Submit to Scratch Pad: Editorial board craves submissions

In a society centered on adapting for the future, tradition can become lost, overlooked, and forgotten. But there are exceptions. One club in particular, Scratch Pad (SPAD), is still alive and breathing today just as it was over 40 years ago. With the supervision of English teacher Mr. Schmidt, an editorial board of approximately 15 literary enthusiasts organize, create, and sell the SPAD literary magazine each spring. “SPAD is a place to showcase the literary and artistic talents we have at Ames High,” senior co-editor-in-chief, Ellen Iverson, said. “We accept prose, poetry and all kinds of artwork.” Submissions do not have to be about specific topics or written in certain formants. Creativity is highly encouraged. “There’s virtually no criteria. Just as long as you think it is worthy of SPAD publication- something the board may or may not agree with- submit it!” another senior co-editor-in-chief, Angela Zhang, said. “Surprisingly, our editorial board works as a democracy and submissions are accepted through a majority rules basis, whether or not I want them in.” However, there are a few exceptions regarding explicit submissions. “The board reviews all submissions, and we try not to be that restrictive,” Iverson said. “We accept anything and everything, although we probably can’t publish anything that’s incredibly inappropriate or has lots of bad language. Luckily, we rarely get submissions like that, so it’s not really a problem.” Anyone interested in submitting their work should place it in the labeled “Scratch Pad” tubs that are located in all English classrooms, the media center, and art rooms. Submissions will be accepted and reviewed throughout the majority of the school year. In the case that an author wants to submit something without giving away their identity, anonymous submissions are accepted. “Feel free to put a pen name or submit it anonymously! Or you could put someone else’s name on it, but I do not recommend it. Actually, don’t do it at all,” Zhang said. Previously, accepted artwork was kept in folders after it was put into Scratch Pad. This year, however, accepted artwork will be returned to the author after it is scanned for the publication. “If you put your name on your piece of art, we will have them available for pick-up in Mr. Schmidt’s room after the magazine has gone to publishing,” Iverson said. Be sure to support the talents of Ames High writers and consider purchasing a copy of SPAD this May. It may even have a table of contents page this year. “This year we’re shooting for early May to publish in order to give students more time to buy the magazine. The deadline for submissions will probably be sometime in early April,” Iverson said. “A copy of SPAD usually costs between $5 to $8.” There are also old copies of former SPADs for sale in Mr. Schmidt’s classroom for around $3. “Submit your 7th grade poem if you think it’s good enough. You can write about anything!” Zhang said.