IHSPA spring contests seek the best work of Iowa high school publications for the past year.
IHSPA has several new rules and features, please review the rules and forms.
IHSPA contests offer awards for:
Writing, reporting & opinion
Art & illustrations & design
Contest period: All work must have been published or posted between – March 9, 2014 and March 13, 2015 by current students at IHSPA member schools.
Deadlines: The entries must be submitted online by March 16 at 5 pm. No hard copy will be accepted.
When you submit entries, you will receive an emailed confirmation. Once you have submitted all your school’s entries you will need to complete the business form that tallies the entries.
School size classification: The news contests have three major classifications – small, medium and large school – based on enrollment. In an effort to achieve similar-sized competition pools, IHSPA uses a system to classify enrollment. Please indicate your 9-12 official enrollment. When all the entries have arrived the classes will be determined by dividing those entered into thirds. There will no longer be separate contests for those papers publishing in a magazine, newspaper, or one-page insert. All schools are put in classes by size only.
$1 per entry.
Schools are allowed to enter up to five entries in each category.
Member schools entering the contests are automatically entered into the sweepstakes competition. If your students/school places in a contest your school is awarded points for first, second, third, fourth, fifth and Awards of Excellence (up to 2) in the categories of Writing, Photography and Art/Illustration/Design and Web.
Sweepstakes points are awarded in each of the school size classifications. Consider entering more to improve your chances in Sweepstakes.
New this year, one overall News Team of the Year in each size class will be named.
There are 22 categories. Schools are allowed to enter all categories. Most schools do not produce all the media possibilities represented in this contest. IHSPA will allow each school to enter all the categories to provide as many student awards as possible. For the team award we are limiting each school to pick 18 categories to count toward the point total. To achieve equity advisers must identify three categories from the entire contest that will not count toward sweeps points. This is much like the Yearbook contest that only allows 24 of 25 categories as many yearbooks do have host advertising. So enter your students’ work, get them honored for their individual contributions and pick three categories that will not count toward the team total.
The News Team of the year replaces sweepstakes awards for photo, writing and design.
Business form for spring contest to be completed when last entry has been completed.
A story that uses straight, objective news reporting, while containing a very high level of newsworthiness, factual information, and relevance to high school students. The story may appear in print or online.
Stories that probe beyond the normal five Ws and H that are based on research and extensive interviewing. The story may appear in print or online.
Exploration of a topic, event or person. It focuses on human interest, and has a high level emotional interest. The story may appear in print or online.
A story that focuses on a single person and develops the story around their conflicts, successes and struggles. The story may appear in print or online.
A story covering the news and events of a sports team, athlete or event. The story may appear in print or online.
An opinion piece that represents the viewpoint of the staff on a current issue. Great pieces take a clear stand and provide solutions for change. The story may appear in print or online.
An opinion piece that represents one writer’s stand on a local issue that the school or community is facing. The story may appear in print or online.
A photo that is of a newsworthy event that captures the moment, emotion, or scene. The photo must not be staged or have any effects or alterations. The story may appear in print or online.
A photo of a sporting event. Great photos capture decisive moments with clarity and usually contain strong emotions. The story may appear in print or online.
A photo that is used with a feature story. These can be a variety of different shots, have Photoshop effects and possibly be staged environmental portraits. The story may appear in print or online.
A collection of photos that tell a story with well written captions. This collection of photos can stand on its own without a written story or accompany a story. The story may appear in print or online.
Art & design
Illustration or Art
Student produced art, drawings, or cartoons that work with a story or stand alone. It can be produced by hand or on a computer. All art must be original work by the artist.
Art & design
Information presented in a graphic presentation that usually includes graphs, numbers, charts, and descriptions.
Art & design
News Magazine – One Page Design
Any cover or one page design in a magazine publication. Strong entries will use powerful graphics, images, and headlines to grab the audience’s attention.
Art & design
News Magazine-Two Page Design
A two-page design from a magazine publication. Strong entries will use powerful graphics, images, and headlines to grab the audience’s attention.
Art & design
Newspaper – One Page Design
A single page design from a newspaper publication. Strong entries will use powerful graphics, images, and headlines to grab the audience’s attention.
Art & design
Newspaper – Two page Design
A two page design from a newspaper usually the double truck or the two center pages. Strong entries will use powerful graphics, images, and headlines to grab the audience’s attention.
Judges will look for a clean design that has a unique image header, there is not any or little white space, images are sized to fit posts correctly, site has a customized favicon, images are original, and it is easy to navigate through the site. Top sites will be mobile friendly and try to reach the high school audience through interesting and effective design.
The story should use a variety of elements including written text, photos, videos, audio, infographics and interactive elements. A great multimedia story should be well designed, have a wide range of content that could fall into the category of feature, in-depth news or long form journalism. Opinion stories will not be considered in this category. Judges will reward stories that demonstrate a spirit of experimentation by taking risks and trying new things.
Judges will be looking for slideshows where a photographer has used ten or fewer photos. Each photo needs to be captioned, and given photo credit. There should be a variety of close-up, medium, and wide angle shots. Photos are optimized for the web and the slideshow runs smoothly. Winning entries will have emotion, freeze action shots, and tell a powerful story in the slideshow.
This category will be judged based on regular posting of a variety of stories and use of social media to draw viewers to the site. To enter submit your analytics for the year from September through February. Schools will also submit a link to their social media sites (up to five). Top schools will have stories regularly posted in NEWS/BREAKING NEWS, SPORTS, OPINION, and FEATURE. Top schools will use social media to draw viewers to their site. School population will be considered by the judges when evaluating analytics.
Judges will be looking for video stories that have high interest to high school students, contain more than two interviews where the audience can clearly hear the interviews, uses multiple camera angles, doesn’t have shaky camerawork, doesn’t use copyrighted material, uses natural sound, uses “b-roll” footage effectively, has good lighting, interesting backgrounds, uses narration by the reporter and effective editing that helps tell the story.
News Team of the year
Based on points each school earns by placing in the writing, photography, online and design categories.