A Peek Into Scratch Pad


Scratchpad members from the 1963 yearbook judge submitted pieces of literature for publication: Mrs. Thompson, S. Feamster, S. Armstrong, M. Walkup, C. Kirk, P. Routh

Oliver Chen, Reporter

A strange phenomena occurs each year within the English and Art class rooms – Disguised on top of cabinets, desks, and tables, the ominous presence of rectangular plastic tubs can only mean one thing – Scratch Pad submissions are open.

A student run literary and visual arts magazine, Scratch Pad publishes an impressive showcase of Ames High’s creative talent each year. “It takes all the visual art, literary work and general creativity of the students and compiles it in one place,” said Mali Bilstad, senior and co-editor. “It gives people a creative outlet to share their work.”

Planning for each year’s edition begins in September, when the editorial board opens submissions. Submitted work is viewed anonymously and accepted through a democratic vote. Popular submissions include poetry, short stories, artwork, and photography, although other types of submissions are welcome. “It’s mostly poetry and art, but we’ve gotten cool stuff like sheet music and scripts before,” said Bilstad. “If it can be printed, it can be published.”

Submissions are open until some time after spring break, when the board closes submissions and design the layout of each issue. The printed issues are distributed several weeks later, when they are available for purchase in Mr. Woolery’s room. This process is as old as Scratchpad itself – ancient yearbooks mention Scratch Pad as far back as 1962.

Scratch Pad’s goals for the future? To keep Scratchpad going for as long as possible. “It’s incredibly important, especially as high schoolers,” said Bilstad. “The biggest goal is just to keep it going, to keep this outlet for creativity.”