Contest W3: Yearbook Copy Writing
You will be writing a yearbook feature story. The story should be approximately 400 words. With the aid of computers this year, we are able to enforce this. Please do not write longer than the word limit.
Please use the information provided below. The writer should determine which information is relevant and important to the story. Students may use dictionary, thesaurus and/or the Associated Press style manual.
When you submit, you will simply be submitting plain text. Formatting such as italics, bold and underline will not transfer. Also, paragraph breaks will not transfer. To show the judge your intention to create a paragraph break, please use this double-backslash symbol: // For instance, a passage with two paragraph breaks would look like this:
The school board reversed the policy with an 11-1 vote. // “I disagreed with the decision, but I lost this time,” said board president Yvonnes Nulton. // The policy will go into effect at the start of next school year.
- 3 p.m. Feb. 19: contest materials available
- 11 p.m. Feb. 22: contest submission due
This contest is meant to be completed individually. Please refrain from seeking help from others while completing this contest.
Failure to follow these directions may result in disqualification from the contest without refund. Please read and follow carefully.
- Read over the prompt presented below. The writer should determine which information is relevant and important to the story.
- While writing, you may use resources like the AP Stylebook, an online style guide or a dictionary/thesaurus.
- Use whatever technology works best for you while writing your draft. This could be pencil and paper, your cell phone, your computer, etc. Do whatever you’re most comfortable with.
- Do not include your name or your school’s name anywhere on your final draft.
- Type up the final version of your story and submit it here.
- Please do not share your draft, notes or ideas about the prompt with others until after the competition deadline.
Here is a link to this contest’s judging rubric.
You are a member of Sunflower High School’s journalism staff. Your editor has asked you to write a story for the yearbook.
- Name: Sunflower High School
- Location: Clinton, Kansas
- Mascot: Mighty Buffalo
- Enrollment: 800 (grades 9-12)
- School colors: yellow and brown
- Yearbook: The Sunflower
- Newspaper: Sunflower News
- This is an on-site contest.
- Do not put your name on the entry. If you do, your entry will be disqualified.
- Students must not request help or advice from any person other than the KSPA Executive Director Eric Thomas at [email protected], and that advice must be requested before the start of the contest.
- All work must be solely that of the contestant.
Prompts will be visible at 3 p.m. Feb. 19.
A new club that was started at a school to address systemic racism. There is controversy among the community who believes that taxpayer money should not support such a club.
From Rachel Abrams, junior and co-founder of A Better Tomorrow Club
- “A Better Tomorrow club is meant to be a space for students to talk openly about systemic racism and their experiences with it. We hope to start a discussion about how we as young people can make a change in our community.”
- “It makes me sad that there’s a group of people against our cause. I believe we have the best interest of the community in mind and are doing our part to make a difference.”
From Natasha Toya, junior and co-founder of A Better Tomorrow Club
- “A Better Tomorrow is a good organization and people who can’t see that don’t have our community’s best interests in mind. We are here to educate students about real problems that real people in our city face every day. There’s nothing wrong with doing our part.”
- “I’m happy my mom can support me and our club. She came and gave a talk on the hiring process at most companies use in their offices and gave us tips for our resume and interviewing. The traditional hiring process has kept a lot of disadvantaged people from getting jobs because they never knew the “norms” of interviewing, dress code, or resume formatting.”
- “Rachel and I wanted to start this club after realizing a lot of issues in our community that came to light after the death of George Floyd. We knew we could start something in our school to help better educate our generation… We are the future, and we can make a difference.
From Michael Liggett, worker on Barbara Stone’s mayoral campaign
- “I personally don’t understand the mission of the club or its intended message, but who am I to question the free expression of the students? As long as they’re not throwing their club funds behind a political candidate, I don’t care.”
- “The group opposing the club approached me for support with their cause and I had to kindly decline. While I see their argument, I don’t think outsiders should have much of a say in what a school club does if it’s not hurting anyone.”
From Carole Porter, stepmother of Cara Johnson, sophomore
- “When Cara came home and told us about this new club I was absolutely furious. A club that meets at a publicly funded school with the sole purpose of criticizing the community that keeps them in operation? Disgusting. Not to mention the characters they invite to speak. They’re basically hosting political rallies for Dr. Dennis Dold in the school! I don’t support him, any of his policies, and don’t want my money going towards a school that supports that behavior.”
- “I told my girl friends about what was going on when we met for our Wednesday morning Coffee date. They were as upset as I was. Some of them have students here, but even the ones that don’t were appalled that the school hadn’t taken action yet.”
- “Cara, my stepdaughter, doesn’t see the problem with the club. I told her when she’s older she’ll understand.”
From Cara Johnson, sophomore
- “I’m not like technically in the club because that would really make my stepmom mad, but it’s seems like something I can get behind. Rachel and Natasha are so woke. I love how much they know about these kinds of things.”
From Carney Nguyen, sophomore english teacher and A Better Tomorrow club adviser
- “When Rachel and Natasha approached me with the idea of the club, I told them it was a great idea and that I’d support them with it. I think it’s so important for our students to be aware of what’s going on in the community and be passionate about changing it for the good.”
- “There are some outspoken parents who have approached me about the club. A lot of their misconceptions come from assuming the club is drumming up hatred for the city, or that it is supporting one political organization. I have kindly told them that the club is quite the opposite. I have only seen the members recognize policies they do not agree with be met with a positive attitude towards change. I cannot describe the club or any of its members as hateful. As for the political “agenda” some think the club has, I can only say that the club invited members of an organization that aligns with their views for the future. The club hasn’t sponsored one candidate and doesn’t plan on making donations to any political cause from their club budget.”
Facts from your research
- A Better Tomorrow club was founded by Rachel Abrams and Natasha Toya, both juniors at Sunflower High School. The club was started to address systemic racism in their community.
- The club has 28 members and meets on Tuesdays after school.
- The club received a budget of $750 for the semester from the Sunflower High School activities fund. They plan to use their budget on programming activities and for their end of year banquet. Whatever they do not use, the club has chosen to donate to a charity within the community.
- The club has hosted informational sessions for interested students outlining what systemic racism is and how it is present in their community.
- The club has hosted a few guest speakers. Natasha Toya’s mother, Amelia Toya, a hiring manager at a local business, came to educate members on interview skills, how to write a resume and hosted a mock interviews session. Another speaker, Allison Lapinski, came from the Dr. Dennis Dold Mayoral Campaign. She is one of Dold’s direct associates and spoke about specific changes Dr. Dold hopes to make if he is elected Mayor.
- Dr. Dennis Dold, a candidate in Clinton’s Mayoral race, has spoken out about policies that promote systemic racism and is proposing a number of changes to those policies in an effort to promote equity in the community. If elected, he would be Clinton’s first African American mayor in 37 years.
- Barbara Stone, a well know business woman, is opposing Dr. Dold in the mayoral race
- There is a group in the community who believe their taxpayer money should not support a club that criticizes the community and brings in politically targeted speakers.