Innovation Earns Tidepools Magazine First Place in Multi State Competition


Mention the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) – an athletic, parent organization for 36 community colleges located in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia – around the Peninsula College campus and most people know what you are talking about. They may also tell you that the PC women’s soccer team won the NWAC conference in Tukwila last month.

A literary award on the same scale was recently received by the College’s Tidepools magazine. PC beat out colleges in Alaska, California, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington and Wyoming to take home first place in the 2016 Literary Magazine Competition for small colleges. It’s hardly Tidepools first award – they took home the Washington Community College Humanities Award in 2013 and 2015 – but to date it is the biggest.   

 “The main thing that has paid off is that we have been ambitious,” said PC English and Art Professor Michael Mills, now in his seventh year as the magazine’s adviser. He challenges students to seek out cover formats and styles that they find attractive and engaging. Students responded with ideas for a “box set,” edition with interchangeable covers, a double issue, and last year’s edition that included coloring pages and a set of colored pencils. Their first Kindle version was available in 2014.

Left to Right: Managing Editor, Emily Jernigan; Co-Editors: Baylee Bamford, David Jensen, Bridget Eleson, and Julie Steiger.

In 2012 the class began including a CD with the publication. Mills said he feels it is important to have an audio history of the area’s musicians and their artistry, along with fiction and non-fiction prose, poetry, artwork and photography. As a result, local musicians Howly Slim and Sandy Summers, won first place in songwriting in the Pacific-Western Region in the Community College Humanities Association’s contest for music published in literary magazines. Their song “Boomerang” from Tidepools 2015 took home the top honor. Slim has been a regular contributor to Tidepools ever since they began including music back in 2011.

Students get a chance to gain experience and college credit while producing the magazine by registering for English or Media classes in Literary Magazine Production. 

Only residents of Clallam and Jefferson Counties are eligible to submit creative work to Tidepools Magazine. Adult entries to the contest are $6.50 and Youth entries are $4. This year PC student entries are free. Non-contest submissions in all categories are always free.

The deadline for the 2017 issue is Friday, January 13, 2017.  The 2017 issue is slated for release on June 7, 2017. Visit and click on “submissions” to submit your work. Submissions are also accepted via hand delivery and by mail. Paper submissions should be mailed to:

Tidepools Magazine
Peninsula College
1502 East Lauridsen Blvd.
Port Angeles, WA 98362

For more information, visit or call Michael Mills, magazine advisor, at (360) 417-6462.

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