Kansas Scholastic Press Association..

2019 Regional Contests

Welcome to the 2019 Regional Contests!

KSPA 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. All students receive 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. 3 :: All digital submission prompts posted to KSPA website
  • Dec. 3 :: Initial Registration opens
  • Jan. 15 :: Initial Registration Deadline
  • Jan. 16 :: Category Registration opens
  • Feb. 1 :: Online submission system opens for digital submission categories
  • Feb. 8 :: Category Registration deadline
  • Feb. 8 :: Please notify contest coordinators of special accommodations for any of your students
  • Feb. 13 at 11 p.m. :: All digital submissions must be uploaded to online submission site
  • Feb. 25 :: Regional contests at . . .
    • Pittsburg State University
    • Emporia State University
    • Fort Hays State University
    • University of Kansas
    • Wichita State University
  • Feb. 26 :: Regional contest at Kansas State University
  • March 8 :: 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.

RELEASE OF PROMPTS 

We hope that the Dec. 3 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. 25 :: Regional contests at . . .
    • Pittsburg State University
    • Emporia State University
    • Fort Hays State University
    • University of Kansas
    • Wichita State University
  • Feb. 26 :: Regional contest at Kansas State University

The following schedule applies to all 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.?

NEW AND IMPROVED: Regional Assignments

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Over the past few months, KSPA — both its board and its staff — have been researching how to improve our programming for you. We are excited to announce the first of those improvements: a way to make the Regional contests both more fair and more convenient. We know the changes will encourage long-time members to keep competing. And of course, we would love for new schools to join in on the fun.

     This revised system would allow you, the adviser, to choose where your students attend their on-site contest. It’s true! For the on-site contests, advisers can now select any of our regional locations: Hays, Wichita, Manhattan, Emporia, Pittsburg or Lawrence. You no longer need to worry about where your school is “assigned” to compete. You’re in control.

     Plus, the KSPA staff will create more fair regionals with a more even number of schools in each. Rather than guessing at how many schools will attend a regional, KSPA will make regional groupings after we know how many schools are competing.

     Advisers simply complete an initial registration by Jan. 15. On this date, you will signal if your school is competing in regionals. At this point, you will also choose your location for the on-site contests. Simply choose the most convenient campus. The fee for initial registration will be $25 per school.

    Using those initial registrations, KSPA will create regional groupings based on the number of schools that register. For about every seven schools, KSPA will create a regional. So, last year, 43 schools competed in 5A/6A Regionals. That would create 6 regionals.

     We will be sure to publish regional groupings soon after that initial registration deadline. Plus, our digital submission system will automatically slot entries from your school into the correct regional grouping.

     Nearby schools will likely be in the same regional. However, we will avoid — as much as possible — clustering high schools from the same school district into the same regional. For instance, schools in the AnyTown School District might be distributed into a few different regional groupings, even though they are geographically close to one another.

Getting organized

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This sheet is not a required step in the registration process, but should help advisers in gathering — whether on paper or digitally — the information needed to organize for the KSPA Regional contests. Advisers do not need to communicate the names and email addresses of their students upon registration. Students will provide their names upon submission of their entry. Gathering email addresses will be helpful if advisers want to add students as authorized entrants to the digital submission contest system at BetterBNC.com.

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 2019 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 students per team, or
  • two individual entries, or
  • one team entry and one individual entry.

Fees

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Initial registration costs $25 for each school. Initial registration allows advisers to choose their regional location for the on-site contest. It also provides the KSPA staff with necessary information to create regional groupings.

The fee for each category entry remains $10.

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. All payments are due to the KSPA office before certificates or judging feedback will be returned to the school. Schools should feel free to pay their initial registration fee and category registration fee in the same check if not using a credit card.

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.

Other payment notes:

  • 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 initial registration closes on Jan. 15, 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 4, 2019 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).

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. 8, 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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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 2019 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 4, 2019 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
2019 Regional Contests