IJEA Blog: Entries are open for the 2017 IWPA Communications Contest

The IWPA High School Communications Contest showcases the excellent work of Illinois students and their schools’ communication programs, with the winners in each category automatically advancing to the national competition. The deadline for entries is Feb. 21. Read on to learn more about the contest — a great opportunity for your students to shine!

January 27, 2017

Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 Illinois Woman’s Press Association High School Communications Contest. Advisors are urged to encourage their students to participate in this annual competition honoring and celebrating student journalists and their schools’ communications programs.

The contest is open to all high school students — female and male — from Illinois public and private schools.

The IWPA High School Communications Contest and the national competition sponsored by our sister organization, the National Federation of Press Women, are among the few contests for high school communications programs and their students not sponsored by an organization specifically devoted to scholastic journalism.

The IWPA, founded in 1885, is one of the oldest continuous communication organizations in the state. Its mission is to support women and men communication professionals in promoting their interests, and to encourage the next generation of communicators.

How the Contest Is Organized

The contest has numerous categories suitable for most students’ talents. Categories broadly break down into:

  • News: Print and Online
  • Broadcast: Web, Video, TV and Radio
  • Yearbooks

The school with the most first-place winners receives the IWPA Silver Pen Award and a $100 cash prize.

Students who win first-place awards at the state level then participate in the National Federation of Press Women’s High School Contest.

There students compete against some of the best high school communicators in the country, where first-place winners receive national recognition and a cash prize. Awards will be presented in September at the NFPW Annual Conference held this year in Birmingham, Ala.

IWPA Awards Luncheon

The IWPA also invites students, advisors, family and friends to attend its 76th Annual Mate E. Palmer Communications Award Luncheon on May 13 in Chicago.

Awards will be presented in both the student and professional contests. The guest speaker will be Sarah Jindra, reporter for WGN-TV Chicago.

The awards luncheon is an ideal opportunity for students considering careers in the communications fields to meet with working professionals.

Why Your Students Should Participate

The IWPA and NFPW High School Communications Contests showcase at both the state and national levels the excellent work of students and their schools’ communication programs.

They provide inspiration to students considering careers in communications, as well as notable achievements to include on applications for college and jobs.

Contest Essentials at a Glance

The IWPA High School Communications Contest is open to work published or posted between Feb. 1, 2016 and Jan. 31, 2017.

The deadline for entries is Feb. 21. The entry fee is $10 per entry, and students can submit multiple entries per category.  

To enter online and for complete contest details, go to nfpw.org.

For more information, contact Cora Weisenberger, IWPA High School Contest Chair, at 708-296-8669 or at [email protected].

Read more about the contest and IWPA on our website and on Wikipedia.

Cora Weisenberger is IWPA’s High School Contest Chair. A long-time feature writer and editor, her work has appeared in publications produced by the Chicago Tribune, Rand McNally and M2Media360, among others.

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