The 2015 State Competition is scheduled for May 2, 2015 at the University of Kansas Memorial Union.

Advisers and their competing students will join us on the University of Kansas campus for the 45th Annual State Contest and business meeting.

You can find full results for the competition. 


  • T-Shirt orders for State due: April 15, 2015
  • Completion of online registration form: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 by 11:59 p.m.
  • Notification of need for special accommodations: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 to [email protected]
  • Corrections or Substitutions: Friday, April 24, 2015 by 11:59 p.m.
  • Upload of digital submission contests: Monday, April 27, 2015 by 11:59 p.m.
  • State contest: Saturday, May 2, 2015


No substitutions are permitted at the state contest, whether individuals or teams. Students who placed first, second, third or honorable mention at regionals are permitted to compete.

On-site contests are only administered on the day of the contest. No early or late proctoring of the contests is available.

Contest Changes

Please note these changes in the registration system for this contest:

  • Advisers will not provide a student code for participants at State. Additionally, students will not need to have a code for their participation at the State contest. We hope this makes registering and participating easier for you. 
  • Also, please note that school codes have been reduced to the previous 3-digit numerical code. Please do not use the school code with the letter used for regionals. Thanks!

At the August 2014 board meeting, the KSPA board voted to include two new contests in the State round of competition. These contests were not included in the Regional Contests because the board didn’t know what registration numbers to anticipate at the Regional level. For this reason, any students may compete in this contest, regardless of whether they placed or even entered in the February round of regional contests. The two new contests are . . .

Contest T: MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING: (one team of up to four per KSPA member school)

Students may enter as individuals or in a team of no more than four students to create a multimedia story package based on the prompt below. All entries will be submitted by creating a publicly accessible web page and submitting the URL to that page. Students will produce original work and will use only lawfully acquired copyrighted material.

Note: Because the web page for this contest will likely be part of your school’s online news site, this contest can not be completely anonymous. Judges will be able to see the school identity for each entry by virtue of being on the school’s online news site. For that reason, students should credit the journalists who worked on coverage in the entry with photo credits, bylines, etc. as they would normally.

In the package, students must have 3 or more types of media. Students are required to have one type of media from each of the lists below:

  • Type #1: Written story: original story or transcript of audio/video package
  • Type #2: Visuals: Infographic, video or multiple photos
  • Type #3: Other: video (if not used to satisfy Type #2), multiple photos (if not used to satisfy #2), audio, audio/photo slideshow, infographic, ThingLink, Storify, embedded maps, use of social media or other online coverage

Contest U: ONLINE PHOTO GALLERY: (up to two entries by individual students)

Each student will submit 5-8 original photos based on the prompt provided below. All photos should be related to the topic and should visually tell a story. Each photo should include a complete caption and the entire gallery should be submitted via URL. This contest will challenge photographers to tell a story with their photos involving people and their environment. This contest is about quality, not quantity.

Note: Because the web page for this contest will likely be part of your school’s online news site, this contest can not be completely anonymous. Judges will be able to see the school identity for each entry by virtue of being on the school’s online news site. For that reason, students should provide themselves with a photographer credit as they would for a normal web gallery.

Depending on feedback and interest level from member schools, the board may continue to offer these contest at the State contest, expand them to the Regional contest round or eliminate them in future years.


  •  Registration closed on Tuesday, April 21 at 11:59 p.m.

On-site contests & schedule

Nine on-site contests will be offered. Prompts will be distributed at the start of the contest in Lawrence.

  • Registration: 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. 
    • Fifth floor lobby of KU Memorial Union
  • Opening Session: 8:45 to 9:15 a.m.
    • Woodruff Auditorium in KU Memorial Union
    • Welcome remarks, All-Kansas award presentations and contest instructions
  • Session 1: 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

    • Contest A: Editing (Ballroom for 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A/6A)
    • Contest B: Sports Writing (Ballroom for 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A/6A)
    • Contest C: Editorial Cartoon (Parlor ABC for 1A/2A, 5A/6A // English Room for 3A/4A)
    • Contest D: Yearbook Copy Writing (Kansas Room for for 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A/6A)
    • Contest E: Feature Writing (Big 12 Room for 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A/6A)
  • Session 2: 11:10 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

    • Contest F: News Writing (Ballroom for 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A/6A)
    • Contest G: Cutline Writing (Ballroom for 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A/6A)
    • Contest H: Editorial Writing (Kansas Room for 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A/6A)
    • Contest I: Yearbook Sports Writing (Big 12 Room for 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A/6A)

Digital Submission Contests & Prompts

Twelve digital submission contests will be offered. The deadline for online submission is Monday, April 27 at 11:59 p.m. See all of the prompts here and individual digital submission instructions are available below:

Judging Sheets

Want to see the sheets that judges will use to find the award winners and give you feedback? We have placed them online so that you can see the criteria, or maybe even use them in your classroom. If you download them to your computer, they will become interactive forms with clickable buttons and feedback boxes for comments.


If your group comes by bus, you may unload in front of the Kansas Union. The bus may be parked at the Lied Center (Lot 300) on west campus. If you plan to arrive by car, the blue zones are metered until noon on Saturdays; the red and yellow zones are not metered at all. There is plenty of paid parking available in the parking garage north of the Kansas Union. If you park there, you must pay with a credit card when you leave the lot.


The fee for each entry is $10. A $10 per school entry fee will also be assessed to cover the cost of postage to return entries following the competition. Although payment does not need to accompany the entry form, payment must be made prior to competition. Credit card payment is available through our online registration system. Checks should be made payable to “Kansas Scholastic Press Association.”

Schools must have paid State contest fees in order to receive awards and feedback. 

Students will be expected to pay for their own lunch and housing if they elect to remain overnight. Affordable lunch options may be purchased in the Market in the Kansas Union.

Student Supervision

Students must remain on the premises where they are competing. Advisers must accompany students to the contest site.

Adviser Brunch and Business Meeting

At the adviser brunch, which will begin at 9:30 a.m., we will recognize the Engel Award winner and other KSPA Award winners. Please pay for the $16 brunch meal using the registration form link above. The KSPA business meeting will follow. Advisers may attend the business meeting without attending the brunch.


The KJI director is authorized to enforce the rules approved by the executive committee. If any adviser violates the rules, his or her students will be disqualified and the principal of the school involved will be notified. Advisers are prohibited from entering rooms where entries are being judged. Advisers are not to give advice or suggestions on carry-in contests. Student questions should be directed to the KSPA Executive Director.

Any entries in the digital submission contest that are submitted to the incorrect contest or category without arranging correction with the KSPA office ([email protected]) before the April 27 11:59 p.m. deadline will be disqualified.

Similarly, contestants who do not abide by the prompts’ requirement may be disqualified as well.

Awards and judging feedback will be mailed to students who place first, second, third or honorable mention in the contest. Schools must have paid State contest fees in order to receive awards and feedback. Entries will be returned the week following contest with the exception of those entries that placed first. The first place entries will be saved for the KSPA publication “Simply Better,” and emailed to members in the fall.

A plaque will be awarded to the school that scores the most points in each division: 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A. Scoring is based on five points for first, four points for second, three points for third and one point for honorable mention. A certificate in each division will be awarded to the sweepstakes’ runners-up.

Judges will be university journalism faculty members, former high school advisers no longer employed by a school district and professional journalists. Judges are encouraged to make comments on the grading rubrics whenever time permits. Judges volunteer their services without pay: please understand that remarks may vary in detail and length.


Please complete this form if you are making corrections OR if you are substituting one student for another student for the State Contest. Please complete the form once for each correction or substitution.

  • Substitutions are only available for Contest T (Multimedia Storytelling) and Contest U (Online Photo Gallery).
  • Corrections are available for all contests. An example of a correction would be a typo by the adviser when spelling a student name, or entering a student into the wrong contest. All participants must have qualified through a Regional Contest.

Deadline: please submit this form by Friday April 24th.

Students with Special Needs

High school journalists with special needs will be given an equal opportunity to participate in all contests sponsored or sanctioned by KSPA and the University of Kansas, which acts as host for the KSPA contest. If you or any of your students need to be so accommodated, please let the KSPA office know at [email protected] or (785) 864-0605.


Purchase of the state t-shirts can be made through Booster. The company will complete your transaction and ship the shirts to your school or individual address. The proceeds from t-shirt sales helps to support KSPA activities. Orders must be complete by April 15, a deadline that we created to ensure delivery by Wednesday, April 29: plenty of time to receive the shirts for State!

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Do you know a retired teacher, professional journalist, journalism school grad or media pro that could help us with judging? If so, please send them to this page to help us with judging for the State contest. Thanks!


KSPA welcomes exhibitors who are interested in marketing to high school journalism advisers and their students. To read more about this opportunity for exposure and chance to support KSPA, click here.


KSPA is excited to host the hundreds of high school journalists who have qualified for State. The day is a great example of the journalism energy and talents of students throughout the state. We wish all competitors the best of luck.


Thomas Sig



Eric Thomas, KSPA executive director