To: MIPA Student Media Advisers
From: Jeremy Steele, MIPA director

Subject:  2015-16 MIPA Contests for 2015 Yearbooks

  • The contest system will open on June 1 to begin accepting yearbook entries.
  • Pay special attention to the directions in each category you enter for information on the format of entries. Most individual contest entries must be subitted in a digital format to our web-based contest submission system. Paper submissions in these categories will not be accepted for any reason.
  • Portfolios and nominations for Student Journalist Staff, Golden Pen Award, Administrator of the Year and John Field Award must exist in a digital form on the Web and should be submitted via MIPA’s contest system.
  • Yearbooks free of prior review may receive their award in the Spartan Critique competition “with Distinction.” This does not affect a student media outlet’s overall Spartan score or rating.
  • Please go to the MIPA website at to get all contest information. You can find all contest information by clicking on the Contests & Awards menu at the top of the page.
  • All awards will be presented at the MIPA Spring Awards & On-Site Contests event on April 21, 2016, at the Lansing Center. If you are unable to attend, you may pay an added postage fee to have awards mailed to you.
  • It’s important to carefully read category descriptions and contest rules. Failure to follow contest directions may result in your entries being disqualified.
  • Save 10 percent on your Yearbook Individual Category Contest entries if you submit by the early deadline and pay entry fees with a single payment.
  • YOU MUST BE A CURRENT MIPA MEMBER TO ENTER CONTESTS. Membership information, including a member list that is updated weekly, is available at Membership in MIPA runs the academic year, and all 2014-15 members are eligible to enter for the July Spartan deadline (but we would be happy now to renew your membership for 2015-16).
  • All entries must be submitted by the deadline to be eligible for awards. Entries submitted by mail must be postmarked by the deadline. Entries submitted electronically must be uploaded to MIPA using the contest submission system by 11:59 p.m. on the deadline day. Payment is due by the same deadline.
  • All entries should be uploaded to MIPA’s contest submission system via the adviser’s Submittable account. That’s how we connect those entries with your school. PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW YOUR STUDENTS TO CREATE THEIR OWN ACCOUNTS TO UPLOAD INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY CONTEST ENTRIES TO THE ONLINE CONTEST SUBMISSION SYSTEM!
  • DO NOT RELY ON YOUR CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION OFFICE TO MAIL YOUR CONTEST MATERIALS! It’s best to go to the post office yourself and mail the package! It is too important to you and to your students to risk letting it go through school mail. And to be even more sure (especially if you are mailing it on the deadline day), ask to see the postmark on the package and then get a receipt. We also recommend you get a tracking number.
  • Please keep a copy of each of the forms that you send for your records. Also, please don’t hesitate to contact the MIPA office if you have questions at 517-353-6761 or [email protected].
  • A Cut Above, MIPA’s annual publication and yearbook contest winners, is available at our website. This publication features a selection of first-place winners from previous year’s contests to help you get an idea of what judges are looking for.

*It is possible to send in Yearbook Spartan contest entries up to one month late (see postmark deadlines above) for an additional $40 fee. Spartan submissions postmarked after the late deadline may receive a critique, but will not be eligible to receive an award ranking. Late entries will not be accepted for the Individual Category Contests.

If combining multiple contest fees into a single payment, please provide an itemized statement detailing the contest fees you are paying. You may pay on our contest website via credit card.

Find these materials at

These are the items you will find at the MIPA website. Look for the Contests & Awards menu at the top of the page:

Spartan Critique

Individual Category Contests