2021 SCJ National Contest Update

Greetings and happy 2021!  We are hoping that with the new year comes some hope that life begins to take on some semblance of normalcy.

That said, we’re starting 2021 off with guidance on this year’s SCJ national contest.

We have moved to a new hosting platform through Better BNC, and we’re really excited about what this online system offers us for conference management.  The folks at Better BNC are busy working to build our SCJ platform, and it should be ready soon for you to start submissions.  You will receive specific directions for entering very soon.  Currently, we are still operating under the assumption that the deadline for entries will be January 31, 2021; however, if that changes, we will let you know as soon as we do.  Regardless, the timeframe for work considered remains the same.  All work must have been published or broadcast in the 2020 calendar year.

In the meantime, we are recommending that you review the categories for contest and start to organize your entries. As has been the case, most of the entries will require active links and/or .pdfs, so start gathering those now.  If you have a full list of entries well ahead, it will be far easier to submit when the portal is open.

Please remember that with only a few exceptions each school is allowed only three entries per category and only fully inducted members of SCJ may participate.

We appreciate your enthusiasm and patience, and are excited to see what schools have produced during this most challenging year for journalists across the globe.

The results are in!

We are pleased to release the results for the 2018 Society for Collegiate Journalists’ National Contest.  This year, our judges made 150 awards plus many honorable mentions. Congratulations to all our chapters and SCJ members! Keep up the award-winning work!

PDF: 2018 SCJ National Contest Results

Don’t forget! Please send along photos of your awards ceremonies so we can share your good news with the rest of our SCJ family. Email pictures and information to scjnationaloffice@gmail.com.

President’s Post: SCJ taking a bite of the Big Apple

Students from across the country will again converge on the media capital of the world, New York City, March 11-14 to participate in the College Media Association convention.

In addition to all of the traditional perks of attending CMA in New York (i.e., the best media tours on the planet; the New York CMA Photo Shoot Out; and, of course, Nuts 4 Nuts on nearly every street corner), we hope that all of our SCJ members will participate in several SCJ-sponsored events.

First, SCJ’s national office will be sponsoring the advisers’ lounge and doing a meet and greet on Thursday, March 12. We’ll announce our location via a flyer in everyone’s registration bag, and hope you’ll consider dropping in, partaking of some refreshments and meeting some of the Executive Council members.

We’re also excited that SCJ will offer several fun, interactive sessions at the conference. Student Press Law Center’s Executive Director, Frank LoMonte, and the Newseum Institute’s Chief Operating Officer, Gene Policinski will team up in a rapid-fire session that explores the top 10 First Amendment challenges facing student media today. This session will be followed by a fast and furious First Amendment Trivia showdown led by myself and joined by the aforementioned First Amendment dynamic duo. This is a session you won’t want to miss because there will be some fun 1A swag to be won.

Ever wonder why judges for media contests make the decisions they do? SCJ Vice President Lindsey Wotanis will lead a session #Winning: Why Contests Matter that addresses that question and more. Previous and current SCJ national contest and Pacemaker judges will take on the challenge of judging student work in the moment during this session to offer students some insights into the qualities that make an entry rise to the top.

Be looking for these opportunities and more to enhance your CMA New York experience in March. See you in the Big Apple!

1499499_714671640617_1379616982_nAndrea Frantz, Ph.D. is associate professor of digital media at Buena Vista University, Iowa. She was installed as SCJ President at the 2014 Biennial. She’s an advocate of student journalists and the First Amendment. She’ll be blogging periodically about SCJ and other news.

2015 Contest Rules Now Available

Chapters! It’s the most wonderful time of the year–Contest Time!

Here’s the link to this year’s contest rules: 2015 SCJ Contest Rules

Please note one important change to this year’s contest is the entry deadline. We moved the deadline back by one month to allow chapters more time to prepare their materials. And because, let’s face it, nobody likes a deadline on New Year’s Eve!

Here are the general rules. For specifics on categories, please see the PDF link above.

General Rules:


    1. Only active chapters of SCJ and their initiated members are eligible to participate.
    2. All entries must have been published or broadcast in the calendar year 2014 except the submissions for overall excellence in the online categories. The online entries will be judged at times selected by the judges.
    3. This year all categories except yearbook are online entry. All entries (except yearbook) should be sent to scjnational@gmail.com. All email entries must be date-stamped no later than January 31, 2015.
    4. Entries for Newspaper Overall Excellence are as follows: Three complete issues published on or nearest the 2014 dates of March 15, October 15 and December 1. Yearbooks: one complete copy; no tearsheets. Magazines: all (up to four) consecutive issues.
    5. Stories in a series or continuing coverage may be submitted as one entry.
    6. No more than three entries from each chapter may be submitted in any individual category. Submit only entries of high quality, which merit attention.
    7. Improperly prepared, or late, entries will be disqualified.
    8. No entries will be returned to chapters of individual members. Where possible, judges’ comments will be published with awards listings on scjnational.org and disseminated over the email list.
    9. The SCJ Contest Director has final say over contest decisions. For example, if too few entries are received in any category the contest director may choose to eliminate the category.
    10. All work must have been produced by a student member of an SCJ chapter and must have appeared in a student publication or website or aired on a student broadcasting facility. The contest is not for faculty or staff of the university or for work that has been edited or worked on by outside professionals.
    11. If appropriate, attach a statement of no more than 100 words explaining unusual circumstances under which an entry was published or broadcast. For example, you may want to put a news story in context, describe action that resulted from it, or detail difficulties encountered in gathering information. All statements must be typed and attached to the email entry in the appropriate category.
    12. Entry deadline is January 31, 2015. All entries must be postmarked for yearbook or date-stamped for the other categories by this date. Late entries will be discarded.
    13. Send entries to: scjnational@gmail.com
    14. Yearbook entries should be mailed to:

Mary Beth Earnheardt
SCJ VP of Contests
Youngstown State University
English Department
1 University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555

logo_cornerGot contest questions? Contact SCJ’s VP of Contests, Dr. Mary Beth Earnheardt at mearnheardt@ysu.edu.