by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Left to right, student Jordan Haddad, faculty advisor Michael McDowell and student Danielle McAdams.Portland Community College's Sylvania campus has one of the best literary magazines in the country, according to a national press association.

“Alchemy,” has been the campus’ literary magazine at PCC Sylvania for 41 years. The magazine — which is released yearly — was named a winner of the Gold Crown Award for college magazine by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

The award recognizes the magazine’s 2012-13 edition as one of the top college literary magazines in the country.

"The award is a compliment to the students working together and having such imagination in producing this edition of 'Alchemy' last year," said Michael McDowell, a writing instructor at the college and faculty adviser for the magazine. "They came up with all of the ideas."

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association is an international student press association uniting student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges and award programs.

The association has been owned by Columbia University since 1925 and is operated as a program affiliated with its Graduate School of Journalism.

“Alchemy” is a collaboration of students at PCC Sylvania, including students in Writing 246, “Advanced Creative Writing: Editing and Publishing,” and Writing 249 “Advanced Creative Writing: Editing and Publishing I and II.” The magazine also works with graphic design and art classes to produce the magazine.

Student editor Andrew Brown plans to study English literature at Marylhurst University next year. He said the announcement came as a surprise.

"I wasn't expecting this at all. But it is satisfying,” he said. “It's the most important and successful thing I've ever done."

After "Alchemy" was launched in 1973, the model has been used at other PCC campuses, including Rock Creek and Cascade, and plans are to launch a similar literary magazine at PCC’s Southeast Center soon.

"Long hours of cooperative effort go into putting out the magazine, and year after year, our students rise to the challenge," said Dave Stout, division dean of English and world languages at Sylvania. "'Alchemy' is a testament to the great things that can happen when there is collaboration between student writers, graphic designers and visual artists. The Gold Crown Award is a wonderful recognition of our students' fine work."

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