2019-2020 clay Staff Applications!

Hello, Prospective Staff!

Thank you for choosing to apply for the clay staff! We are excited to build a wonderful team with whom we can represent TPS to our community. We are looking forward to working with you over the coming year.

Please refer to the application below for details on each position and email clayeditor@pottersschool.org with any questions or concerns. Applications will be due on July 6th, 2019.


Cassie Disharoon and Leanne Zuiderveen

2019-2020 Senior Editors


A Note to Columnists:

Beginning in August, clay columnists write one 500-700 word article each month and submit it to their editors by the deadlines given. About a week before submission, writers will notify their editors concerning their intended topic. Depending on the column applied for, some articles may require time beyond brainstorming and writing, i.e. conducting interviews or research, so take all time requirements into account. Please don’t limit your applications to the columns we’ve listed. We are always looking creative new idea for a column (just include a short description of your plan when you apply).  If you cannot narrow your choices down to one column, you may list multiple positions in your application. However, please be sure to limit the number of columns you enter. We will only hire you in one role, but we can consider placing you in any of the positions you list.


A Note to Editors:

Editor positions are reserved for students 10th grade or higher with an appreciation for the correct mechanics of the English language and an ability to produce constructive criticism. Editors must have ready access to and availability over email to answer columnists’ questions, receive articles and topics, and send out deadline reminder emails.


A Note to Public Relations Team:

Public Relations applicants can apply through this link: (which will be available soon). Our Public Relations staff will post on clay’s social media accounts on a daily basis to engage with the TPS community, spread our message, and help us maintain a professional public image. We are looking for a Public Relations Manager, some Content Creators, an Engagement Manager, two to three Photographers, and a Graphic Designer.  For more information, please see the separate application above.


Happy applying, everyone!



Theology & Worldview will include church news, faith-strengthening arguments, and church history. Excited to see what this column produces this year!


T&W Editor: The T&W editor will organize the following columnists:

Church History: Columns focusing on the historical side of the church from A.D. 50-Present. This can include Heroes of the Early Church (abridged biographies of leaders of the early church) or other ideas left to the discretion of the writer, but a balanced perspective would be necessary for the writer or writers of this section.

Apologetics: “Always be prepared to give an answer” St. Peter told the church in his first epistle. Those words ring just as true today, and this column is for equipping the saints to that end.

Bible Spotlight: Taking a more heartfelt approach, this column will give a devotion for daily life.



The News Section will give educated analyses of recent news and culture, shedding light on lesser known events to bring student awareness to current issues. It’s not intended to be a breaking news section, but rather a pondering look at the modern world through a Christian worldview.


News Editor: The News Editor will organize the following columnists and may help provide article topics for certain columns:

Political Analysis: This column will take a non-partisan approach to the American and western political sphere in a time when the political climate is increasingly toxic. The writer will be following trends primarily in the US, and other western nations as necessary.

International News: Intended to offset the tendencies of most American news outlets, this column is intended to give insight into current affairs around the world.

International Correspondence: This column has a bit of flexibility, as it can range from strict reporting of the news to cultural insight from all over the world.  

Science & Technology: This columnist will write engaging articles about the latest innovations in the science and technology fields.

Other: We’d love to have other topics of news and current events from engineering to business to economics. If you have your own idea for a news column, let us know!



Combining abstract artistic pursuits with art’s technicalities and even some international culture, A&C will be clay’s creative anchor this year.


A&C Editors: The A&C editor(s) will organize the following columnists:

Serial Story: This column features a unique, meaningful novella issued chapter-by-chapter. Applicants with strong creative writing skills should submit a sample story and an outline of their serial story plan for the September-May issues.

Photography: Featuring photographer interviews, technical exposés, and creative inspiration, the photography column will contain a wide range of information for both amateur and experienced TPS photographers. Applicants for this column should submit a sample article as well as examples of their own photography.

Fashion: If you have a knack for finding classy clothing, try sharing some tips with your fellow TPSers. Explore the wide variety of topics included in fashion, from girls’ and guys’ clothing to aesthetic psychology to accessories.

Film: The film columnist writes reviews of recent films through a Christian worldview.

Cooking: The food columnist writes on delightful dishes and posts recipes for them.

Poetry: This column spotlights a variety of poetry and poets from across the literary scope.

Theatre:  Covering anything from the latest on broadway to tips for drama students, the theatre columnist should have experience on the stage and be aware of current events in the theatre world.

Music: The music columnist has quite a bit of flexibility in covering important events in music news.  For example, the death of a famous musician, music awards ceremonies, spotlighting a certain artist or album, and music history can be covered in this column.

Books: This column consists of book reviews and book-related news, including analyses of recent publications and bestsellers, the-film-versus-the-book, or book recommendations.



We hope to give creative, meaningful insight into the TPS community through the Spotlight Section.  Columnists will use their communication skills to interview and research a variety of subjects. We can’t wait to see how this spotlight section grows in 2019-2020!


Spotlight Editor: The Spotlight editor will organize the following columnists:

Girls’ Student Spotlight: As the title implies, this female columnist will be interviewing a TPS student every month and writing about her life, plans, and personality.

Guys’ Student Spotlight: This column is just like the girls’ spotlight, except for guys.

Alumnus Spotlight: The alumnus columnist interviews a TPSer and writes about his or her life after TPS. Ideas include old favorites from high school, new plans in college, and other usual aspects of an interview.

Teacher Spotlight: The Teacher Spotlight columnist will interview a TPS teacher each month and write about his or her life and experiences with TPS, helping students get to know their instructors a bit better.

Class Spotlight: The columnist in this section should feature a different class every issue, explaining the classes and the learning/teaching style of the class, teacher, etc. He or she will try to cover a class from every category (Literature, Science, etc.) by the end of the year.

College & Career Spotlight: From tips for winning scholarships to unique and trending careers, this columnist will write insightful, engaging articles to help inform students about their future education.  Applicants for this position must be in the 11th grade or higher.

Story Spotlight: Do you have a story that’s your go-to to break the silence  in awkward situations? A memory that immediately comes to mind when people ask for your more embarrassing moment? Stories are what make us us, so we want to feature some of the best this year. The story spotlight columnist will go on the hunt for 1-2 really good stories–may they be funny, sad, or serious–each month and share them in their article.



Everyone needs a good laugh at some point during the long school year, and the Humor section is one of the best places for TPSers to find something to chuckle at. Creative new comedy ideas are welcome!


Humor Editor: The Humor editor will organize the following columnists:

Humor Columnist: If you have a creative idea to brighten a TPSer’s day and a good sense of humor, try sharing it with the whole school through the humor column. For examples of creative humor articles, here’s a link to a humor competition from several years ago (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nckY2ZX61BGIKoVPosM_zI-YZLo6ML1r3fdzjHb_61E/edit?usp=sharing).

Cartoonist: If you have a knack for sketching and making people laugh, you might try applying to be a cartoonist. Instead of writing samples, applicants should submit two cartoon panels and an explanation of their column’s theme or characters.

Satire: We’re looking for a dry, humorless writer who can deliver such poor writing as to make us cry out in agony.



The Open Mic section gives a voice to students and alumni who are not full-time columnists with clay.  We encourage TPSers to write and submit guest work for clay!


Open Mic Editor: The Open Mic editor will be responsible for managing an email account dedicated to receiving guest work for clay.  He or she will edit guest submissions for grammar and clarity and post them on clay after they are received. We are looking for an editor eager to find and showcase new voices and talents on the clay.

Here is a link to the form: https://www.cognitoforms.com/ClayMag1/_20192020ColumnistEditorApplication


Columnist/Editor Application




Grade in 2019-20:



Position Wanted:



  1. What previous experience, if any, have you had with clay?
  2. Why do you want to write for clay?
  3. What do you think you will add to the staff in the position you’re applying for?
  4. Have you ever taken any TPS English courses? What were your letter grades in those classes?
  5. What does your schedule look like for next year: how many courses will you take, how many are online or college-level or both, and what are your responsibilities beyond school, including extracurricular activities?
  6. As clay could take up a significant portion of your time, what do you plan to do to ensure that you meet all the required deadlines? Are you ever prone to missing deadlines?
  7. Here at clay we reserve the right to put anyone who repeatedly violates deadlines on probation, and in extreme cases, remove him from the ezine (although this has not happened yet in our ezine history). Extensions are given for emergencies, extreme illness, and other unusual external circumstances, but will be limited. Please sign the statement below with your first and last names, indicating that you agree to this standard. By applying, I, _______________________, understand that clay columnists are required to adhere to deadlines. I affirm that I will follow the deadlines I am given to work with, and I understand that repeated failure to follow those deadlines will result in possible probation or a removal from clay if necessary. My name typed here is the electronic version of my signature.


  1. How open are you to criticism on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being most open?
  2. We begin writing articles and hold orientations in early August. Will you likely be available at that time?
  3. How do you plan to uphold and reflect the glory of Jesus Christ through the position you’re applying for?
  4. If you are a Theology and Worldview applicant, please read the TPS statement of faith (https://www.at-tps.org/about/statement-of-faith/) and state whether you have read and agree to that statement. If you have any qualms, please note those.
  5. Does your parent know of and consent to your involvement in this magazine?
  6. Columnists: Please submit two writing samples, the first of which is an existing academic paper/essay which you have written, and the second of which is a sample article of what you will write for your clay column.
  7. Editors: Please submit one recent academic writing sample and edit the following piece as you would for one of your columnists. As an editor, you will be responsible for editing both mechanics and content. At clay, we do not necessarily follow English 2 and 3 rules such as “no be verbs,” but please make sure the article is grammatically correct and has a professional tone:


Technology and Cyber-Bullying


Dear readers, technology is perhaps one of the most controversially inventions today.  It can be used in kajillions of ways, including social interaction, education, and entertainment.  Though these capabilities are useful, people have also found numerous ways to abuse technology and the Internet.  In reference to new communication abilities. Cyberbullying has stemmed from social media and messaging forums. This hurtful type of speech is often difficult to regulate. 🙁  How can we prevent this form of bullying online????

        Cyberbullying is a MAJOR form of bulleying today.  When children go online and are sent hateful messages, its difficult for them to move on.  Children also feel that they cantnot tell adults that they are cyberbullying victims. Ephesians 6;1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Those who are bullied online are most likely bullied in person as well, which can cause them to omit school and encounter bad grades.  It can also make them shy away from all Internet activities, some of which are positive.

        The Internet has been epitomized to give us many ways to connect with friends and family, both near and far.  Applications like Skype and iMessage allow us to chat and social media websites like Facebook and Instagram help people, reach a large audience instantly.  However these programs can hurt kids when used incorrectly. Hurtful messages and social media posts directed at a child are difficult to delete after they’ve been posted (if you don’t believe me, you are stupid).  It is important for everyone to use social media and messaging apps responsibly and positively and responsibly.

        There are many ways to positively impact your community via the Internet.  First, you should always be selective of what you post online. Ask yourself if anyone would take offense to what you’re telling him, or her.  A post about an opinion is one thing, but make sure if you post a funny jab at someone, it will be taken the right way. There is no tone of voice on the Internet, so sometimes teasing can come across as rude!  Also, if you have something kind to say, feel free to share it!! Supporting others online is a good way two show compassionate. Thoughh kind comments and messages do not take much effort to create, they can mean a lot to the person you are encouraging. *posts a million smileys and hearts on my friend’s Instagram post*

        Cyberbullying can be presented easily if everyone shows more kindness and think before they post.  There will always be bullies who send hurtful things to those who don’t deserve it. It’s our job to not become part of their group.  By being nice too others online, we can treat them as we would like to be treated and communicate in a way that honors God.


  1. About how much time does this take?

    • Leanne Zuiderveen

      Once you’ve written your sample article for the clay, the application should only take 15-30 minutes. 🙂

      • Sorry, i meant how long does writing for Clay take out of a weekly schedule for an editor which is what i am considering?:)

  2. Does the essay for Columnists need to be recent? If so how recent?

    • Cassie Disharoon

      Hello Millie! The essay or research paper should be an example of your best work. It does not have to be incredibly recent–just send something that you feel is a good representation of your writing skills.

    • Leanne Zuiderveen

      We would prefer if the essay has been written in the past year so that we can assess your current writing skills. 🙂

  3. I accidentally submitted my application. Can I somehow retrieve what I wrote because it is incomplete and I don’t want to lose what I wrote?

  4. I would like to join, but I will be too busy next school year. Hopefully next next school year (my 10th grade year) I can join.

    *realizes that 10th grade is only in two school years* *ponders what this implies*

  5. Darn, wish I could write for clay again this year, but unfortunately, I’m not taking any more classes with TPS.

  6. I was wondering if I were to apply what is the most fun thing about being apart of Clay?

    • Writing for the R0und Robin and your April Article.
      It’s also fun to work with the people in your category as well.
      I think one of the best things about Clay, is the freedom to write freely. There are some boundaries of course, but getting to write about something you really enjoy or are interested in is probably the most fun thing about Clay.

  7. Do you have to be a certain age in order to be a columnist?

    • Cassie Disharoon

      We do not have a specific age limit for columnists, but staff members are typically high school students. However, anyone is welcome to apply. Our main priority is finding students with strong writing skills. 🙂

  8. I’m pretty sure Im going to apply later (as soon as finals clear up) for the serial story column, but I wanted to ask a few questions first.
    1) Does the 500 to 700 word limit apply to each chapter? It seems to me previous serial syltories were longer, but maybe Im just wrong.
    2) For the sample writings, I would need to submit a story outline and a self contained short story as an example, right?

    • Oops, missed the question email spot, ignore this since I cant figure out how to delete it…

  9. Just wondering–for the humor columnist, could the article be something like a funny poem? Or maybe an interesting/funny account of something real that happened? Or would it have to be something completely made up and written by the columnist?

  10. After applying, is there a certain period of time that I could expect to be contacted?