MIPA is now accepting entries from your 2017 yearbook for our annual contests.

  • Pay special attention to the directions in each category you enter for information on the format of entries. Most individual contest entries must be submitted in a digital format to our web-based contest submission system. Paper submissions in these categories will not be accepted for any reason. If you no longer have access to your original digital files, you may scan yearbook pages to submit to the contest.
  • You may be able to enter materials produced by your staff into non-yearbook categories. Watch for the Student Media Contest Call for Entries in December.
  • 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, but is designed to promote the educational advantages of student-led scholastic media.
  • Please go https://mipamsu.org/contest-central to get all contest information. You can also 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 in April 2018 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.
  • YOU MUST BE A MIPA MEMBER TO ENTER CONTESTS. Membership information, including a member list that is updated weekly, is available at https://mipamsu.org/membership. Membership in MIPA runs the academic year, and all 2016-17 members are eligible to enter for the July Spartan deadline (but we would be happy now to renew your membership for 2017-18). The Individual Category Contest is only open to Michigan-based MIPA members.
  • 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 SCHOOL 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 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, don’t hesitate to contact the MIPA office if you have questions at 517-353-6761 or [email protected].
  • A Cut Above, MIPA’s compilation of contest winners, is available online at http://acutabove.mipamsu.org. This website features a selection of first-place winners from previous year’s contests.
  • *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 all contest materials at MIPA Contest Central

Other Important Information

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.

Give each entry a unique entry title. Do not use the category name for the entry title. Instead use a headline or description of the actual entry. Example: “National Honor Society” instead of “Organizations Writing.”

MIPA believes it is a best practice for all photos to have captions. If a photo does not have a caption, it cannot be submitted into our contests.

If an entry has multiple pages, combine those pages into a single PDF file.

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.

Reminder: Early entry discount

Your yearbooks are done well before MIPA’s regular individual category contest deadline in February — and we want to reward you for getting your entries in early so that we can process them. Submit your yearbook entries by these deadlines to save 10 percent on entry fees:

  • Spring-delivery yearbooks: July 15
  • Fall-delivery yearbooks: Nov. 15


Please contact the MIPA office at 517-353-6761 or [email protected].

What’s New for 2017?

Every year, we try to improve MIPA’s contests to keep up with changing technologies and the world of media. We also are constantly working to make the contests easier to enter and manage. Here are some changes for 2017 MIPA yearbook contests:

Spartan Critique Changes

Updated entry form

The Spartan Critique entry form has been updated to provide additional information to help judges better understand your school and your yearbook program.

Commendation in your most notable area

The Spartan Critique booklet is split into six areas in which judges evaluate your yearbook. Regardless of the overall critique score of a yearbook, we are asking our judges to highlight the area where they think your yearbook is doing its best for a Commendation. We hope this addition honor will help reinforce what a yearbook program is doing well and will be a point of pride for advisers and students.

Individual Contest Changes

Category Revisions

 Y-22. Photo Illustration

This category was revised to clarify the definition of a photo illustration for the purposes of this contest. We are looking for images that have been significantly altered, typically via Photoshop or other software, to illustrate a concept or idea.

Advertising Categories

The Advertising Spread category has been eliminated. Our judges have noted in years that an increase in ads provided directly by advertisers has made this category particularly challenging (since only student-produced work is to be judged in MIPA contests).

The Business Advertisements category and Proud Parent Advertisements category have been revised to recognize a mini-portfolio of work rather than single advertisements. An entry in each of these categories now is three advertisements, allowing judges to evaluate consistency of work in addition to the core criteria of these categories. Each MIPA member student media outlet can submit two entries into each of these categories.