Alumnae News

Esse 2023 Receives REALM First Class in 2023 NCTE Recognizing Excellence in Art & Literary Magazines

Esse 2023 received the highest honor of REALM First Class in the 2023 NCTE Recognizing Excellence in Art & Literary Magazines.

This year, schools in 46 states and five countries nominated 375 student magazines. Magazines from middle school, high school, and higher education were welcomed for the 2023 contest. 108 magazines were awarded the contest’s highest distinction, REALM First Class.

Esse’s Editor-in-Chief Phoebe White describes this year’s remarkable publication by stating:

Esse’s theme this year is ‘human.’ All the differences in the lives we lead, our passions, and our trials all culminate in our humanity. The students of Ursuline Academy have captured love, family, creativity, anger, politics, and peace in their written and visual artwork, all for the sake of finding human nature.”

The REALM program publicly recognizes excellent literary magazines produced by students with the support of their teachers. REALM is designed to encourage all schools to develop literary magazines that celebrate the art and craft of writing. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, US territories, Canada, and American schools abroad are eligible to nominate magazines.

For more information about the REALM Program, please visit:

About Esse 2023

Esse's 57th edition, Esse 2023, is available online.

This issue of the award-winning magazine features a diverse set of work from Ursuline students, including poetry, short stories, plays, photography, and paintings.

The works follow the theme of "Human." Esse 2023 was produced by the Ursuline Literary-Art Magazine Club, which was led by Editor-in-Chief Phoebe White '23 and Art Editors Marie Katherine Relucio '23 and Jana Elawar '23. Monica Prachyl Cochran '71, Jocelyn Holmes, and Kyle Lee moderated the club.

Esse 2023 was dedicated to Visual Arts teacher Jocelyn Holmes. Editor-in-Chief Phoebe White '23 wrote of Holmes:

Your presence in Esse over the past few years has been priceless. While you have never formally taught me, one of your peers, Sarah Kennedy, once told me that you are "rooted in your passion for art, and that touches everything you do," and that could not be more evident over this year in Esse..."

Read Esse 2023.

About the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. As the nation’s oldest organization of pre-K through graduate school literacy educators, NCTE has a rich history of deriving expertise and advocacy from its members’ professional research, practice, and knowledge. NCTE is the home of the Intellectual Freedom Center, the National Day on Writing®,, the Build Your Stack® initiative, and NCTE Verse. NCTE supports nearly 20,000 teachers across the preK–college spectrum, with a mailing list of over 500,000, more than 100,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, and regularly sees more than 100,000 visitors in web traffic monthly.