To: MIPA Student Media Advisers
From: Jeremy Steele, MIPA director
Subject:  2016-17 MIPA Contests

Deadline: Feb. 17, 2017

Download the 2016-17 Student Media Contests Packet (PDF)

  • Please go to the MIPA website 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 April 18, 2017, 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.
  • IF YOU HAVE NOT JOINED MIPA BY JAN. 31, YOUR STUDENT MEDIA OUTLET WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO ENTER CONTESTS. Membership information, including a member list that is updated weekly, is available at
  • 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 showcase of first-place contest winners, is available online at This website features first-place winners in each division of the 2016 contest to help you get an idea of what judges are looking for.

*It is possible to send in Newspaper, Web or Video Spartan contest entries up to one month late (see deadlines above) for an additional $40 fee. Note that results may not be available from late entries for the Spring Awards event. 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.

Solve our most common problems by carefully reading category descriptions!

  • Nearly all problems we ran across in last year’s contest were because entry instructions were not followed.
  • Carefully check over any entries uploaded into the contest system by students. See the contest how-to guide for information on how to view all of your entries.
  • While it’s not required, we strongly recommend that you submit original photos AND the final designed pages for photography categories. It helps judges more accurately determine the quality of an image.
  • Double-check to make sure entries are submitted into the correct category. Entries submitted into the wrong category will be disqualified.
  • Triple-check how many entries you submit. We had many schools over-pay or under-pay last year because advisers did not accurately count how many entries were submitted. Help us help you so that you only have to deal with your bookkeeper once!
  • If an entry is one of several similar items on a spread, make sure it is very clear which item should be judged! Last year, judges had a hard time with many entries figuring out which headlines, captions, photos and stories should be judged.

Find these materials at

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

Spartan Critique

Individual Category Contests

Special Honors