|"Radiance," an ink drawing by Allison Pate.|
The 2014 edition of Squatter's Rites, Vol State's student literary magazine – which features a collection of artwork, poetry, short stories, and photography – took home second place in the magazine category of the American Scholastic Press Association awards. The annual competition awards the top publications from schools across the country.
Magazine art director Michael Clark didn't even realize the magazine was being entered into the competition until he found out from Squatter's Rites adviser and communications instructor Melissa Tyndall Fox.
The ASPA scored Squatter's Rites in a variety of categories, and Clark plans on using their suggestions to make the 2015 edition better.
"We're going to take every single suggestion that they have given us and try to work on it. We can take areas where we were lacking and improve on them for this year," he said. "We want to try to make it to first place, and I feel like we can. Now that we know exactly what areas we need to improve on, we can definitely take a step in the right direction. It also might open the door for more competitions that we've never been a part of."
Squatter's Rites awards two students each year — one for written work and the other for art. In the 2014 edition, Allison Pate received the Fusion Art and Design Award for her ink drawing entitled "Radiance." Ann Roberts received the John MacDougall Award for her poem entitled "I Broke My Shin," which recounts the story of a boy who is dumped on the same day he injures himself.
Roberts wrote the poem over a break and was surprised to learn she had been given the award. As a writer, she said having something like Squatter's Rites is important for Vol State because it gives students a chance to showcase their talents.
"If you're a creative writer, poems and short stories are something that you can read any time. Squatter's Rites is a good thing for Vol State to have for the students because there are a lot of artistic and creative people here," she said.
The deadline for submitting work to the 2015 edition is March 27. Students can submit any type of art they wish, including photos, drawings, poetry, and short stories. Work can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com.
A digital version of Squatter's Rites 2014 can be found here. For more on the magazine, including updates on submission deadlines, visit Facebook.