To: MIPA Student Media Advisers
From: Jeremy Steele, MIPA director
Subject: 2020-21 MIPA Contests
We’re excited to roll out information for all of our annual contests.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, we are deviating from the single deadline we’ve traditionally had for our student media contests. Instead, we are staggering deadlines — with the first deadline hitting at our previously scheduled date of Feb. 19 and pushing the late Spartan Critique deadline for newspapers, news websites and broadcast programs to April 30. Please carefully note these deadlines:
- Yearbook individual categories 1-32: Feb. 19
- Student Journalist Staff: Feb. 19
- Golden Pen Award: Feb. 19
- Administrator of the Year: Feb. 19
- News, Digital Media & Video individual categories: March 19
- Spartan Critique deadline for Newspaper/Newsmagazine, Website and Video Broadcast: March 19
- Spartan Critique LATE deadline for Newspaper/Newsmagazine, Website and Video Broadcast: April 30*
- Yearbook remote judging days: Feb. 27
- News, Digital Media & Video remote judging day: April 17
- 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 MIPA’s website.
- Award winners will be announced online. A schedule for awards announcements will be released in the spring. You will be able to make arrangements to have award certificates shipped 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.
- 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.
- 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 using MIPA’s contest submission system by 11:59 p.m. on the deadline day. Payment is due by the same deadline.
- We are using the same online systems as last year to run contests. Some systems require you to make a new account to submit entries.
- PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW YOUR STUDENTS TO CREATE THEIR OWN ACCOUNTS TO UPLOAD INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY CONTEST ENTRIES! You should have only one account for your media program. It’s OK with us if you allow students to use your account.
- 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 http://acutabove.mipamsu.org. This website features first-place winners in each division of previous contests 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. We cannot guarantee critiques submitted for the late deadline will be returned before the end of the school year. 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 and edit entries.
- 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. You must delete and then resubmit any materials submitted into the wrong category.
- Please plan ahead so your contest entry fees are processed by the contest deadline.
- If an entry is one of several similar items on a page, make sure it is very clear which item should be judged!
Find these materials at mipamsu.org
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 – March 19/April 30
Your newspaper, new website or video program will be evaluated against MIPA’s standard. You’ll receive written comments and an award based on your score.
- Spartan Newspaper Critique Application: For 2020-21, we are accepted PDF issues of newspapers and newsmagazines
- Spartan Website Critique Application (via online form)
- Spartan Broadcast Video Production Critique Application (via online form)
- Spartan Yearbook Critique Application (the deadline for 2020 books has passed)
- Spartan Critique Seal of Distinction Form
Special Honors – Feb. 19
- Student Journalist Staff, including All-MIPA and JEA Student Journalist of the Year-Michigan Representative
- Golden Pen Award
- Administrator of the Year Award
- John V. Field Award
Individual Category Contests – Feb. 19/March 19
Students’ work will compete head-to-head in one of our 108 categories!
- Individual Category Contest categories & rules for yearbooks, news, video and digital media
- Please note deadline change. Yearbook category entries must be submitted by Feb 19. News, video and digital media categories are due March 19.
- Judging Day is happening remotely this year. Information on how you can help
- A Cut Above & last year’s contest winners
- MIPA Copyright and Plagiarism Policy
ACES – OUR CONTEST SUBMISSION SYSTEM
- We use the ACES platform – Advanced Contest Entry System – designed by our friends at the Illinois Press Association.
- Each MIPA member will need to register for an ACES account – even if you had one last year.
- View video tutorials on how to use the new system in our “how to” guide
- All categories in our contest use the same fields. Some categories use fields differently, so it’s important to read the instructions for each category.
- If you can’t find your media program in the pre-programmed list, please contact the MIPA office before you begin uploading.
- Enrollment data for your school is pulled from the most recent numbers available from the Michigan Department of Education, or in a few cases from other publicly available databases (like MHSAA). For yearbooks, the enrollment number actually is the number of pages in your 2020 yearbook.
- Yearbooks: Please help us update information about your yearbook to make division assignments in this contest. Complete this form
- If you run into any problems, please contact the MIPA office.
WHAT’S NEW FOR THE 2020-2021 CONTEST?
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 this year’s contest:
GENERAL RULES REVISIONS
- No major changes
- DM-01. Breaking News Social Media Coverage
- DM-02. News/Feature Social Media Coverage
- DM-03. Personality Profile Social Media Coverage
- DM-04. Sports News Social Media Coverage
- DM-05. Social Media Video
- DM-06. Social Media Promotion
- DM-08. Audio Interview
- DM-09. Podcast Series
- DM-10. Video Interview
- DM-11. Multimedia Story Package
- VJ-10. Studio Newscast
- VJ-11. Remote Newscast
- For Y-28. Cover, entrants are asked to submit a digital file of their cover instead of only submitting this entry by mail. MIPA strongly encourages entrants to send 1 book to MIPA via mail that can be used as a reference on judging day.
- News Photography entries may have been published only via a media program’s official social media channels.
- The news front pages categories (ND-04 and ND-05) include further explanations and examples of a “magazine style” page vs. a “newspaper style” page.
- VT-01. Anchor has been revised to allow sports, features and other journalistic style anchors to compete in this category.
- Category descriptions, judging criteria and entry forms include minor changes have been made throughout the contest.
- The following categories have been eliminated from last year’s contest:
- Social Media Coverage (replaced by new social media categories)
- Audio Presentation (replaced by Podcast Series and Audio Interview)