Contests and Critiques

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Alabama Journalist of the Year 2016 winner Rebecca Griesbach awards Brady Talbert the 2017 Alabama Journalist of the Year Award.

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING MATERIALS FOR CRITIQUE, PUBLICATION RATINGS AND INDIVIDUAL CONTESTS

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the holiday season, but ASPA competition season.

This year, we encourage digital submissions if possible (excluding yearbooks unless a PDF of yearbook is available). To submit digitally, begin by creating a Google Drive account. Google Drive accounts are free and user-friendly.

ASPA SET DEADLINES FOR CONTESTS

INDIVIDUAL CONTEST ENTRY PROCEDURES

1. Once you’ve created an account, create a “[School Name] Submissions [Year]” folder in your account. This is where all your files will go.

2. Now you’re ready to stock your Submissions folder with all the files you plan to enter. DO NOT use subfolders. Your files will automatically sort alphabetically by the category codes in the file name. FILE NAMES – All file names should follow the same format: CategoryName_School_StudentName. If submitting multiple entries from the same student in the same category, tack on a 1, 2 or 3 at the end of the filename. FILE TYPES – Submit all entries as individual PDFs. Please crop pages down to only the elements being judged in that category.

3. Include one PDF with a composite list of entries, ordered by category with a total file count. This list helps us ensure all submissions were received.

4. Once all your files are in your submissions folder, simply share that folder with aspa@ua.edu. The office will download the files as soon as they are uploaded, and advisers will get an email confirming the submissions have been received.

CRITIQUE AND PUBLICATION RATINGS REQUIREMENT 

Critiques are free with membership. The cost of membership is $25. Please, include your completed membership form in the folder.

Newsmagazine/Newspaper:

Submit PDFs of at least 3 issues of your publication from Jan. 2022-present using the following naming f format (Ex. Newspaper_SCHOOLNAME; Newspaper_SCHOOLNAME(2); Newspaper_SCHOOLNAME(3))

Yearbook:

Submit the 2021-2023 yearbook. When submitting digitally use the following naming format: (EX: YBK_SCHOOLNAME). If not submitting digitally, mail yearbook to:

Dr. Dianne Bragg

Alabama Scholastic Press Association

Box 870172, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0172

Literary Magazine:

Submit a PDF of the 2021-2022 literary magazine using the following naming format (EX: LITMAG_SCHOOLNAME). If not submitting digitally, mail the literary magazine to:

Dr. Dianne Bragg

Alabama Scholastic Press Association

Box 870172, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0172

 

Broadcasting:

Submit a PDF with links to up to 20 minutes of your best whole broadcasts from the current school year using the following naming format (Ex: Broadcast_SCHOOLNAME). This might be only 1-2 weekly shows, but might be 4-5 daily shows. Whatever works for your program. Either way: whole shows, no more than 20 minutes total.

Website:

Submit a PDF of the link using the following naming format (Ex. WEB_SCHOOLNAME).

Deadlines for submitting publications and individual entries is Jan. 9

SENIOR AWARDS

All files should be submitted in one PDF using the following naming format: (Ex. ADVISER_SCHOOLNAME) or (ADMIN_SchoolName)

Deadlines for submitting Adviser and Admin of the Year entries is Jan. 9

 

ALL ENTRIES SHOULD BE SHARED WITH ASPA@UA.EDU

· Bailey Thomson Award for Editorial Writing

· Rick Bragg Award for Feature Writing

· Alabama Broadcasting Association

· Alabama Journalist of the Year Award

 

To apply, candidates should create an online portfolio (i.e. a website) showcasing/explaining examples of their best work: 

• Applicants must be a senior of an ASPA member publication. There is no cap on the number of candidates per school.

• Portfolios should be cumulative of the candidate’s scholastic journalism career and should showcase areas where the candidate excels and/or how they have progressed over their time as a student journalist.

• There are no minimum or maximum limits on examples, however students should endeavor to show judges only their very best work. Samples may be written, linked or embedded on the site. Broadcast/video samples should be no longer than 15 minutes in length.

• Candidates may use any available web platform to create their site. Popular choices include Wordpress, Wix, Adobe Spark, Google Sites, etc. The important thing is that the portfolio be online and shareable via hyperlink.

• The design/concept of the portfolio site is entirely up to the candidate, but attractiveness & ease of navigation do factor into judging.

• Whatever the site’s theme/design, work samples should be organized onto separate pages/tabs using the following categories:

• Some pieces may be cross-listed (ex: a sports story might go under writing, but also sports journalism). Candidates are NOT required to submit examples in all 12 categories (however the more areas in which a candidate excels, the better). Judges will consider both depth and breadth of skills in their evaluations. To submit, simply send us a PDF link to the candidate’s portfolio using the file name format: ASPASENIOR_School_StudentName

Deadlines for submitting publications and individual entries is Jan. 9

SENIOR AWARDS

ADVISER AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS

ADVISER AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS

ALL ENTRIES SHOULD BE SHARED WITH ASPA@UA.EDU

  • Rick Bragg Award for Feature Writing, the state’s top scholastic feature writer:
    This award will be given to the senior who has demonstrated excellence in feature writing throughout his or her high school career. To enter, a student must include at least three examples of feature writing. Rick Bragg is a professor in UA’s Department of Journalism and Creative Media and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work at The New York Times. He is a recipient of the Clarence Cason Award, the Department of Journalism’s annual prize for nonfiction.

  • Bailey Thomson Editorial Writer Award, the state’s top editorial/opinion writer: The award will be given to the senior who has demonstrated excellence in editorial or opinion writing. To enter, the student’s portfolio must include at least three examples of editorial or opinion writing. The late Bailey Thomson was a prize-winning editorial writer for the Mobile Press-Register and a professor of journalism at UA. Thomson was a recipient of the Clarence Cason Award.

  • J.B. Stevenson Scholarship: The portfolios of the winners of the Thomson, Bragg and Journalist of the Year awards – in addition to winning $250 each for each award won – will
    be submitted to the Alabama Press Association for consideration for a $2,500 college scholarship. The winner must plan to major in journalism. The Alabama Press Association honors the late J.B. Stevenson, the son of John Stevenson, publisher and editor of The Randolph Leader in Roanoke, Alabama. J.B. Stevenson made a lasting impression on the journalism community while in middle school and high school.

  • Alex House Journalism Sustainability Award: The Sustainability Award goes to an individual, staff or school who have gone above and beyond to preserve journalism in a democratic society. This awards a student or staff who has recognized the importance and advocated for the presence of their journalism program and the students’ rights for a free press. Students can be nominated by others, or nominate themselves. The last two winners have started or saved journalism at their school, although that is not the only type of winner acceptable. Judges keep an open mind for this award. 

  • Susie DeMent Adviser of the Year Award: Students may nominate their advisers for ASPA’s Susie DeMent Adviser of the Year Award. Advisers may also nominate other advisers. Letters from other students, teachers, administrators and colleagues and a resume may be included in the application. 

  • Larry Haynes Administrator of the Year Award: ASPA members may recognize the contributions of their principals or administrators with the Larry Haynes Administrator of the Year Award. You might want to include the school’s Freedom of Expression Policy and newspaper articles about the nominee. Letters from other students, teachers, administrators and colleagues and a resume may be included in the application.