique opportunities to write a cool magazine! She also does a good job illustrating her theme with photos. Her end credits made us all laugh!

The Gamer’s Guide to Minecraft

By Jack L.

Age 12, in British Columbia, Canada

“Spotlight Magazine” in the 2017 Finish Line contest. $15 Amazon gift card. We particularly love Jack’s haiku “Farewell”! Jack’s magazine has a fun layout and theme, and we enjoyed all the creative variations on Jack’s name in the contributor names.

Ballet Student Yearly

By Audra B.

Age 12, in Ohio

“Spotlight Magazine” in the 2017 Finish Line contest. $15 Amazon gift card. We particularly love Audra’s outstanding editorial voice, her haiku “The Dance of Autumn,” and her terrific article on Victoria Morgan!

Audra’s photo credits: Photos in article “Victoria Morgan” are from Other photos of dancers, etc., from clip art, google, yahoo, and my family.

Press On

By Emily K.

Age 13, in Kansas

“Spotlight Magazine” in the 2017 Finish Line contest. $15 Amazon gift card. We particularly loved Emily’s interview-based article, “Coming a Long Way”! The prose is beautiful, and it’s a wonderfully executed journalistic piece.

Emily wishes to credit her parents for helping her with layout.

Redefining the Norm

By Kelly V.

Age 14, in Alberta, Canada

Kelly had two pieces recognized in the “Highlight Piece” category in the 2017 Finish Line contest. Her “Serum” advertisement was a great example of an ad based on a felt need—Mr. S. says he will be the first customer if Kelly ever invents this!—and her movie review was beautifully-worded.

Movie poster photo credit, click here. Soccer photo and sunset photo credit: Kelly’s mom

Outdoor Survival

By Kaleb M.

Age 14, in Oregon

Kaleb’s review of The MRE (“meal ready to eat”) was a “Highlight Piece” in the 2017 Finish Line contest. Wonderfully vivid language and a fun idea of something to review!

Kaleb wishes to credit his mom for helping him.

Big Cats Today

By Sarah M.

Age 12, in Kansas

Sarah’s limerick, “Ryan,” was a “Highlight Piece” in the 2017 Finish Line contest. We all thought it wonderful! This magazine theme is a great example of a theme that is specific but not too narrow. Nice work, Sarah!

All photos of real animals taken from the Encyclopedia of Mammals, A Comprehensive Illustrated Guide by Animal Experts, 2nd edition, Copyright 1998.

A Pet’s Life

By Danielle H.

Age 13, in Illinois

Danielle’s clever, shaped cinquain, “Christmas Morning,” was a “Highlight Piece” in the 2017 Finish Line contest. And who can resist the dog on the cover?

For Service Dog Photo (licensed under Creative Commons), click here. All other pictures are CCO Public Domain, no attribution required for Danielle’s own pictures.

Ballet Magazine

By Chiara D.

Age 12, in Arizona

Chiara did a great job laying out her magazine in a way that was relaxing to read. We especially enjoyed the “Ballerina Fuel” how-to article and her “Dr. Coppelius’ Mistake” poem.

Photo Credit: Student’s friend, Student’s mother; Ballet Studio: Ballet Etudes, Gilbert, AZ

Nature Through a Lens

By Annalies H.

Age 13, in Ontario, Canada

Annelies’s Advice Column is one of the strongest examples we have read since Cover Story released. She hit on a great question for her theme and then did a wonderful job going the extra mile in answering it. Clever magazine title as well!

Annelies took most of the nature pictures herself. The rest of the pictures are free-use ones from and Her mom helped with the layout.

The Technology of Computers

By Dominic L.

Age 15, in Minnesota

Our favorite part of Dominic’s magazine is the fantastic first line of his interview-based article! We are always thrilled when a student conducts a live interview with someone outside of their immediate family for this assignment.

Dominic wishes to credit his mom for helping him.

Food and Fun

By Amber W.

Age 14, in Minnesota

Amber’s poem, “The Vultures,” is hilarious and clever! Her haiku, “Elegance; Disaster” is also very well done.

Alas, all three hundred Magic Plates were sold by the time we clicked on her advertisement.

Mystery Magazine

By Summer B.

Age 14, in Oklahoma

Summer has a knack for intriguing, creative story openers. Her short stories also demonstrate wonderful pacing. Very nice work, Summer! Her haiku “Hidden bones shiver” won 1st Place in the 2016 Snapshots contest.

For all the photos used, Summer and her family attempted to make sure they were public domain images.

The Current

By Paige H.

Age 13, in Florida

The Current won Best in Show in our 2016 Finish Line contest! Paige impressed us by how much she stayed on theme. She really took ownership of the magazine, adding a note from the editor, etc.! And it was also nicely formatted. It’s an all-around good, fun magazine with plenty of personal and humorous touches. If we have a favorite among the articles inside, it would be her “Wish Fish” poem—it made us laugh!

Sweet Treats

By Elizabeth C.

Age 13, in Michigan

Elizabeth makes a great effort to develop her theme. She understands that a magazine about baking needs more recipes than anything else—and she includes some good ones, each with a personal comment or anecdote. Her short story about baking cookies shows great use of dramatic irony.

By the time we invited Elizabeth to be included on this Showcase, she couldn’t remember where she got some of the artwork in her magazine. She wishes to communicate all due respect to the artists and would gladly attribute where appropriate.

Middle School Magazine

By Clayton P.

Age 11, in Washington

Clayton’s “The Evils of Baby Shows” is a superb humor piece! We also really enjoyed his review of the Infinity Ring series. Clayton’s mom wrote to tell us that “He had absolutely no help.” What you see in his magazine is 100 percent his own effort.
Way to go, Clayton!

There are no images or other items that need to be credited.

Fantasy World Monthly

By Onycha S.

Age 11, in Wisconsin

Onycha’s delightful found poem, “BB-8,” really brought a smile to our faces. We also want to compliment her on the beautiful prose in “Amazing but True: A Portal Near You.” Comparing a library and its books to portals is a clever idea!

Onycha does a great job carrying out her theme through the whole magazine.

The Nature Lover Magazine

By Emily N.

Age 12, in Nova Scotia, Canada

Emily added some extra features to her magazine, really going the extra mile! We found it both fun to read and informative! We want to particularly comment on her beautiful poem, “The River,” and the wonderful letter she wrote to author Pamela Hickman—what a lovely response she got! A hand-written letter is a great way to encourage someone to respond!

The PDF changed some of her photo and design details, but overall Emily is happy with how it turned out. All literature, photography, and art are her own creative works (except for a few public images found on the Internet, which are all non-copyrighted).

Travel Right

By McKenna F.

Age 14, in Michigan

McKenna’s review “Must See Attraction: The Shedd Aquarium,” is one of the best pieces of writing to have come out of a Cover Story student! Its writing is vivid and the review really makes us want to go! “Christmas in Chicago” is also a very evocative poem. Very nice work, McKenna! Please send us an ExclusiPen, if there are any still in stock.

Household Pets

By Jael D.

Age 12, in British Columbia, Canada

Jael’s story “Jhett,” which seems to be based on an interview, demonstrates very good use of a story starter, zooming right in on the emotions. Her memory-based poem “Little Old Me” is poignant as well!

All of the photos in it are her own with the exception of a clip-art image.

Fun in the Fifties

By Meghann F.

Age 13, in Michigan

We commend Meghann for the lovely use of repetition in her poem “Classic Car”—especially appropriate considering the nostalgia in her magazine theme. It is fun to see a student use a theme as a theme, so to speak.

Her enticing review of Portillo’s restaurant is also great marketing!

Horse Lovers Only

By Annie M.

Age 13, in Kurdistan, Iraq

Annie’s story “The Road to a Blue Sky,” placed in our Disastrous Directions contest. Her magazine also offers two gorgeous haiku poems, a great feel for advertising language, and some fun extras that really show much effort Annie put into her project! Annie, the speech bubble comment on your Letter to the Editor page is hilarious!

A note from Annie’s mom: “We used the website Blurb* to publish this. It’s a great and easy website to use and we feel the design has turned out great! Annie did 95% of the work herself. [Their] website was really user friendly.”

*A 20-page glossy magazine costs between $4 and $6, plus another $4 for (economy) shipping with tracking. They have free software, along with starter templates, to help you with design and layout. We do not have any affiliation with the Blub company; we are simply linking to their service as one possible solution for both layout help and end-product printing.

My Magazine

By Anna K.

In Ohio

Anna’s haiku “Touch of Autumn” is a perfect example of a snapshot image with an implied future! Anna has a great handle on style. “The Zeldee Prank War” demonstrates great character, dialogue, and pacing; “Travel Log” won a prize in the 2016 Finish Line contest as a Highlight Piece for its superb pacing and creative style.

Anna’s mother helped her format the magazine in so far as to make sure it had an even number of pages and that she planned what articles would fit where according to the space available. She did not help her plan photos, fonts, or text.

Cats ‘n Things

By Alexander N.

Age 12, in Washington

Alexander is good at humor writing! His story “Real Men Don’t Eat Pringles,” a finalist in our 2016 Disastrous Directions contest, is one of the funniest stories we have read from a Cover Story student. We love it! We are also quite entertained by the sketches of cats and goats he included in his magazine; and his poem about the teeny tiny kitten had us in stitches of laughter.

World of Writing

By Melangell F.

Age 10, in Michigan

Melangell’s “Dinosaur Digging” short story has great pacing!


The Galaxy NewsCover_Sarah_A_The_Galaxy_News_2017

By Sarah A.

Age 13, in California

Well done, Sarah, writing a letter that got a reply! Sarah does a great job being creative with her theme. We love her idea of reviewing the experience of riding an X-Wing for passenger transport.

Credit to older brother Kenneth for layout and front cover; credit to mom for editing, and copyright credit to Disney, LucasFilm, for all the content related to their work.

This magazine was sent to us in the mail, and we scanned the pages. We apologize that the scanning process doesn’t result in the best presentation!

Killer PlantsCover_Samuel_L_Killer_Plants_2017

By Samuel L.

Age 13, in Missouri

Great unusual topic for a magazine! Samuel’s own fascination with dangerous plants comes through clearly. And what a terrifying short story idea built on the real-life dangers of some plants! Reads like an episode in a comic!

This magazine was sent to us in the mail, and we scanned the pages. We apologize that the scanning process doesn’t result in the best presentation!

Horses, Horses and More Horses!Cover_Lysa_B_Horses_Horses_and_More_Horses_2014

By Lysa B.

Age 13, in California

Lysa has a wonderful feel for marketing. Each advertisement really makes a solid offer that feels urgent. She also shows strong story pacing in “The Horse and Her Boy.” Her story, “Killer Horse,” has great dialogue from a surprising point of view.

This magazine was sent to us in the mail, and we scanned the pages. We apologize that the scanning process doesn’t result in the best presentation!

The Brick-Built Marvel TARDIS!Cover_Kenneth_A_Brick_Built_Marvel_Tardis_2017

By Kenneth A.

Age 14, in California

Kenneth clearly put a lot of thought into the details of his magazine—down to the meticulous copyright text. Our favorite feature of this issue is the humor piece, “The Power of a Villain,” but “Building a Business” is excellent as well, and we’re fans of the humorous twist at the end of “To Be a Good Friend…”! Very nice work, Kenneth.

Student wants to credit mom for helping editing. Doctor Who and the TARDIS, the Doctor Who logo, and all such things are copyright of the BBC worldwide, all rights reserved. Marvel, Avengers, and the Marvel logo are trademark of Marvel Comics, all rights reserved. LEGO, the LEGO minifigure, the brick and stud, and the LEGO lego are all trademarks of LEGO international, all rights reserved. The KASE logo, KASE network, and KASE productions are trademark of KASE Productions Inc, all rights reserved.

NOTE: This magazine was sent to us in the mail, and we scanned the pages. We apologize that the scanning process doesn’t result in the same quality as the original!

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