Please review MIPA Individual Category Contest rules and information about MIPA's Spartan critique service. Please read and share MIPA’s Copyright & Plagiarism Policy with your students.
  1. Entry form worksheets are available to help you gather all of the information you need to fill out the online entry forms.
  2. Entries should ONLY be submitted using the adviser's Submittable log-in.
  3. Select the appropriate category below and follow the instructions to submit your entry.
  4. Prepare your entry in the file format indicated in the category description (PDF, JPG, etc.)
  5. To view all of your submissions, from the DASHBOARD menu at the top of the page, select My Submissions. A sortable list of all of your submissions will appear.
  6. To pay for each entry as you submit it, choose the categories with the "Pay Now" label. If you select this, you will need to enter credit card information each time you submit an entry. To pay for all of your entries together by check or purchase order, or to request an invoice to pay for multiple contests in a single payment, choose the categories without the "Pay by Invoice" label and see http://mipamsu.org/submit for directions on tallying your entries and submitting payment.
  7. The system will stop accepting entries at 11:59 p.m. on the posted deadline.
Use this category to test submissions to the MIPA Contests. Submitting entries into this category will NOT enter them into any contest.

Feature writing and reporting on school and community from the student life section of the book. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, relevant, engaging angle
  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar

Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Feature writing and reporting on school and community from the student life section of the book. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, relevant, engaging angle
  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018

Sports reporting for season that makes reader feel the she/he is reliving the season. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story gives reader a clear picture of season high-lights and outcome with relevant player comments
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar


Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Sports reporting for season that makes reader feel the she/he is reliving the season. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story gives reader a clear picture of season high-lights and outcome with relevant player comments
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar


Any topic that spotlights an unusual aspect of any event, a coach, a player or any controversy. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, relevant, engaging feature angle
  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story meaningfully adds to sports coverage
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Any topic that spotlights an unusual aspect of any event, a coach, a player or any controversy. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, relevant, engaging feature angle
  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story meaningfully adds to sports coverage
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018

Any copy which features a department, a subject or unusual academic direction but not a personality profile of a teacher.An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, relevant, engaging angle
  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story goes beyond simply reviewing what happens in classroom
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Any copy which features a department, a subject or unusual academic direction but not a personality profile of a teacher.An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, relevant, engaging angle
  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story goes beyond simply reviewing what happens in classroom
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar

A story that gives the reader a fresh view of the organization. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story does not center on purpose of group or simply review their activities
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

A story that gives the reader a fresh view of the organization. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story does not center on purpose of group or simply review their activities
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018

Writing focusing on one teacher, staff member or student that makes the character three dimensional. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, relevant, engaging angle that makes story worthy of inclusion
  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story goes beyond superficial coverage to give a total perspective and feel for the subject
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Writing focusing on one teacher, staff member or student that makes the character three dimensional. An individual story may not be submitted in more than one writing category. Submit a single PDF of the page(s) showing the entry. CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH STORY YOU WISH JUDGED if there are multiple stories on the page.

Judging Criteria

  • Clear, relevant, engaging angle that makes story worthy of inclusion
  • Solid lead that draws reader into story
  • Meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Story goes beyond superficial coverage to give a total perspective and feel for the subject
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: short paragraphs, effective transitions and use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018

Any coverage on a topic that adds to spread contents. Submit entire spread and note the coverage you wish judged BY INCLUDING THE SIDEBAR’S HEADLINE ON THE ENTRY FORM. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Coverage adds to spread contents
  • Sidebar should have its own mini-headline
  • Content is in a form that makes it appealing as well as easily accessible to the reader
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Contents enhance spread coverage by adding meaningful information and/or insights
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Any coverage on a topic that adds to spread contents. Submit entire spread and note the coverage you wish judged BY INCLUDING THE SIDEBAR’S HEADLINE ON THE ENTRY FORM. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Coverage adds to spread contents
  • Sidebar should have its own mini-headline
  • Content is in a form that makes it appealing as well as easily accessible to the reader
  • Evidence of adequate research
  • Contents enhance spread coverage by adding meaningful information and/or insights
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: use of active voice freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018

Include three secondary and primary headlines per entry. Submit entire spreads. CLEARLY INDICATE ON THE ENTRY FORM WHICH HEADLINES YOU WISH JUDGED. Do not submit label headlines or one-word headlines with no secondary headline. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Clever/imaginative, engaging the reader
  • Draws reader into copy
  • Contents of headline establishes visual/verbal connection between photos and copy
  • Headline/subhead makes spread content clear
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: avoiding label headlines freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Include three secondary and primary headlines per entry. Submit entire spreads. CLEARLY INDICATE ON THE ENTRY FORM WHICH HEADLINES YOU WISH JUDGED. Do not submit label headlines or one-word headlines with no secondary headline. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Clever/imaginative, engaging the reader
  • Draws reader into copy
  • Contents of headline establishes visual/verbal connection between photos and copy
  • Headline/subhead makes spread content clear
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including: avoiding label headlines freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018

Captions that have been written for three photographs, one of which must be for a sport. All three captions do not have to be from the same writer or spread. CLEARLY INDICATE ON THE ENTRY FORM WHICH CAPTIONS YOU WISH JUDGED. Submit SINGLE PDF of page(s) showing both caption and accompanying photo. DO NOT INCLUDE ENTIRE SPREADS.

Judging Criteria

  • Begin with strong leads, not name or title
  • Contain at least two sentences that answer all reader’s questions without stating the obvious
  • Evidence of adequate research which provides information that adds to reader’s understanding of event or situation
  • Clearly identifies all people in photo with both first and last names (sports captions should also identify names of players on opposing team)
  • Adhere to rules of good journalism including: active voice usually first sentence in present tense and remaining sentences in past tense to stop action freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Captions that have been written for three photographs, one of which must be for a sport. All three captions do not have to be from the same writer or spread. CLEARLY INDICATE ON THE ENTRY FORM WHICH CAPTIONS YOU WISH JUDGED.  submit SINGLE PDF of page(s) showing both caption and accompanying photo. DO NOT INCLUDE ENTIRE SPREADS.

Judging Criteria

  • Begin with strong leads, not name or title
  • Contain at least two sentences that answer all reader’s questions without stating the obvious
  • Evidence of adequate research which provides information that adds to reader’s understanding of event or situation
  • Clearly identifies all people in photo with both first and last names (sports captions should also identify names of players on opposing team)
  • Adhere to rules of good journalism including: active voice usually first sentence in present tense and remaining sentences in past tense to stop action freedom from editorial comment careful editing and proofreading to eliminate mechanical errors correct use of grammar
Ends on February 16, 2018

One spread from student life section. (Middle schools may enter a single page.) Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content; content concentrates on action photos
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer. For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

One spread from student life section. (Middle schools may enter a single page.) Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content; content concentrates on action photos
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer. For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018

One spread from the sports section. (Middle schools may enter a single page.) Submit a PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content; content concentrates on action photos
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in the gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer. For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader.
  • If team pictures are included on spread, they are not used as dominant element and are arranged to blend with overall design
  • If scoreboards are included on spread, they are attractively designed to blend with the overall look of the spread and set in a readable font and size
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

One spread from the sports section. (Middle schools may enter a single page.) Submit a PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content; content concentrates on action photos
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in the gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer. For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader.
  • If team pictures are included on spread, they are not used as dominant element and are arranged to blend with overall design
  • If scoreboards are included on spread, they are attractively designed to blend with the overall look of the spread and set in a readable font and size
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018

One spread from the academic section. (Middle schools may enter a single page.) Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content; content concentrates on action photos of students engaged in learning, not on teachers
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in the gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer. For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader.
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

One spread from the academic section. (Middle schools may enter a single page.) Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content; content concentrates on action photos of students engaged in learning, not on teachers
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in the gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer. For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader.
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018

One spread from the organization section. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). (Middle schools may enter a single page.) FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content; content concentrates on action photos
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in the gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer.
  • For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader.
  • If group pictures are included on spread, they are not the dominant element and are arranged to blend with the overall design of the spread
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

One spread from the organization section. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). (Middle schools may enter a single page.) FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), be sure to save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content; content concentrates on action photos
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in the gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer.
  • For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader.
  • If group pictures are included on spread, they are not the dominant element and are arranged to blend with the overall design of the spread
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018

One spread from either student or faculty/administration coverage. Spread must include mug shots. (Middle schools may enter a single page.)Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in the gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer. For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader.
  • Mug shots are arranged in panels with names to the outside
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines

Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

One spread from either student or faculty/administration coverage. Spread must include mug shots. (Middle schools may enter a single page.)Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Dominance is established and other elements are arranged in such a way as to lead reader’s eye around spread
  • Adequate external margins provide frame for spread contents and are defined by at least one element on each side
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape and content
  • No center of interest in photo is trapped in the gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
  • Captions touch photos to which they refer. For group or clustered captions attention has been paid to making them easily accessible to reader.
  • Mug shots are arranged in panels with names to the outside
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines
Ends on February 16, 2018

A colophon includes technical aspects of the book and printing as well as a listing of the yearbook staff and adviser. It may include press association memberships, previous awards and other information. It is not simply a letter from the editor, although this may be included. Submit a single PDF of the page or spread(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as a visual unit; arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader into the design and show careful planning
  • Acknowledgments are tastefully presented.
  • Center of interest in photo(s) is not trapped in gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design and relate to the theme
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

A colophon includes technical aspects of the book and printing as well as a listing of the yearbook staff and adviser. It may include press association memberships, previous awards and other information. It is not simply a letter from the editor, although this may be included. Submit a single PDF of the page or spread(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

  • Designed as a visual unit; arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader into the design and show careful planning
  • Acknowledgments are tastefully presented.
  • Center of interest in photo(s) is not trapped in gutter; action and faces in photos do not face off spread
  • Non-rectangular photos, tilted photos and other special treatments are used sparingly and effectively to enhance overall design
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design and relate to the theme
  • Copy and captions are readable size and use readable font

Note: 1 entry = a portfolio of 3 student-created advertisements

A portfolio of three advertisements for a business, organization, product or service, completely designed by a student. (Ad may use a professionally designed company logo. In the entry form, please describe any elements in the ad that are not created by the student entrant.) Submit a PDF or JPG of the advertisement.

Judging Criteria

  • Each ad contains a clear key message responding to a student or community need and promotes a specific product or service offered by a business.
  • Each ad has a strong center of visual interest/a clear dominant element that supports the key message. (Unless designing a business card ad, this typically is not the logo of the business.)
  • Includes a well-written headline to attract interest and promote the ad’s key message; the headline is not the name of the business
  • Copy follows up on the headline and further explains the ad’s key message
  • Each ad includes the name and contact information of the business and may include its logo; other information that might encourage readers to take action may be included
  • The elements in the design encourage the reader’s eye to view all parts of the ad
  • Typography enhances readability and attractiveness of design. Typically limited to one or two typefaces.
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Note: 1 entry = a portfolio of 3 student-created advertisements

A portfolio of three advertisements for a business, organization, product or service, completely designed by a student. (Ad may use a professionally designed company logo. In the entry form, please describe any elements in the ad that are not created by the student entrant.) Submit a PDF or JPG of the advertisement.

Judging Criteria

  • Each ad contains a clear key message responding to a student or community need and promotes a specific product or service offered by a business.
  • Each ad has a strong center of visual interest/a clear dominant element that supports the key message. (Unless designing a business card ad, this typically is not the logo of the business.)
  • Includes a well-written headline to attract interest and promote the ad’s key message; the headline is not the name of the business
  • Copy follows up on the headline and further explains the ad’s key message
  • Each ad includes the name and contact information of the business and may include its logo; other information that might encourage readers to take action may be included
  • The elements in the design encourage the reader’s eye to view all parts of the ad
  • Typography enhances readability and attractiveness of design. Typically limited to one or two typefaces.


Note: 1 entry = a portfolio of 3 student-created advertisements

A proud parent ad completely designed by a student. (In the entry form, please describe any elements in the ad that are not created by the student entrant.) Submit a PDF or JPG of the advertisement.

Judging Criteria

  • Each ad contains a clear key message congratulating a student (or students)
  • Each ad has a strong center of visual interest/a clear dominant element
  • Each ad includes the name(s) of student(s) being congratulated
  • The elements in the design encourage the reader’s eye to view all parts of the ad.
  • Typography enhances readability and attractiveness of design. Typically limited to one or two typefaces.
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Note: 1 entry = a portfolio of 3 student-created advertisements

A proud parent ad completely designed by a student. (In the entry form, please describe any elements in the ad that are not created by the student entrant.) Submit a PDF or JPG of the advertisement.

Judging Criteria

  • Each ad contains a clear key message congratulating a student (or students)
  • Each ad has a strong center of visual interest/a clear dominant element
  • Each ad includes the name(s) of student(s) being congratulated
  • The elements in the design encourage the reader’s eye to view all parts of the ad.
  • Typography enhances readability and attractiveness of design. Typically limited to one or two typefaces.


Ends on February 16, 2018

One spread illustrating contemporary use of graphics. Most often this includes elements created using Photoshop, Illustrator or similar programs. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF. If there are multiple graphics on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which graphic you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Graphics add to spread content and design
  • Use of graphics shows evidence of careful planning and clear purpose: to unify, separate, emphasize or direct
  • While graphic use may be innovative, the staff adheres to journalistic guidelines
  • Graphics are not used simply to decorate or fill space
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

One spread illustrating contemporary use of graphics. Most often this includes elements created using Photoshop, Illustrator or similar programs. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF. If there are multiple graphics on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which graphic you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Graphics add to spread content and design
  • Use of graphics shows evidence of careful planning and clear purpose: to unify, separate, emphasize or direct
  • While graphic use may be innovative, the staff adheres to journalistic guidelines
  • Graphics are not used simply to decorate or fill space
Ends on February 16, 2018

Any non-portrait action photo directly related to sporting events should be entered in this category. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong story-telling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Any non-portrait action photo directly related to sporting events should be entered in this category. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong story-telling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition

Photos in this category should be non-portrait, non-sports-action photos based on the drama and emotion characteristic of the athletic contest. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong story-telling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Photos in this category should be non-portrait, non-sports-action photos based on the drama and emotion characteristic of the athletic contest. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong story-telling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition


Photos in this category must show the personality and/or character of the people photographed. No more than two subjects should be featured in the picture. Sports portraits should be entered in this category. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong storytelling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Photos in this category must show the personality and/or character of the people photographed. No more than two subjects should be featured in the picture. Sports portraits should be entered in this category. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong storytelling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018

A photograph that has been manipulated using digital technologies or other tools in post-production to illustrate a concept or idea. Manipulation should go beyond minor adjustments (such as toning) to apply effects to the image in a way that distorts reality. It should be clear the image is a created situation. Do not submit posed portraits, which should be submitted in Y-21. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo illustrations may be in color and will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Image displays creativity and artistic license to illustrate a point and tell a story
  • Manipulation of the photograph is obvious; illustration is not designed to deceive a reasonable viewer
  • Image has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong:
    • in focus
    • proper contrast
    • not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

A photograph that has been manipulated using digital technologies or other tools in post-production to illustrate a concept or idea. Manipulation should go beyond minor adjustments (such as toning) to apply effects to the image in a way that distorts reality. It should be clear the image is a created situation. Do not submit posed portraits, which should be submitted in Y-21. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo illustrations may be in color and will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Image displays creativity and artistic license to illustrate a point and tell a story
  • Manipulation of the photograph is obvious; illustration is not designed to deceive a reasonable viewer
  • Image has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong:
    • in focus
    • proper contrast
    • not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018

Photos that depict students in a learning situation either in or out of class should be entered in this category. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the print page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong storytelling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Photos that depict students in a learning situation either in or out of class should be entered in this category. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the print page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong storytelling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition


Photos that depict students engaged in a club/performance-related activity either in or out of school. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the print page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong storytelling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition


Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Photos that depict students engaged in a club/performance-related activity either in or out of school. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the print page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong storytelling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018

Photos in this category should convey the spirit and emotion evident at school-related functions. Photographs depicting team spirit should NOT be entered in this category; they should be entered in the SPORTS FEATURE CATEGORY.  You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the print page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong storytelling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition
Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

Photos in this category should convey the spirit and emotion evident at school-related functions. Photographs depicting team spirit should NOT be entered in this category; they should be entered in the SPORTS FEATURE CATEGORY. You must include the caption, or the entry will be disqualified. Photo may be in color. Photos will be judged on the quality of the photo as printed and how it was used in the publication. Submit a PDF of the print page on which the photo was published, showing how the photo was displayed with story and caption. (Recommended: You may also submit the photo as a JPG.) Photos may NOT be submitted for more than one photo category. If there are multiple photos on the page, clearly indicate on the entry form which photo you wish judged.

Judging Criteria

  • Photo has strong storytelling content
  • Photo has been effectively cropped to emphasize center of interest and enhance content
  • Photo is technically strong: in focus; proper contrast; not too grainy or muddy
  • Photographer paid attention to rules of composition

An unusual feature spread from any section or multiple spreads designed as a unit to explore a topic; typically non-traditional coverage (i.e., not homecoming, a sport or other annual activity typically covered every year in the book). Mini-mags, special sections and special supplements may be entered in this category. Subject selection, writing, photography and design will be considered. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

Writing

  • Copy has engaging angle, solid lead and meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Captions begin with strong lead and contain at least two sentences that answer all reader’s questions and clearly identifies all people
  • Copy and captions show evidence of adequate research
  • Clever, engaging headline that draws reader into story and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including:
    • use of active voice
    • freedom from editorial comment
    • careful editing and proofreading
    • correct use of grammar
  • *For more detail, see complete criteria for categories 1, 8, 9 and 10

Design

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Special treatments are used sparingly and effectively
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines

Photography

  • Photos have strong story-telling content and are effectively cropped
  • Photos are technically strong and show evidence of composition rules


Ends on February 16, 2018$2.00
$2.00

An unusual feature spread from any section or multiple spreads designed as a unit to explore a topic; typically non-traditional coverage (i.e., not homecoming, a sport or other annual activity typically covered every year in the book). Mini-mags, special sections and special supplements may be entered in this category. Subject selection, writing, photography and design will be considered. Submit a single PDF of the page(s). FOR SPREADS (a spread is two facing pages), save your PDF as a spread, creating a single horizontal page out of two vertical pages. Otherwise, the judges may not see both pages of your spread together and will not get the full impact of your design. Consult your design software Help guide for assistance saving a spread as a PDF.

Judging Criteria

Writing

  • Copy has engaging angle, solid lead and meaningful student quotes that enrich story and reflect effective interviewing
  • Captions begin with strong lead and contain at least two sentences that answer all reader’s questions and clearly identifies all people
  • Copy and captions show evidence of adequate research
  • Clever, engaging headline that draws reader into story and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • Adheres to rules of good journalism including:
    • use of active voice
    • freedom from editorial comment
    • careful editing and proofreading
    • correct use of grammar
  • *For more detail, see complete criteria for categories 1, 8, 9 and 10

Design

  • Designed as two-page visual unit, arrangement of photos, headline, copy, captions and white space invite reader onto spread and show careful planning
  • Special treatments are used sparingly and effectively
  • Graphics and typography enhance readability and attractiveness of design
  • Headline has contemporary design and establishes visual/verbal connection
  • While designs may be innovative, they adhere to journalistic guidelines

Photography

  • Photos have strong story-telling content and are effectively cropped
  • Photos are technically strong and show evidence of composition rules