The Official Web Site of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association

Kansas Scholastic Press Association..

2018 Regional Contests

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.

What is the contest?

Each year, hundreds of students gain recognition for their journalism through the KSPA Regional Contests. Hosted at six universities, the contests challenge students to create their best writing, photography, design or cartooning. Each student receives feedback from an expert judge and many receive awards for their work. Students who place at Regionals qualify for the State Contest in May where they can earn a state championship or other awards.

Students can compete in two ways:

  • DIGITAL SUBMISSION CONTESTS: Ten categories allow students to work on creating photographs and designs in advance of the February submission deadline. Using a prompt provided below by KSPA, the students create their journalism and then submit it online. Comments from judges are returned to advisers via email after the contest results are final.
  • ON-SITE CONTESTS: Nine additional contests of writing and cartooning are hosted on the universities’ campuses in February. Using notes or prompts provided by KSPA on the day of the contest, students craft stories, editorials and cartoons that are judged by local professionals. Students receive feedback through rubrics and notes on their writing.

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 staff@kspaonline.org.

Thanks so much. And good luck!

Registration is open!

About Your Regional Location

  • At the start of the calendar year, Regional Contest hosts from our six universities will provide more details about the day of the contest including parking information, food options and contact information. However, all schedules and deadlines can be found below.

Deadlines

  • Dec. 1 :: All digital submission prompts posted to KSPA website
  • Dec. 11 :: Registration opens
  • Feb. 9 :: All registrations must be made via the KSPA online registration
  • Feb. 9 :: Please notify contest coordinators of special accommodations for any of your students
  • Feb. 14 at 11 p.m. :: All digital submissions must be uploaded to online submission site
  • Feb. 21 :: Regional Contest at Pittsburg State University (3A/4A)
  • Feb. 22 :: 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)
  • Feb. 23 :: Regional contest at KU (3A/4A, 5A/6A Crimson and 5A/6A Blue)
  • March 5 :: Deadline for contest results to be posted

Contest Reminders

NO REFUNDS

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.

SAVE BY JUDGING

Last year, KSPA asked advisers to step forward as judges in exchange for quicker release of contest results and a refund of the school registration fee. The change was a huge success. We ask all advisers to consider judging again this year. Judges will be shielded from entries in their same classification to ensure that results are fair. You will see the opportunity to mark your preference for this option when you register.

RELEASE OF PROMPTS 

We hope that the Dec. 1 release of the digital submission prompts allows your students more time to create excellent, award-winning work. However, the KSPA board would like to remind all teachers and advisers that students are to work independently on the prompts. Teachers should not provide critiques, coaching or feedback in advance of the student submitting the entry. Similarly, if teachers use the Regional Contest prompts as assignments for classes, the teacher should not provide feedback on the students’ work. BOTTOM LINE: This is a student contest. Teachers are prohibited from helping their students.

Schedule for contest days

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  • Feb. 21 :: Regional Contest at Pittsburg State University (3A/4A)
  • Feb. 23 :: Regional contest at KU (3A/4A, 5A/6A Crimson and 5A/6A Blue)
  • Feb. 22 :: 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)

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, staff@kspaonline.org

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

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. 

Where is your school competing this year?

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. Each of the on-site contests is judged according to a rubric. Nine on-site contests will be offered:

  • Contest A: Copyediting: Students respond to 25 multiple-choice questions regarding word choice, Associated Press style, grammar and punctuation. Students also provide editing suggestions about a provided story.
    • Judge’s rubric: Judges score the entry based on the number of correct answers on the multiple choice portion, plus a score out of 10 for the “editing suggestions” portion. The highest possible score is 35 out of 35 points.
  • Contest B: Sports Writing: Using fictional notes provided by KSPA, students write a story about a sporting event.
  • Contest C: Editorial Cartoon: Students craft an editorial cartoon in response to a fictional news story provided by KSPA.
  • Contest D: Yearbook Copy Writing: Using fictional notes provided by KSPA, students write a story about a student life or academic topic.
  • Contest E: Feature Writing: Using fictional notes provided by KSPA, students write a story about a topic of human interest, humor or novelty.
  • Contest F: News Writing: Using fictional notes provided by KSPA, students write a story about a news event.
  • Contest G: Cutline Writing: Using fictional notes written about images provided, students write captions that comply with Associated Press style and cutline writing standards.
  • Contest H: Editorial Writing: In response to a fictional news story, students write editorials that take a position of leadership on the issue.
  • Contest J: Yearbook Sports Writing: Using fictional notes provided by KSPA, students write a story summarizing the season of a sports team.

Digital Submission Contests

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Ten digital submission contests will be offered. Please click on the links below for the 2018 prompts, including the submission link for each contest.

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

Digital Submission contests must be uploaded using the Better Newspaper Contests online submission process that KSPA has customized for our schools. 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. 

Entries

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Each school may register and submit two entries in each category.

Each individual student . . .

  • may enter up to five Regional 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 team entries of two individuals per team, or
  • two individual entries, or
  • one team entry and one individual entry.

Fees

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The fee for each entry remains $10. An administrative fee of $10 will be added to each registration instance. Each time that a school completes the registration form, this fee must be included.

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.

Students will be expected to pay for their own lunch and lodging if they elect to remain overnight. Affordable lunch options may be purchased in each university’s student union, where the contests are held.

  • 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.
  • No refunds will be granted once registrations are filed. 
  • 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 Contest level, KSPA will not provide any scheduled activities for digital submission entrants. As a result, unless these students are also competing on site, they need not attend the contest.

Lunch

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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 Friday, Feb. 9, the director of each contest site will send advisers additional information on parking, food facilities, location of registration and contests.

Regulations

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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 not to give advice or suggestions on digital submission contests. Student questions should be directed to the KSPA assistant and executive director through staff@kspaonline.org

Awards and Judging

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Certificates will be awarded in regional contests to the first-place, second-place and third-place winners as well as to three honorable mentions. Award winners are then eligible to compete in the State Contest on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the University of Kansas.

Judges will be . . . 

  • journalism faculty
  • former high school advisers
  • graduate students
  • journalism students
  • professional journalists
  • and current advisers (advisers will judge entries from a different enrollment classification to avoid conflicts of interest). Current KSPA advisers with students entered into the Regional Contest can waive $10 of their school’s registration fee by volunteering to judge as an on-site judge. 

Critique rubrics will be provided with each entry. Judges are encouraged to make comments on all entries. Please keep in mind 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 Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

On-site Contest Rules & Tips

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Two entries per category per school are allowed.

  • Copyediting:  Contestants will receive 25 multiple-choice questions and a passage to review. First, contestants will review sentences for use of grammar, Associated Press style, proper news writing, attribution, spelling and redundancy. Students will chose the best correction, if correction is needed. If the sentence is best as originally written, students will indicate “No correction needed.” For the second portion, the contestant will be asked to give initial feedback on the first draft of a story. Students will not use copyediting marks to correct grammar or make notes in the margins to annotate the passage. Instead, contestants will compose a note to the writer about the qualities and shortcomings of the writing. Contestants should especially consider especially, structure, tone, research, ethics and readability. Use of a dictionary, thesaurus or AP Stylebook is approved. Personal listening devices, recording devices and personal computers are prohibited during the contest. 
  • 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.

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. 

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 be posted no later than March 5 on the KSPA website.

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

Past Regional & State Prompts

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Want a preview of what the State prompts will be like? Want a classroom activity for your students? Need an emergency lesson plan?

KSPA has a page of prompts from previous state and regional contests for you. We will continue to add to the collection as we search through our archives. ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: please notice that some of the rules and formats for the contests have changed (most notably for the Copyediting On-Site Contest. Be sure to read all directions for this year’s contest for guidance.

Simply Better

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KSPA compiles the winning entries in the State Contest on its website. Please see the links below for examples of winning work from previous years.

Contest Results

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All results from the 2018 Regional Contests will be posted on the KSPA website.

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 5, 2018 at the Kansas Union on the campus of the University of Kansas. For the State Contest, 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 digital submission contest prompts) as they become available in late March.

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

REGISTRATION

Thanks

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.

Sincerely,

Thomas Sig

 

 

 

 

Eric Thomas, KSPA Executive Director

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The Official Web Site of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association
2018 Regional Contests