Arts & Culture, Featured, Humor, News, Spotlight, Theology & Worldview

clay Columnist/Editor Application 2020-2021

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 with any questions or concerns. Applications are due on July 6th, 2020.



Madison Asher and Jenna Koo

2020-2021 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 for creative new ideas for a column (just include a short description of your plan when you apply). Please specify a single column you want to apply for.


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. Please note your preferred section of choice.


A Note to Public Relations Team:

Public Relations applicants can apply through this link. 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 theological discussions, faith-strengthening arguments, and church history. We are excited to see how this column develops 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 to the present. This can include abridged biographies of early church leaders or other ideas left to the discretion of the writer. However, 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 true today. This column is for equipping the saints to that end.

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



The News Section will give educated analyses of recent news and cultural events, 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 thoughtful 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 if necessary:

Political Analysis: This column will take a non-partisan approach to the Western political sphere in a time when the political climate has become increasingly toxic. The writer will follow political trends primarily in the U.S. and other Western nations.

International News: Intended to offer a global perspective, this column gives insight into current affairs around the world.

International Correspondence: This column has a bit more flexibility. It can range from focused news reports to more thoughtful cultural analysis from all over the world.

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

Other: We’d love to cover other news topics and current events, from engineering to business to economics. If you have an original 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 theory.

Film: The film columnist writes reviews of recent or classic films through an insightful, artistic lens.

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

Poetry: This column spotlights a variety of poetry and poets from a variety of literary genres.

Theatre:  Covering anything from the latest on Broadway to tips for drama students, the theatre columnist should be aware of current events in the theatre world. Prior stage experience is a plus!

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, specific artists or albums, 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 the Spotlight section grows in 2020-2021!


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

Girls’ Student Spotlight: As the title implies, this female columnist will interview a TPS student every month and write about her life, interests, 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 more.

Class Spotlight: This column features a wide variety of classes (Literature, Science, etc.) over the course of the year, explaining the syllabus and the learning/teaching style of the class, teacher, etc.

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 (

Cartoonist: If you have a knack for sketching and making people laugh, you might want to apply as 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 all 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 clay.


Cognito.load(“forms”, { id: “11” });

Please see the following editing sample for editor applicants:

“The Consequences of Technology”

We live in a life that people’s in the 1800’s would have have never dreamed of. Car’s race down the streets faithfully chauffeuring their passengers Americans walk down streets with portable phones to their ears, aircraft shooting through the ski transporting the world. Walking down Florida’s streets I see America’s diabolical technological advancements. And there’s Apple!! THE BEST THING THAT WAS EVER CREATE!!! I watch life not a admiration, but with a pinky smidge of sadness because, though techy stuff had benefits our world those benefit’s have blinds us from the the ruination that follows technology :(((((((. Take computers for example (STEVE JOBS YA’LLLLLLLLLL) which have changed our mentality in negative ways deviating us from Christian morals and causing mental diseases. YESSSS, It’s true and if you don’t believe it you’re a deluded Ronald Weasley whose been confunded. While American deepends greatly on teknology I believe it Mars life since it contribute to pollination, muscle pullulation and obesity and inadequate social skills. So what are you waisting time for? Ditch those phones, computers, and stuff them in the eekiest garbage you can find.

Though Americans heavily depends on vehicles, boats and industrial factory’s, for moral intentions, I believe the resulting pollution affects health, and the wellbeing of other creatures and plants. Vehicles such as ambulances, police cars and firetrucks save thousands of lives. Of course people should also regard this technology as cars and boat emitted gas that polluted the ocean–Pollution killed about five thousand people yearly including more than three million children under the age of five, because of Americas reliance on technology. It’s dependence also lowers, the risk of canser such as lung canser.

For example, statistics reveal that heavily reliance on technology, results in muscle atrophy, and skinniness. Of course exercising, equipment such as treadmills, is a beneficiary to many people, by sparing them from weather conditions or proving some cusion. If the treadmiller has knee-problems. Car’s also, provide swift transport: biking allows for speed and exercise ;). This reliance on motor-vehicles always results in the reduction of muscle atrophy and rotundity. Exercise, also brings doesn’t bring of of it diabetes; heart diseases; and cancer. Statistics show that about fifty percent of people, who exercise, have lower risk of colon cancer and diabetes and about thirty percent of people who exercise have lower risk of depression and/or dementia. Dr. Nick Cavill even admitted, “If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented”.

Teen-beings spend to much, time on their phones, rather than with the people around them. They check the Facemakes, and Twittle, to round up with others on social media, and and ignore the life around them. Likewise, they have loads of fun with other-people. Por supuesto, they limit their time too practices people skill thus resulting in deficites, inability to express leadership and emotions and poor communication. Fortunately this developed poor relationships and difficult lives. Surprisingly, teens often use their phones to escape the world some could call a bright light full of misterie. I mean the world is just as bad as the Walking Dead world. In reality moreover the live is dead. Teens often only notice the benefits of social media believing it too close them the extroverts to the rest of the world. “[Social media] allows us to communicate freely and see what everyone else is doing. [It] gives us a voice that can reach many people”.

While technologie benifits United Statesians spend too much time using it thus resulting in missconseption of the purpose of radiology. Technology changed the woorst qualities of people—proper social skils deteriorate, physical condicion worsened, and metal capabilities decaying. Therefore people should respect technology, and regard them delicately. Because those that don’t are knuckle heads and should never be allowed to use Technology and should thus be sent back to the fourteenth century. Check out Isaiah 1:4 for proof. Many people, especially teens believe that their time spent on technology defines, their very being. Likewise, people define themselves, not technology. Our world and our beings have drastically changed. So throw your phones and computers in the trashcan or start using them properly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Do you have to be a current tps student to apply?

    • Yes, applicants should be enrolled or plan to enroll at TPS for the 2020-2021 school year.

    • Oh ok sadly I would have loved to apply but I’m not taking potter’s school next year, but I love writing

      • Hey Cassidy — I happened to be scrolling through the comments when I saw this. There’s this magazine I write for called The Silver Needle, originally owned by a TPS student. It’s been awful quiet lately….. we could use a new writer to get it goin’ again!!! You can email them at with any questions and you can ask about being a columnist, you can just let them know that a fellow columnist referred you to them. 😉 And of course, this invite is open to any writers who aren’t taking TPS next year or maybe need a less strict magazine to write for. 🙂

  2. Do you email it to the editors, or do you have a special submit button?

  3. If I had an idea for another position not listed, could I submit a proposal for that?

  4. SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS!!! *forgets about the application until July 5*
    Therefore, I will put a reminder on my phone for the day right after AP Tests finish. 🙂

  5. Do you have a preferred format for editing the sample piece? Should we write comments on it, or actually modify it?

  6. i am so gonna apply for a humor column!
    That would be so much fun!

  7. Is it normal to be this nervous after submitting?

  8. I have to say that is the most insanely funny essay I have ever seen!

  9. What are the rules for Open Mic articles (how long should they be, how many can one person submit per year, etc.)? Can editors/columnists submit Open Mic articles? Specifically, can the Open Mic editor submit Open Mic articles?????

    • Open mic articles can literally be anything that’s appropriate and follows clay’s standards. It could be a drawing you did, photography, music you composed, etc. And of course! Columnists and editors are welcomed to submit to open mic. But it might be a little awkward if you submitted an article to open mic as the open mic editor (I’m not sure if it’s ever been done in clay history), so I would probably not recommend it;)

      • Hey Jenna, as you know I took a class this year and have submitted one Open Mic article. Although I will not be taking classes with TPS next year, I will definitely be keeping an eye on Clay. Would I still be allowed to submit Open Mic articles as a “post-student?”

        • Hey Julia, absolutely! While Open Mic is primarily for current TPSers to showcase their work, alumni and “post-students” are welcome to participate as well

      • OK, yeah, that would probably not be a good idea. Can you submit Open Mic articles as anonymous or with a pseudonym?

      • The open mic editor writing an open mic article would be hilarious…sounds like something my brother would do! xD

  10. Do I need to submit something I wrote for my English class? Or can I post a story I wrote another time?

  11. I’m currently a humor columnist. May I submit my example article as one of the articles I previously had published on clay?

  12. That article…is a pain to edit

  13. I’m very interested in joining as a columnist, but I do have one question… Do your writers retain copyrights to pieces published in Clay? 🙂

    • Yes, your work is your own. If a columnist would like to have their piece removed from clay or edited following publication, that is certainly possible. I hope that answers your question!

      • Okay, thank you! Yes, it does. 🙂 One more thing…. I was thinking about trying for the serial story column, and I’m just wondering if each “chapter” has to be 500-700 words or if it could possibly be a little longer… I have something that I’ve been working on that I would like to submit as an idea, but it would most likely be a bit longer – maybe 1,000 words (per “chapter”) or something. I could probably come up with something else if that won’t work, but I was just curious. 🙂

        • Sorry for the multitude of questions, I was just looking through the columns again… Is the poetry column for students who like to write poetry, or is it for bringing awareness about other poets and their works? 🙂

          • Serial story articles can be a little longer. 1200 words is the absolute max; however, we prefer it if you kept it 1000 words or less for serial story.
            For your second question, each column has flexibility so you could either write poetry for the poetry column or write about a poet:)

          • @Jenna
            Okay, thank you!! That’s good to know. 🙂
            Okay!! It’s just so hard to choose…. There are so many interesting things to try for… I feel a bit like a kid lost in the candy shop. XD 🙂
            And thank you so much again, all three of you! 🙂

        • Beren Erchamion

          I’m not the Senior Editor so I can’t definitively answer your question, but when I applied for serial story last year I asked the same question and found out that mine could be longer. The chapters of Torn have pretty much all been well over 700 words. 😛

          • Okay, good! 🙂 LOL! It’s just so hard to hold back when you get an idea…. And then you end up trying to rush on your homework later because you were so into whatever you were writing that you “forgot” everything else. XD 😀 (Though I try not to do that very often… XD)

          • And thank you! 🙂

  14. That essay is so bad that at times I don’t even know what they’re trying to say and don’t know how to edit it lol.

  15. How much time a week would it take to be an editor? Also, how many people usually apply per position lol.

    • Personally, I found it varied week to week. Approving columnists’ topics at the start of the month takes very little time (generally well under an hour). Editing articles later in the month took me anywhere from 2-5 hours. I don’t have a concrete answer to your second question, although I do know that application rates vary from year to year.

  16. in para two of the essay, how are three million children included in the OVERALL population of five thousand?

  17. When editing the paper, are we supposed to rewrite the sentences or put in comments? I could rewrite nearly every sentence in it lol. Also, good job to the future senior dictators on writing the worst essay I have ever read in my entire life.

    • I’m trying to keep as much of the original content. Should I be?

      • Comment and rewrites are both acceptable – I recommend a mix of both. As to keeping original content, it’s perfectly fine to highlight or strikethrough sections that you feel should be removed completely, explaining to the “columnist” why you did so, and how they can improve.

        • However, the overall content of an article belongs to the columnist – an editor’s job is to clarify and improve, not completely rewrite.

    • Also, should I rearrange the sentences to make it logical, or should I just make it sound “professional” but rather brainless?

      • You’ll want to be editing the document as you would as an Editor, so it’s completely up to your discretion. However, comments are more emphatic and help the columnists to understand your thought process. You are free to directly modify some grammatical errors or sometimes sentences if you feel it will be alright to do so. Keep in mind, when you’re editing an article, you’re merely editing and not writing it, so yes, you should try to keep as much of the original content as possible.
        Nevertheless, if you feel as if the columnist should rearrange the sentences to make it more logical, feel free to do so! Let us know if you have any more questions!

  18. If you are wanting to apply to be a columnist, how many articles would you have to publish per week? And how many hours would that roughly take?

    • Columnists publish one article per month. The amount of time that takes varies depending on the type of column and the writing and time management abilities of the columnist. Generally speaking, I would anticipate spending 1-3 hours per week on clay related duties as a columnist.

  19. yikes, I submitted! I’m nervous lol

    Go everyone!!

  20. I submitted! For some reason I’m nervous…

  21. Sashira Camacho

    Dang y’all are fast

  22. Congratulations to those who will get the new positions!

    I just wanted to suggest something for Open Mic. Would it be possible if the students could submit fanfiction?? ????

    • Absolutely! Since fan-fiction is considered original content, you can submit to Open Mic. However, sources must be cited accordingly:)

      • Oh wow!!! Thank you!!

        • I have written one, but it has 22 parts. Is that too long, or should I try to combine chapters?

          • I have two more questions. Sorry ????. How often am I aloud to send content in to Open Mic? Also, does clay publish over the summer holidays?

          • *allowed*

          • Hmm that sounds quite long. The absolute max word count that WordPress will take is 1200 words but we like to keep our articles at about 1000 or less if possible for serial stories. There’s no rule about how often you send content to Open Mic, but if you’re going to do it every other month or every month or so, you might want to consider applying for a position in clay:). And clay does not publish over the summer

          • Thank you! What would be an appropriate amount of parts?

          • Well, people usually submit to Open Mic at most three (maybe four) times throughout the year. But columnists will post 9 articles throughout the year not including the Meet the Staff article.

          • Alright. Thank you for the information!

  23. Emmeline Arehart

    I see that there will be an alumnus spotlight column next year. What an awesome idea! I’m looking forward to seeing where clay goes next year! 🙂

  24. I am so nervous…because I have to ask my parents if I can apply. *places head in hands*

  25. I applied a few hours ago but I realized I didn’t get the message that my application was recorded. Was something like that supposed to show and do I know now if my application submitted?

  26. So, I have an idea for another column, but am not sure if it would be acceptable. If I were to submit it, and it gets refused, would there be time enough for you to respond saying no, and then for me to submit a new application for an already listed position? Or, could I submit 2 applications at the same time? (I hope that makes sense).

  27. Out of curiosity, would you actually accept a columnist whose writing is as poor as that article?

  28. I sort of submitted the essay with all my edits but didn’t comment…is that OK?

  29. I turned in my application but it still says “File Upload in Progress.” Should I leave the page open so the files can upload?

    • Hmm you might want to try submitting the application again. Doesn’t seem as if we received it

  30. Once (If) You get the article you want and have to sub something Do you do it with your email?

    • Columnists communicate with their editors via email, and receive training on how to post their final articles to WordPress themselves.

  31. Do people who submit earlier have an edge in getting a position over people who submit later?

  32. You know, if someone was submitting that article for the humor column and I was the humor editor, I might just let it go the way it is lol. I’m reading through it and laughing non-stop.

  33. For the serial story columnist, can there be more than one columnist?

  34. We generally allow for one serial story columnist per column. So there can be one for Theology and Worldview and another for Arts and Culture

  35. Could I suggest a fan-fiction column for next year?

  36. My application still won’t submit. What should I do?

  37. I have to say it again– that essay is hilarious! i just realized that they spell Cancer as “canser”. LOL XD

  38. Wait a minute… How is “Open Mic: The Class That Made Mrs. Yagel Laugh by Advanced Composition Section 1” 1511 words if the absolute maximum is 1200? Did Sec. 1’s editor contacts do any logistical gymnastics to get that past the Senior Editors??????? Also, “Open Mic: Don’t Let COVID-19 Take Over Your Life by Eunice Tan” is 1235.

  39. If I apply a little later (because of school and stuff), will that diminish my chances of being accepted? As you accept more people do you get stricter with applications to limit the number of columnists?

  40. Will new columns ever be permanent (or will old ones ever be abolished)? Do you need a certain number of people to start a new column (that is, to make a fully formed column with editor and columnist positions, not another position under an existing column)? If someone hypothetically wanted to make a entirely new column, would the option be reposted to other potential applicants? Sorry if I have too many useless questions; I am guessing the answers to all of them are, “the senior editors decide.”

    • Is a possibility that old columns will be removed and new columns created, but hopefully our general Theology, Arts&Culture, Spotlight, News, Humor, and Open Mic columns remain. If a new column were to develop, we would probably wait for the following year to put it in the application since several people have already submitted their applications:)

  41. I love how there is Spanish in the last paragraph!!!

  42. Is there a minimum age to be a columist?

  43. also do we have to write the same amount of stuff during finals, or can we slow down during finals to study?

    • From my experience, writing your column won’t take up that much time to divert from your studying. Unless you’re taking eight or more classes, you should be totally fine with no extensions. I personally am taking seven classes and recently had an injury which resulted in me having to do four weeks of school within the last two, without an extension (because of submission availability closing on the 13th). Writing as a columnist proved to be very little hindrance.
      Writing a single article in my position (Humor Column) takes about 2 hours. However, humor is probably the easiest section, requiring no research and simply a bit of creativity. In other columns, such as T&W or News, research would probably take a bit more time.
      As I’ve never had experience as an editor, I can’t speak for that position, but you can assume that it would take several more hours.

    • As a columnist, you will have the same amount of work to do during finals, but you’re more than welcome to ask for extensions:)

  44. A friend and I are thinking about creating a set of STEM columns. Reply to this comment if you are interested!

    • If I don’t get the position I applied for, I was gonna (hopefully) write for the science and technology column. I think I should have said that in my application lol. But it would be nice if there would be multiple science columns or even a whole section just for science! (Which I think is the best idea xD).

      • Hi Matthew,
        If there are enough applicants/enough columns we can create a whole new section.
        We were thinking of creating a whole section of columns for STEM, perhaps 4 columns, one for each letter (Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math) I’m planning on writing for Engineering, my brother is thinking about applying for Math, and I have another friend who is interested. That leaves Science, Tech, and Editor positions, if you don’t want to compete. We would also be happy to host guest writers if the Senior Editors are ok with that, since it would give the columnists a little less work, and I have some other TPS friends who are not interested in writing full-time, but would be happy to submit an article or 2.
        Since this is the first time this is happening, it is likely to be a bumpy ride, but I think we’ll be ok. 🙂
        Ethan Jo

        • I would prefer the editor position, and I might be able to write for the science column. If not, I could just write full-time for the science column (chemistry and physics). However, I believe that the senior editors must confirm that their will be a STEM section first.
          Thank you for organizing this!

          • Thanks so much for expressing interest. 🙂
            All of the plans are rather tentative right now, but I think we can make this work.

          • To the senior editors: Should a STEM column be formed for the 2020-21 school year, is it ok for the STEM column to accept guest articles? I have a few friends who are not interested in writing full-time, but do have something interesting to share. Accepting guest articles directly into a STEM column would help reduce the stress on the regular STEM columnists, while also reducing traffic on the Open Mic.

          • I wonder if the senior editors even read this…lol

      • Wait Matthew you applied for something??

  45. *checks facemakes and twittle* Now that is the best joke i’ve heard in a long time.

  46. Applicant 09384

    How many applications can we submit?

  47. For applying for the spotlight column, should I make up a person for my sample article. Also do you want me to write answers for the questions I ask?

  48. Hey, I accidentally just submitted the form without attaching the edited piece. Should i email it separately, or how would you like me to do that?

  49. Hello (sorry that this is a late q). When will the new people in the positions be announced?