Yearbook writes history at Write-Offs

Justin Prakaiphetkul, Contributing Writer

Though they have been putting out award-winning books for decades, Diamond Bar High School yearbook students had never won the top prize at the annual Southern California Journalism Education Association Write-Offs.

But last month,  yearbook won first place in Yearbook Sweepstakes at the 2017 competition  held at Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School in Long Beach. It was the first time in school history that the Taurus won this sweepstakes award.

“I’m really proud of the students,” first year yearbook adviser Stacy Tenace said. “All the skills they’ve been working with this year they took with them and were able to create a great layout, copy and theme for the competition.”

Around 25 schools and nearly 300 students competed at the event on March 25. In order to compete at the State Write-Offs, DBHS yearbook students qualified by placing in the top ten at the Eastern Los Angeles Journalism Education Association Write-Offs, held on March 4.

The DBHS journalism students also placed at the Write-Offs with five members of the Bull’s Eye staff leaving the event with an award.

Junior Hannah Lee earned third in newspaper layout, junior Ryan Chae placed seventh in sports writing and junior Brian Chang finished 10th in news writing. Senior Stuart Kusdono placed 12th in editorial writing and sophomore Amelie Lee finished seventh in critical review.

In addition to taking first in Yearbook Sweepstakes, the two yearbook teams also finished near the top of their respective events.

Senior Claire Medina and junior Kimberly Sung finished first in yearbook layout and copy.

“I think that Kimberly and I did really well, but we never expected to get first place because there were so many schools who have been competing ever since this competition was made,” Medina said via Facebook.

Senior Joseline Chang and junior Josephine Kim finished third in yearbook theme.

“Josephine wrote the opening copy and I made the designs, but when the first hour hit, I told [Josephine] ‘switch right now,’ and we just switched seats and started working on what she had or I had open,” Chang said via Facebook. “It worked out pretty well because we finished on time.”

For yearbook layout and copy, teams were required to design a yearbook spread themed robotics and write captions to go along with the pictures within two hours. The judges gave the competitors a flash drive with pictures and instructions for the design.

For yearbook theme, the teams were assigned to build a two-page opening spread. Just like the yearbook layout and copy event, the teams were given two hours. The theme assigned was “Any moment could be the moment.”

“[The theme given] was perplexing because I thought it was a redundant theme but that’s not up to me to decide,” Chang said.

According to Medina and Chang, one obstacle standing in the way was computers. At DBHS, the yearbook staff exclusively uses PCs. However, at the event, only Mac computers were available for use.

“I am a PC user so I didn’t know how to use a Mac computer, much less a super slow computer with a missing shift button,” Chang said. “I had to continuously ask Josephine for help…without her, I’d be done for.”