General Rules

Entry Deadline: All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT June 10, 2016, via the online contest submission system.

Entry Limit: A school may only submit one student entry into each of the four categories of the contest.

School Contest Captains: We recommend a school designate one staff member as the contest captain to coordinate entries and judging at the school level. (In many cases, the school’s journalism teacher may be the most appropriate choice.)

Homeschooled Students: Homeschooled students may participate by competing with students at a local school (at the school’s discretion) or with other local homeschooled students. Please contact the MIPA office for more information.

Entry Criteria: Entries must be the original work of a student (or, in designated categories, a team of students) enrolled in grades 8-11 at any public, private or home schools within the state of Michigan. Work may have been created at any time during the 2015-2016 academic year. Entries may have been previously submitted in other contests, including MIPA’s annual student media contest, as long as they meet all other criteria. In categories where work by a team is allowed, students enrolled in grade 12 may have participated as a team member, but should not be the lead author of the entry. Please see category descriptions for additional requirements.

Work Created by Teams: Entries submitted into the Editorial and Reporting categories may be authored by an individual student or by a team of students. If a team-authored entry is selected by the judges, because of limited space, only one member of the team may be invited to represent the group in Michigan Youth Journalism Experience activities. Teams may include students in grade 12, but students in grade 12 should not be the lead author of the entry.

Pulitzer-Centennial-Campfires-Initiative

The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA), Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) and the Pulitzer Prizes Board are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes in 2016. To mark the occasion, Michigan high school students in grades 8-11 are invited to participate in a special contest celebrating the value of great journalism in society.

The authors of selected entries will be awarded a travel scholarship to meet with Pulitzer-winning journalists on Sunday, Oct. 23, at Michigan State University and attend the MIPA fall conference, to be held on Monday, Oct. 24, at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. The conference will feature nearly 80 breakout sessions for students interested in journalism and media, including sessions led by Pulitzer-winning journalists. More than 2,000 student journalists and their teachers attend this annual conference.

Selected entries may be published in print and online by MIPA and MHC and may be displayed at the MIPA fall conference.

Authors of entries selected for recognition will be notified by email.

Contest Categories

Essay

Submit a 300-500 word essay about the following topic:

What role does journalism have in a democratic society? Select one or more of the following issues to analyze in your essay:

  • Accountability & Abuse
  • Presidential Power & Secrecy
  • Civil Rights & Equality
  • War & Peace

Essays should be typed, double-spaced and submitted as either a PDF or Word document. The name and school of the author should appear on the first page of the essay. Submissions must be the original work of the student. Attribute material that is quoted, paraphrased or summarized from other sources and include a works cited page to detail any citations. Every word of the essay is counted toward the word limit. This does not include the title, works cited page or footnotes/endnotes.

Essays are not required to have been published.

Essay entries will be judged based on originality, creativity, quality of writing, clarity, accuracy and focus on the designated topic.

Bylined Opinion Article

Submit a single commentary article presented in a style consistent with modern opinion column standards. The article should comment on an issue that relates to one or more of the following topics:

  • Accountability & Abuse
  • Presidential Power & Secrecy
  • Civil Rights & Equality
  • War & Peace

Entries in this category should carry the byline of an individual author. It must have been published by professional or student media during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Submit a PDF of the print page(s) on which the story was published or the URL to the story on an online news site.

Bylined Opinion Article entries will be judged based on originality; use of facts, interviews and research; quality of writing; clarity; accuracy; and focus on the designated topic.

Staff Editorial

Submit a single editorial on an issue that relates to one or more of the following topics:

  • Accountability & Abuse
  • Presidential Power & Secrecy
  • Civil Rights & Equality
  • War & Peace

Editorials should represent the opinion of the staff, editors or editorial board of a student media outlet on a timely news matter of concern to the school, community, state, nation or world. They may express appreciation, offer interpretation or attempt to deal with problems. Editorials are not to be bylined, signed or initialed, or in any way identified as being the opinion of an individual writer.

Entries in this category must have been published by a student or professional media outlet during the 2015-2016 academic year. On the entry form, please identify a single student who led the writing of the editorial. You may also list other students who contributed to the work.

Submit a PDF of the print page(s) on which the story was published or the URL to the story on an online news site.

Staff Editorial entries will be judged based on originality; use of facts, interviews and research; quality of writing; clarity; accuracy; and focus on the designated topic.

Reporting

Submit a single news story, a news package or series of no more than three related news stories. The entry may have appeared in print, online or via video broadcast. Entries should use multiple sources and must relate to one or more of the following topics:

  • Accountability & Abuse
  • Presidential Power & Secrecy
  • Civil Rights & Equality
  • War & Peace

Reporting entries should not express the opinion of the reporter(s), but instead use facts, interviews and research to inform and engage in a balanced and fair way. Entries in this category must have been published by a student or professional media outlet during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Submit a PDF of the print page(s) on which the story was published or the URL to the entry.

Reporting entries will be judged based on originality; use of facts, interviews and research; quality of writing; clarity; accuracy; and focus on the designated topic.

Complete Official Rules

The following is a list of general rules that apply to the Michigan Youth Journalism Experience Contest.

  • All entries must be submitted via the online contest system at http://mipamsu.org/pulitzer. Entries by mail or other means will not be accepted.
  • Submissions must be the original work of the student entrant with limited guidance from others.
  • Any quotations or copyrighted material used in the entry must be identified properly. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.
  • Entries not written in English should be submitted with an English translation.
  • The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and the Michigan Humanities Council will have the right to edit, publish or otherwise duplicate any submission into the contest without payment to the author.
  • Due to the expected volume of entries received, only the authors of selected winning entries will be notified.
  • No student may be excluded from participation in this program on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or national origin.
  • Schools may determine eligibility for any classroom- or school-level contests to select entries for the statewide contest.
  • Participation is restricted to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with valid tax identification or Social Security numbers, in keeping with federal law.
  • Foreign exchange students and other visitors are not eligible to compete, unless they are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Judging at the state level will be completed by a panel of qualified judges.
  • Any protest regarding how the contest is conducted must be addressed immediately to the MIPA executive director, who will decide all protests in conformity with the contest rules. The decision of the executive director is final, and no higher appeals will be recognized.

Michigan Youth Journalism Experience is made possible with funding from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This program is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federal of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes.

Enter the Contest

Please Note

This contest uses Submittable to collect contest entries. This is the same system MIPA uses for its annual contests.

FIRST-TIMER USERS:

You will be prompted to create a free account in the submission system before uploading a contest entry.

RETURNING USERS:

Log in to access your account.