MIPA has a variety of contests throughout the year to challenge students, reward outstanding work and to recognize those who make contributions to scholastic journalism in our state. Learn more about MIPA’s various contests below.
MIPA annually recognizes individual students (and teams) for their outstanding work in a variety of categories. Award winners are announced at MIPA’s awards ceremony in April. All entries must have been published or broadcast by a Michigan-based, MIPA-member student media outlet.
- Deadline: February
- Early Deadline for Yearbooks: July/spring books; November/fall books (Save 10% off entry fees)
- Learn more & enter
MIPA’s Spartan Critique competition allows member newspaper or newsmagazine, yearbook, video or website student media programs to get feedback from national leaders in their field. Participating media outlets may receive a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Spartan Award based on how well they meet MIPA’s student media standards. Spartan Award winners are recognized at MIPA’s awards ceremony in April.
- Deadline/Yearbook: July/August (spring-delivery books) or November/December (fall-delivery books)
- Deadline/Newspapers, newsmagazines, websites and video productions: February/March
- Learn more & submit your media for a critique
Hall of Fame
Student media outlets that earn nine Spartan awards in a 10-year span may be eligible for induction into the MIPA Student Media Hall of Fame.
Student Journalist Staff
MIPA’s Student Journalist Staff annually recognizes Michigan’s top student journalists. This is our all-state student journalist team. Members of the Student Journalist Staff are graduating students who excel at their student media outlets. They are selected based on portfolios of their work.
From among the members of the Student Journalist Staff, MIPA will honor a student as All-MIPA in each the following areas — news writing & reporting, news design, yearbook design, yearbook writing, broadcast, photojournalism and digital media. In addition, one member of the Student Journalist Staff will be selected as Michigan’s representative in the Journalism Education Association’s national Journalist of the Year competition. Learn more
Aspiring Young Journalist
New for 2022-2023! MIPA’s Aspiring Young Journalist contest annually recognizes Michigan’s top middle school student journalists. This contest honors work from junior high/middle school students and is designed to encourage them to continue to pursue journalism in high school. To enter, students must assemble a portfolio of their journalistic work from middle school. Learn more
Golden Pen Award
Each year MIPA presents the Golden Pen Award to an outstanding adviser of a scholastic student media outlet. It is the highest honor MIPA bestows on a current adviser. To win the award, an adviser is judged according to documentation and evidence — in portfolio form — provided by students. Learn more
Administrator of the Year
MIPA’s Administrator of the Year award recognizes administrators who have shown strong interest in and support for scholastic journalism. Learn more
John V. Field Award
The John V. Field Award recognizes a person who is not currently a student media adviser for their significant contributions to scholastic journalism in Michigan. The award was first given in 1972 to John Field, who served as the executive director of MIPA for more than 20 years when MIPA was housed at the University of Michigan. Learn more
MIPA Film Challenge
MIPA’s Film Challenge allows students to showcase their fiction or documentary film-making abilities. MIPA will provide theme and some requirements for all entries. Students have two weeks to produce their entries. The challenge typically launches in April. Learn more
Social Media Innovation
MIPA’s Social Media Innovation contest recognizes member programs that are practicing cutting-edge journalism and media production using social media platforms. Entries in this contest document how the staff is using social media in innovative ways to advance the mission of the media program. This might include creation and execution of a new social media strategy, launch of new social media platforms, or the use of social media in new ways to address specific goals. This contest typically deadlines in May. Learn more
MIPA’s Special Projects contest recognizes work created for a MIPA member student media program that goes beyond the regular work of that program. Such projects typically do not fit the criteria for MIPA’s other contests throughout the school year. The project can be either created by an individual or a staff and might include stationery, brochures, flyers, posters, logos, buttons, information graphics, video, special website, event programs, special editions or special programs, promotional campaigns or any any other work completed to support a student media program. This contest typically deadlines in May. Learn more
Spring On-Site Contests
MIPA’s annual Spring Awards & On-Site Contests event isn’t just a place where students pick up their awards — they can take part in our On-Site Contests to showcase their skills and earn even more awards! Learn more