About the Individual Category Contest
MIPA annually recognizes individual students (and teams) for their outstanding work in a variety of categories. Award winners are announced at MIPA’s Awards Celebration in April. All entries must have been published or broadcast by a Michigan-based, MIPA-member student media outlet.
- Entry fee
- How to enter
- ACES contest system access code (seccode)
- Rules & categories
- Help judge this contest
- Preliminary enrollment/page counts to set divisions
- Contest entry reports
- Past winners list
- A Cut Above – see first-place winners
New contest information is released annually …
- by July for yearbook verbal, yearbook visual and yearbook verbal/visual categories.
- by December for categories in news writing, news design, news photography, news art & illustration, digital media & multimedia, video journalism, video production and video talent. Member student media outlets may enter any of these categories.
- Feb. 23, 2024
Early Deadline for Yearbook-Only Categories — Save 10% off entry fees:
- Nov. 15, 2023
- $2 per entry
- Member programs are limited to 2 entries in most categories. Other limits may apply. Please read contest rules and category descriptions before submitting entries.
- Jump to: How to calculate and pay entry fees
- Pay contest fees now
How to Enter
MIPA uses the Advanced Contest Entry System for submissions. You will need an access code to create a user account in the ACES contest system (see below). Your MIPA membership must be current to get an access code. Advisers: You need to create a new ACES account for every year. Yearbook advisers will need the page count of the most recently published edition to get your access code.
- Get the access code (seccode) needed to create an ACES user account (members only – you must create new user account each contest year)
- Submit entries (opens ACES in a new window; you must have an ACES user account to submit)
- How to use the contest system
Contest Rules & Categories
View 2023-2024 Contest Rules & Categories (Google Doc) Click to view in its own window or to print. Document is embedded below.
We’ve prepared these worksheets to help you organize your entry materials before submitted to the contest system.
- Spreadsheet to help you and your students gather and organize contest materials
- PDF worksheet to help you and your students gather contest materials
Be a MIPA judge!
Entries are judged by journalism educators and professional journalists. Judging is held in person at Michigan State University, although there is an option to participate remotely. We invite you to be a judge! Sign up now
Enrollment & Page Counts for Divisions
Student media programs entering this contest compete in divisions. For Yearbook categories, divisions are based on the page count of books. For other categories, divisions are based on school enrollment. Please review contest rules for more information about divisions.
MIPA uses the most recent student count data available from from the Michigan Department of Education. In cases where this data is not available from MDE, figures may be obtained from the Michigan High School Athletic Association, from federal government registries or directly from schools.
- 2022-23 enrollment and page count information for MIPA members (updated 12/6/2022)
- Only current, active members are included in this list. If your program is not included, please check to see if you have paid your membership dues for this school year.
- If you have questions or concerns about this information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Contest Entry Reports
Review contest reports for information about the number of entries in each category and divisions in past MIPA contests.
We are working to digitize paper records of past contest winner lists:
A Cut Above
Check out MIPA’s A Cut Above website to see first-place award winners in MIPA’s Individual Category Contest. The site is updated annually during the summer with that year’s first-place entries. Go to the A Cut Above website
Calculating & Paying Entry Fees
There are several options to pay for contest entry fees. You may pay by check, purchase order or credit card.
You can pay with a credit card via PayPal within ACES, which calculates your entry fees, or use the contest entry fee payment system on MIPA’s website to generate an invoice or pay your contest bill.
Payment by checks or purchase orders should be postmarked by the submission deadline. Credit card payments should be completed by the deadline. If your school is slow to process checks or purchase orders, plan ahead. You can always pay fees before you submit your entries.
Calculate Amount Due
As long as you have uploaded entries from a single user account, the contest system will calculate all of your entries fees for you.
- Log into ACES, click on Billing in the left menu.
- Your entries will be listed by student media outlet. An amount due will be shown in the bottom right corner of the page.
- Check. Please make checks payable to MIPA. If you need a more formal invoice to process your payment, see instructions below for making a payment on MIPA’s website
- Purchase Order. You may submit an approved purchase order from your school. You may be able to print the details Billing page from ACES for documentation for your billing office. If you need a formal invoice to process your payment, see the instructions below for making a payment on MIPA’s website.
- Credit Card. You may make a payment from within ACES using the Pay Now button on the Billing page. From within ACES, you can only pay for Individual Contest Categories. You may also make a payment from MIPA’s website, where you can combine Individual Contest entry fees with critique fees or other bills.
- Combining Payment with Critique Fees or Other MIPA Charges. See directions below for making a payment on MIPA’s website.
Making a Payment or Creating an Invoice on MIPA’s Website
If you need a formal invoice for your contest entry fees, or if you wish to make a single payment for contest and critique fees (and any other charges), you may use MIPA’s website storefront to pay for your order.
- Go to MIPA’s Contest Payments page
- Add the appropriate contest or critique fees to your cart.
- Check out.
- On the Checkout/Billing Details page, if you choose “Check Payments” or “Request an Invoice/Pay via Purchase Order,” the system will email an invoice to the email address you input on this page. If you do not receive this email, contact the MIPA office.