Exploring journalism and literature in the Middle Division: The Spectacle


Audrey Carbonell

The Spectacle, a communal medium that aims to embody students’ artistic passions, is the Middle Division’s (MD) first fashion publication. Spectacle was founded two years ago by Avani Khorana (10) and currently, there are eight members working on articles for this year’s first issue.


Although Khorana is currently in the Upper Division (UD), she continues to lead the publication due to her commitment and love for The Spectacle, she said. “When I started, I had to go around begging my friends to write for The Spectacle,” she said. “Now, I have people emailing me asking to join and write articles. It’s a great feeling to see something you started grow and spark excitement in people.” 


“She’s providing this outlet for kids who are very interested in and want to celebrate their love for fashion,” English teacher and faculty adviser of The Spectacle Morgan Yarosh said. 


Before The Spectacle, there was never an arts-focused MD publication, Khorana said. Drawing inspiration from FAD, the UD’s fashion, arts, and design magazine, Khorana started The Spectacle to be a platform that represents any MD student’s art interests. In the past, The Spectacle has published one issue per year, but this year, Khorana is planning to release a winter and a spring issue. 


Last year’s issue consisted of four articles written by students from all three MD grades focusing on topics such as gender-neutral clothing and modesty in modern fashion. This year’s winter issue will focus on fashion trends that are coming back into style, Khorana said. This includes fashion throughout the decades as well as current trends such as mask fashion, she said.


Even though Khorana is the Editor-In-Chief of The Spectacle, she allows the MD students to shape the vision for each issue, she said. The students write articles, draw pictures, and take photos that they want to include in the magazine. 


“I joined with my friend so we could write about different brands and fashion week,” Caroline Solarsh (6) said.


“I want to look at some older fashion, like tie dye, that are actually becoming a part of the latest trends,” Ayana Gupta (6) said. Gupta is working on an article with her friend, Meshu Malik (6), about the current cultural impact of tie dye in the fashion industry. 


The majority of the members of the publication are sixth graders. As they adjust to the MD, The Spectacle provides an opportunity for them to discover their own individuality, Khorana said. “A lot of students in the middle school are trying to figure out what it is that they have a passion for, what they like and they don’t like,” she said. “Hopefully, they discover that art and fashion is something that they want to pursue in the future.”


“There’s also a lot of writing experience from a journalism standpoint,“ Khorana said. “The writers are learning how to research and compile information into an article format. When meeting with them, I talk about the structure of a good article. So when they finish their first drafts, they can learn through first hand experience with their own writing.” 


Writing for The Spectacle is a way to interactively talk about fashion, Jocelyn Goldberg (6) said. “There’s many points to write about, like being comfortable wearing clothes that you feel good in,” she said. Writing articles can also help students learn how to edit and effectively describe a certain topic, Hayley Silvers (6) said.


Khorana has found many ways to connect with the MD members despite the age difference, she said. On campus, she held weekly meetings during lunch periods every Friday to work out any questions or concerns the club members had. “She’s got a great initiative and she’s really organized,” Yarosh said. “And the kids really like working with a high school student. She’s got a great rapport with them.” 


Khorana is an amazing leader that makes the meetings fun, Malik said. “She gives great feedback on your article and helps you build on your ideas,” she said. “She’s definitely one of the best parts of the club.”


To keep the publication functioning during remote learning, Khorana will try to keep the same format of her meetings through weekly Zoom calls, she said. She also plans to keep in regular contact with the members through email to help guide them through their writing process.