Welcome to the 2016 KSPA Regional Contest!

The association is excited to host the hundreds of student journalists and their advisers from all over the state during these exciting days of competition. We are excited to see students apply their journalism knowledge and publications energy toward our contests.

With any contest of this scale, there are many details to address. Please read this page and documents as closely as possible. We hope that it will answer most of your questions.

However, please keep in touch with any questions you might have. You can reach KSPA assistant Kerry Navinskey and KSPA executive director Eric Thomas at (785) 864-0605 and [email protected].

Thanks so much. And good luck!

About Your Regional Location


  • Feb. 11 :: All registrations must be made via the KSPAonline registration
  • Feb. 11 :: Please notify contest coordinators of special accommodations for any of your students
  • Feb. 18 at 11:59 p.m. :: All digital submissions must be uploaded to online submission site
  • Feb. 24 :: Regional contest at KU (3A/4A, 5A/6A Crimson and 5A/6A Blue) (Note this is a Wednesday.)
  • Feb. 25 :: Regional contests at . . .
    • Fort Hays State University (3A/4A and 1A/2A)
    • Emporia State University (3A/4A)
    • Kansas State University (3A/4A and 1A/2A)
    • Wichita State University (1A/2A, 5A/6A Sunflower and 5A/6A Black)
    • Pittsburg State University (3A/4A)
  • March 13 :: Contest results posted

Three Contest Changes


With a new judging process in place, KSPA now offers advisers the opportunity to register for contests without providing the students’ names. This change should allow maximum flexibility for schools in the case of absences, illnesses or other obstacles. 

For digital submission contests, students will provide their names when submitting their files. For on-site contests, students will record their name on the prompt and response in an a way that is anonymous to judges.


Once a school has registered for the contest, no refunds can be issued. Schools may register for additional entries but cannot reduce the number of entries. (Each additional submission of registration information will include an additional registration fee.) All payments are due to the KSPA office before certificates or judging feedback will be returned to the school.


Please note that the KU regional contests are on a Wednesday this year, unlike previous years.

Schedule for contest days

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  • Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016: Regionals at KU
  • Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016: Regionals at FHSU, ESU, PSU, KSU and WSU

The following schedule applies to all (except Wichita) regional locations and all dates:

  • 8:30 a.m. Regional contest desk opens for questions & assistance
  • 9 a.m. Opening remarks & instructions
  • 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Session One
    • Copy Editing
    • Sports Writing
    • Editorial Cartoon
    • Yearbook Copy Writing
    • Feature Writing
  • 11:10 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. Session Two
    • News Writing
    • Cutline Writing
    • Editorial Writing
    • Yearbook Sports Writing

 Regional contacts

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Questions about registration, payment or substitutions?

  • Kerry Navinskey, KSPA Offices, 1435 Jayhawk Boulevard, Lawrence KS 66045, (785) 864-0605, [email protected]

Questions about special student accommodations, parking, location, etc.?

  • Emporia State University: Ron Feemster, Emporia State University, [email protected]
  • Fort Hays State University: Latisha Haag, Fort Hays State University, 785-624-6356, [email protected]
  • Kansas State University: Kelly Glasscock, Kansas State University, (785) 370-6353
    [email protected]
  • Pittsburg State University: Gerard Attoun, Pittsburg State University, (620) 235-4809, [email protected]
  • University of Kansas: Kerry Navinskey, KSPA Offices, (785) 864-0605, [email protected]
  • Wichita State University: Amy DeVault, Wichita State University, (316) 978-6052, [email protected] 

Contest Divisions and Regional Assignments

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KSPA competitions are divided into three classifications for competition:

  • 1A and 2A schools
  • 3A and 4A schools
  • 5A and 6A schools

A minimum of four schools must compete in each division at each regional to have a valid contest. The executive director is authorized by KSPA’s board to assign schools as necessary to equalize competition and to ensure that at least four schools compete in each division at each site. 

You can find the list of Regional Contest assignments and school codes here.

On-site contests

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On-site contests are proctored at one of the six state universities that host our contests. Those host institutions will provide KSPA-written prompts asking students to write or edit according to directions and within the time provided. Nine on-site contests will be offered:

Digital Submission Contests

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Ten digital submission contests will be offered. Please click on the links below for the 2016 prompts, including the submission link for each contest.

Two contests (Multimedia Storytelling and Online Photo Gallery) will be at the state level only.

Digital Submission contests must be uploaded using the online submission process that KSPA has designed. This system will allow upload of jpg (JPEG) files for photography contests and pdf (Adobe Acrobat) files for design categories. Almost every photography or design software should be capable of creating files for submission. In the event that you don’t have the software, KSPA has included instructions of how to use an online service to prepare jpg image files.

Please note: To make administration of the contest run more smoothly and efficiently, the KSPA contest committee has a school and student coding system for the 2015 Regional Contest. Instructions are below.


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Each school may enter two entries in each contest.

Each individual student . . .

  • may enter up to five contests
  • is limited to no more than two on-site contests (please be sure that the contest are proctored at different times on site)

In the Yearbook Theme and Graphics competition, schools may register

  • two teams of two individuals per team, or
  • two individuals, or
  • one team and one individual.


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The fee for each entry remains $10.

  • Payment may be made online by credit card at the time of registration.
  • For payment by check, please make checks payable to KSPA and send the check to KSPA, 1435 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 318, Lawrence, KS 66045.
  • Student certificates and judging feedback will not be returned until payment in full is received to the KSPA office.

Student Supervision

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Students must remain on the contest premises where they are competing throughout the day. Advisers must accompany students to the contest site. At the regional level, KSPA will not provide any scheduled activities for digital submission entrants. As a result, unless these students are also competing on the site, they need not attend the contest.


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Each student will be responsible for his/her lunch. Food service is available on each campus.

Check In

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Once registration closes on Thursday, Feb. 11, the director of each contest site will send advisers additional information on parking, food facilities, location of registration and contests.


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The director of each regional contest is authorized to enforce the rules approved by the KSPA executive committee. If any adviser violates the rules, his/her students will be disqualified and the principal of the school involved will be notified. Advisers are prohibited from entering the rooms where entries are being judged.

Advisers are not to give advice or suggestions on digital submission contests. Student questions should be directed to the KSPA assistant and executive director through [email protected]

Awards and Judging

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Certificates will be awarded in regional contests to the first-, second- and third-place winners as well as to three honorable mentions. Award winners are then eligible to compete in the state competition Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the University of Kansas.

Judges will be journalism faculty, former high school advisers no longer employed by a school district, graduate students, journalism students and professional journalists. Whenever possible, critique forms will be provided with each entry. Judges are encouraged to make comments on all entries. Please keep in ming that judges volunteer their services to KSPA without pay.

Students with Special Needs

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Please be advised that people with special needs will be given an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from all contests sponsored by KSPA and the cooperating institutions that act as hosts. If you or any of your students need to be so accommodated, please let the appropriate contest director know what these accommodations are before Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016.

On-site Contest Rules & Tips

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Two entries per category per school are allowed.

  • Cutline Writing: Students will write cutlines for five photos provided at the contest site. Students may write in pen or pencil. Paper will be provided at the contest site. Students may use dictionary, thesaurus and AP Stylebooks. Personal listening devices, recording devices and personal computers are prohibited during the contest.
  • Writing Contests: (Yearbook copy, yearbook sports, feature, news, sports and editorial writing contests). Students will write a story based on information provided on a fact sheet. Students may write in pen or pencil. Paper will be provided. Students may use dictionary, thesaurus and AP Stylebooks. Personal listening devices, recording devices and personal computers are prohibited during the contest.
  • Editorial Cartoon Contest: Students will design a cartoon relevant to the topic provided on the fact sheet. The final entry should be submitted in black ink. Do not place your signature anywhere on the entry. Paper will be provided. Students may use dictionary, thesaurus and AP Stylebooks. Personal listening devices, recording devices and personal computers are prohibited during the contest.
  • Copyediting Contest: Students will edit a news story. Students should edit for AP style, accuracy, libel, attribution, correct paragraphing, grammar, spelling and redundancy. Correct copy editing symbols must be used. Students should edit in pencil. Students may use dictionary, thesaurus and AP style manuals. Personal listening devices, recording devices and personal computers are prohibited during the contest.

Inclement Weather Policy

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Under this policy, schools must make every attempt to attend the regional contest to which they are assigned. However, if a district official prohibits travel to a contest site because of snow and/or ice on the roads, the policy outlines a procedure by which students may compete at their school under strict guidelines. This policy covers only the on-site contests. 

If bad weather prevents a school to bypass travel to its regional contest, the deadline for digital submission submission contests will stand. Please read the full policy for specific details.

Delayed Judging Necessary

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From the Inclement Weather Policy:

“Because contest coordinators at KU, KSU, PSU, WSU, ESU and FHSU can no longer guarantee that all schools will compete on the day of the contest, they will have to delay judging to accommodate any schools that can’t make it to their site. Often, the most difficult part of contest coordination is finding enough judges to meet all at once, in one space. Further, coordinators have to arrange for the space and judges weeks, if not months, in advance. Thus, all judging will be done within two weeks of the end of the contests and not on the day of the contest. Results will not be posted until Friday, March 13, on the KSPA website.”

Simply Better

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To review the winning entries in every contest held at the 2015 KSPA State Contest in May 2015, click here.

To review the winning entries in every contest held at the 2014 KSPA State Contest in May 2014, choose from the files below:

  • Largest file size :: (NO PREVIEW available, must download) best for printing and reading clarity, but slower download (115 MB)
  • Smaller file size :: better for fast download, but graphics may not print well (4.1 MB)

Contest Results

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All results from the 2016 regional contests will be posted below.

All first-, second- and third-place entries, as well as all three honorable mentions in each category, advance to the state competition, set for Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the Kansas Union on the campus of the University of Kansas. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with a general session at 9 a.m. and contests at 9:30 a.m. Return to our website for more details about the State Contest (including the carry-in contest prompts) as they become available. Digital submission prompts will be available in April.

KSPA and its affiliated universities would like to thank all members and judges for their patience during this time. 


Registration is now closed.


KSPA sincerely appreciates your support of the organization and our activities. Please stay in touch and let us know how we can make the contest even better in the future.


Thomas Sig





Eric Thomas, KSPA Executive Director