This is Dragon Tales for the New School Year

You can enjoy Dragon Tales first printed copies in the Rock and Upper School.
You can enjoy Dragon Tales’ first printed copies in the Rock and Upper School.

Thank you for taking the time to find and read this article, whether it’s digital or in print. By doing so, you have just encountered a new initiative at Dragon Tales, Cooper’s student newspaper.

Being Co-Editor-in-Chiefs this year, Felicity and I are working with our valuable sponsors, editors, and student writers to spearhead the next chapter in the story of Dragon Tales. We’re bringing along an avalanche of changes and additions so we can better share our enthusiasm about the Cooper community with people like you. As we transition into some new beginnings, here is some insight into your school newspaper so you can follow along with us.

What is Dragon Tales?

Dragon Tales is John Cooper’s very own student-led newspaper publication, and it aims to share news and highlights on the school community with our readers, whether it’s recent or future events, parts of student life, or individual views on diverse matters. Our articles mainly feature aspects of our multifaceted, ever-changing community, while some are written about more general topics that may be of interest to our students and faculty.

How did we get here?

Since Dragon Tales was founded in 2018, we have been publishing articles on our website at You may be surprised if you’ve never heard of us, but we understand that it’s simply the consequence of solely living on a website without much exposure. In addition, there’s no doubt that the pandemic had a detrimental impact on the operation of Dragon Tales, which was gradually recovering for a while.

That’s why this year, with the newspaper turning five years old and the time being ripe for change, we have launched vital improvements in our outreach so that Dragon Tales could be more relevant to the rest of the Cooper world. The time you’re spending with us at this very moment is a testament to our desire to take care of our readership.

What’s new at Dragon Tales?

Felicity and I have focused on the newspaper’s exposure, engagement, and school participation. Noting how the website suffered from obscurity for several years and recognizing the niche status of student journalism within the school, we took steps to ensure that Dragon Tales remains an integral component of the Cooper experience.


First, we hope you’re enjoying the prints that we scattered throughout communal areas on campus. You can find us on every floor of the Rock and the Upper School, including all English classrooms and the library.

The absence of a physical newspaper was a critical barrier to our reach within the school, when much of reader engagement occurs passively rather than proactively. The thought of searching our website wouldn’t arbitrarily cross the minds of most individuals in the middle of the school year, and the only thing worse than an unpublished article is an unread article. (I say this as the author of articles that never saw the light of day during the pandemic, along with a nearly 3,000-word piece that I only convinced the interviewees to read.)

The solution is to have presence. We no longer only occupy a space on the Internet, but also on campus, the heart of our newspaper. Naturally, our decision to instantaneously become more visible may feel disruptive at first, but we’re hoping for a gradual incorporation into the Cooper scene with our newfound conspicuity. I consciously selected paper holders that were the least intrusive both spatially and aesthetically, but feel free to set them aside if you need more space and replace them when you leave. That being said, we would be quite inconsolable if we found our copies to be vandalized, so we hope that you’d at least coexist with us in peace.

Public Participation

Coexistence is the minimum among our goals, however. We encourage students and faculty to not only acknowledge our new appearance, but also to engage with us by reading our offerings and learning more about the community we share. To take it one step further, we welcome everybody to become involved in our newspaper as well; instead of operating with the same team of writers from the beginning of the year, we are open to anyone with an idea and the inspiration to write.

To contribute an article to Dragon Tales, all you need to do is submit your writing (and photos, if you have them) to our Google Drive folder, which you can access via the QR code on the back covers of our prints. You don’t need to attend any of our meetings to pass along your work. We have a team of editors to ensure all articles are grammatically correct and readable so that our writers aren’t impeded by their level of confidence in writing.

But it’s just as reasonable not to know where to start; that’s why this year, we have created our first article guidelines and are continually hosting club meetings that allow time for individual guidance on the writing process. We recommend attending one of our meetings if you need support, but even if you can’t make it, Felicity and I can answer all your questions via email. We’d also love to help you brainstorm if you want to be part of our newspaper but are unsure of what to write about.

Article Releases

To accommodate the addition of public participation, we are experimenting with a rolling submission system for our articles. This is a major change to the framework of Dragon Tales, which has always set deadlines for submissions and released articles together for every issue. Rather than collecting and publishing articles in batches, we will allow writers to submit an article at any time and release it individually as soon as it is edited and ready to be published. Of course, we will still establish deadlines for those who prefer them.

A continual, open timeline of article publications would create a more free-flowing circulation of journalism in the school. Submitting articles to Dragon Tales shouldn’t be simply seen as a deadline to meet but as a constantly available opportunity to present one’s ideas and experiences. We want every student to be conscious of the open option to reach the community whenever they have a story to tell or an opinion to voice. A fluid publishing procedure also helps integrate public participation, as those outside the club may freely submit their writing at every whim without the burden of considering timeframes.

More practically, rolling submissions allows each article to be published on any day and quickly enough to keep information time-relevant. We envision Dragon Tales as less of a quarterly bombardment of stories and more of a dynamic news source that you keep up with.

Since articles will come out independently rather than within a group, each can receive individual exposure and attain proper engagement without diluting the audience’s attention with articles released simultaneously. We plan to “feature” or spotlight our newest articles so that both the author achieves their intended reach and the community can easily discover what’s most relevant right now.

What’s Next?

This year’s changes were implemented with one thing in mind: our community. Through Dragon Tales, we strive to provide a readily accessible pathway to explore the vibrant, dynamic Cooper world we’re part of. The value of our newspaper is not grounded in the mere existence of articles but in meaningful interactions between community members and journalism on campus.

In light of this, we welcome students to embrace these new opportunities within Dragon Tales. If you’d like to see your own work printed around campus and showcased on our website, don’t hesitate to submit your writing or reach out for help to get started. If you’re not necessarily interested in writing, we hope you’ll follow us to immerse yourself in the narratives and perspectives that define our school community.

These initiatives wouldn’t matter without the support and enthusiasm of individuals like you, so thank you once again for helping make Dragon Tales what it’s meant to be.

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