HOW TO ENTER 2018 APSE CONTEST

Contest chair: Todd M. Adams of the Springfield State Journal-Register.
toddadams52@hotmail.com
217-788-1549.

Contest judging info:
Feb. 24-28 (Sunday through Thursday) at:
The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando/Disney Resort
2305 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-934-1000
Rate is $168. Deadline for reservations is Feb. 3.

Here’s the link to make hotel reservations: http://apsportseditors.com/hotel-registration-open-for-winter-conference/

Please read the rules closely, as there are some significant changes this year, including:

  1. For writing entries, we are now using story links from websites. This means if you have a paywall you need to provide us with a contest username and password (on your entry key), good through March 10, 2019. It also means you will no longer need to copy, paste, glue, redact, etc. Overall, it should make it much easier to both enter and judge the contest. And don’t worry, if for some reason you are unable to provide links to your website, we provide alternate instructions below (although it will involve some copying, pasting, etc.).
  2. Circulation categories have changed. Instead of going by set in stone numbers (ex. Over 150,000, 75,000-150,000, etc.), the contest committee will place each organization into a category based on size. The largest 25 percent of organizations will be in Category A, the next largest 25 percent in Category B, the third largest 25 percent in Category C, and the smallest 25 percent in Category D. You will receive an email later this month letting you know which category you are in, and that information is also provided at the bottom of these instructions. Your organization’s size is based on the circulation or online numbers you provided when you paid dues. You are allowed to play up (enter a category that includes larger organizations) but not down. If you want to play up, please contact Todd Adams.
  3. Columnist entries now include four columns not five.
  4. Beat writing entries now include a multimedia component among the five submissions and one wildcard.
  5. We are returning to one video category in each division, rather than separate categories for shorter and longer videos.
  6. We have added two photo categories.

CONTEST DEADLINE

All section entries must be postmarked on or before Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. All writing entries must be submitted by midnight local time that same day via Google drive.

A FEW IMPORTANT PREGAME NOTES…

Before you begin, please read these important notes:

  1. Instructions

Please read the instructions carefully. Try to follow the protocols. Entries which do not adhere to the rules may be disqualified.

  1. Cover letters part I – content

Rules for cover letters are specific. Please adhere to them strictly. DO NOT write a thesis explaining the story, provide only the information allowed under the cover letter guidelines (provided near the bottom of this document).

  1. Cover letters part II – creating them

Please follow the instructions for creating cover letters closely. They are Google docs and need to be created so that judges can view them. Instructions on how to create them, and change the settings so judges can read them, are provided.

  1. Entry key notes

Entry keys have changed. Please use the new form provided in your Google folder.

Here is an example of a blank entry key:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/15vIeBwI8HYTQzvTv6aYKgNVOq6j8cmUvw3Dv5Tp0LXE/edit?usp=sharing

Here is an example of a completed entry key:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EALZlwi7oD21A_pqW_08nhCLnW-aI6DS4AlO5I6ApfQ/edit?usp=sharing

It is ESSENTIAL that all entry keys are turned in with full and complete information on the authors of the work – please DO NOT come back later, after the winners have been revealed, to ask that names be added.

If you have an entry with multiple authors, keep the list of names at five or fewer. For entries with more than five names, use “Staff.”

Also, please include your organization’s name as you would like it to appear on a winner’s plaque or in a news story (for example, The New York Times rather than just New York Times).

Again, please BE THOROUGH. Once results have been published, changes need to be made on at least five platforms, including the awards banquet program and for any plaques or certificates.

  1. One entry per writer per category 

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE BEAT WRITING CATEGORY, no article may be entered in more than one writing category.

There is a limit of one entry per writer per category, although a writer may be entered in the same category a second time (and only a second time) if he/she is a member of a team (two or more writers) entry. A single team may not be entered twice. This includes the video and multimedia categories.

Items entered in the project category cannot be also entered in another category. You have to choose.

You also cannot enter material as a project and as a special section, if it ran that way. Again, you have to choose.

  1. Section mandatories

All sections are from 2018.

The mandatory dates are:

Sunday – April 8, 2018 and September 9, 2018. (Sundays only. No “weekend” sections or other days).

Daily – One paper chosen from the week of April 9-14 and one paper chosen from the week of November 5-10 (only Monday through Saturday are eligible).

OFF-SITE JUDGES NEEDED

APSE will be utilizing off-site judging in certain categories again this year. If you are unable to make it to Orlando and wish to judge – or if you have a staff member who won’t be going to Orlando who would like to participate – email apsecontest@gmail.com and put OFF-SITE JUDGING in the subject line. Off-site judges will judge in a window from Feb. 4- Feb. 22.

 

GOOGLE DRIVE

All entry keys and cover letters will be submitted via Google Drive.

Having trouble? Shoot the contest chair an email (make sure to copy to apsecontest@gmail.com with QUESTION or PROBLEM in the subject line) or call Todd at 217-788-1549. Our goal is for the contest to be a breeze to enter. So please help us make that a reality.

CONTEST ESSENTIALS:

  • All section entries must be postmarked on or before Jan. 16, 2018. All writing entries must be submitted by midnight local time that same day.
  • Mandatory dates: Sunday – April 8, 2018 and September 9, 2018; Daily – One paper chosen from the week of April 9-14, 2018 (Monday through Saturday are eligible) and one paper chosen from the week of November 5-10.
  • Instructions on how to prepare your section entries (daily, Sunday and special section) are provided below. Send all section entries to the appropriate catcher, listed below:

Category A, send to:
Kathy Laughlin
Sports Editor
Sun Sentinel
333 SW 12th Avenue
Deerfield Beach, Florida, 33442

Category B, send to:
Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Tampa Bay Times
490 First Ave. S
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Group C, send to:
Bill Speros
Golfweek
633 North Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

Category D, send to:
Iliana Limon Romero
Sports Editor
Orlando Sentinel Media Group
633 North Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

  • Judging will take place Feb. 24-28 (Sunday through Thursday) at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando/Disney Resort (2305 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, phone number 407-934-1000). Rate is $168. Deadline for reservation is Feb. 3.
  • If you are attending judging, be there for a 4 p.m. meeting Sunday, Feb. 24. Please make this meeting to receive judging instructions and meet your judging partners.
  • Bring your laptop or tablet. Paperless judging means we have to access the entries digitally.
  • To enter, you must have a Google account. You’ll need this both to submit entries and to judge come February.
  • If you’re a judge, please email apsecontest@gmail.com with your cell phone, work email and gmail – and make sure to include your news organization.
  • Once your entry key is finished in Google Drive, you must notify contest chairman Todd Adams. Please double-check that all links are correct and active. All entries will be checked as quickly as possible, but may not be checked immediately. Please be patient.
  • Questions? Contact Todd M. Adams at toddadams52@hotmail.com or 217-788-1549 (please copy to apsecontest@gmail.com and put CONTEST QUESTION in the subject line). I’ll respond to everyone as quickly as I can. Please do what you can to avoid waiting until the last minute before the entry deadline.

 

HOW TO ENTER:

HOW TO PREPARE SECTION ENTRIES

How does the section contest work?

There are section categories for daily, Sunday and special sections.

Entries must include a 3-by-5 index card or facsimile with section division, news organization name, city, daily circulation, circulation category, and dates of publication. These cards must be stapled to the upper right corner of your section fronts (please do NOT use paper clips).

The information on the card should mirror the following format:

 

Section division: (Example Daily)

Newspaper: (Example Daily Bugle)

City: (Example Dallas, Texas)

Daily circulation: (Example 212,000)

Dates of publication: (Example Two dates from the mandatory windows and two optionals of your choosing for Daily sections; Two mandatory dates and two optionals for Sunday.)

Circulation category: (A, B, C or D. This is indicated at the bottom of this form).

 

Daily and Sunday section entries

Daily section entries must contain four issues: Two mandatory dates and two optional dates.

Sunday section entries must contain four issues: Two mandatory dates and two optional dates.

NOTE: Sunday entries MUST BE published on Sundays – “weekend editions” that are published on Saturday (or Monday or any date other than Sunday) will be disqualified.

Optional day entries may include: self-contained sports sections, sports-related A1 material and special sections that include live (or yesterday) content and regular-scheduled preview content.

Stand-alone special preview (season and major event) sections are not allowed for optional-day entries. Special sections that are not live may not be entered with optional entries. The preponderance of material in a special section must be live for it to be included.

On mandatory dates, papers enter all sports-related content, including special sections and material from other sections of the paper – for instance, A1 outtake or breaking news would be included.

Judges will select – but not rank – the top 10 sections in each circulation category and will select as many as 10 honorable mentions.

The best sections offer coverage, news, features and opinion, supported by scores, results and standings of the day’s activities as needed to reflect the interest of the readership. There should be an appeal to the fanatic as well as the casual fan – and an attempt to satisfy a range of readership diversity. Judges should look closely at a couple areas of content:

Subject matter: Determine the quality of staff-written material. Space should be used wisely. Big-event coverage should be coordinated to avoid overlap. News should be played properly, and judges should look at reaction to breaking news. Where there are few professional teams, judges should look for strong treatment of college, high school and other results. Even where there are no professional teams, there should be coverage of such national stories as the Super Bowl, World Series, etc. Game coverage should reflect the reality of the web and have strong analytical and commentary components. Judges should look at the agate package – are there scores, statistics, standings and box scores to fit the needs of the readership within the confines of available space? Examples: Does a paper with interest in pro teams run enough information in home team and league-wide box scores? Does a paper in a prep-dominated area run enough names and statistical leaders?

Enterprise: Judges must note if there is an effort to bring something extra. Does the section offer features, trend pieces, scoops, innovative standing features or reader nuggets? Do efforts show originality and a high level of reporting and writing? Is there an effort to entertain as well as inform? Are there light touches? Is there over-reliance on wires? Reliance on wires is OK on some days, but not as a steady diet.

        Special section entry

Newspapers may submit only one special section. This includes one-subject or one-theme sections issued one time.

What’s not eligible: Special sections sold only as stand-alone products on newsstands or elsewhere are not eligible. The special section must have been part of the regular newspaper run.

What else is not eligible: Stories entered as a special section entry may not also be entered as a project writing entry.

Examples: Commemorative to mark the success of a team, a sports event (like Olympics) or the death of a major personality; a theme section on running, fishing, hunting, auto racing, etc. The section may contain live news (stories in which a team wins a championship) related to the theme, but it may not include unrelated articles.

How are special sections judged?

Does the section have spunk? Does it project impact on big events?

Does it grab? Is it distinctive? Does it have imagination and originality?

Photos and graphics: Is there a coordinated presentation of pictures, graphics and articles that give a grasp of the big stories? Does it make sense? Is it attractive? Does it help the reader understand? Does it illustrate? Judges may consider color reproduction.

Is it well written, well edited and truly special. Is the content useful, informative and/or entertaining?

 

HOW TO PREPARE WRITING/PHOTO ENTRIES

This year, writing and photo entries will all be submitted as website links. These will all go on a single contest entry key.  One will be provided in your Google folder, titled “Entry key.” If it is not there, or somehow gets lost, contact Todd and he can provide you with a new one.

Here’s how to fill out your APSE contest entry key:

  1. Change the status at the top to “In Progress” while you are filling it out. This is to ensure nobody else grabs it before it is completed.
  2. Fill out the top fields:
    1. Name of Organization (Please provide complete name, as you would like it to appear on a winner’s plaque and in stories about the winners. Example: The New York Times, rather than just New York Times).
    2. Daily circulation (this number should be the same one you provided us when you paid your 2019 dues).
    3. A contest username and password for your website, if it is needed (valid through at least March 10, 2019)
  3. Completely fill out each writing category. Some of this information might seem redundant, but keep in mind that these entries will be copied and pasted different places, so it is important to include everything.
    1. The name of your organization
    2. A contest username and password for your website, if needed.
    3. The name of the reporter or reporters credited with the story or group of stories. Please note, if more than five reporters worked on an entry, please say “staff.”
    4. The link to the cover letter, when needed. (Instructions on how to submit a cover letter are included below).
    5. The headline on the story.
    6. The link to the story.

Note: For categories with multiple stories/videos, everything listed above is the same, there are just spaces for multiple entries.

Here is an example of a completed story entry:

BREAKING NEWS 1

NAME OF ORGANIZATION: Springfield State Journal-Register

WEBSITE USERNAME (IF NEEDED): SpringfieldContest

WEBSITE PASSWORD (IF NEEDED): Contest1

NAME OF REPORTER(S): Ryan Mahan

LINK TO COVER LETTER?: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FulpqEdX9_KLsX3iRHybUN95YDfq8N1FTXMa6PNfBTo/edit?usp=sharing

HEADLINE ON STORY: Springfield High hires new football coach

STORY LINK: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180705/racin-mason-new-berlin-boy-13-behind-wheel-at-local-dirt-tracks

Here is an example of an entry that includes multiple elements:

BEAT WRITING 1

NAME OF ORGANIZATION: Springfield State Journal-Register

WEBSITE USERNAME (IF NEEDED): SpringfieldContest

WEBSITE PASSWORD (IF NEEDED): Contest1

NAME OF REPORTER: Dave Kane

LINK TO COVER LETTER: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FulpqEdX9_KLsX3iRHybUN95YDfq8N1FTXMa6PNfBTo/edit?usp=sharing

HEADLINE ON STORY 1 (BREAKING NEWS): Three Pleasant Plains football players suspended

STORY LINK: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180705/racin-mason-new-berlin-boy-13-behind-wheel-at-local-dirt-tracks

HEADLINE ON STORY 2 (GAMEDAY COVERAGE): Athens rolls into second straight state title game

STORY LINK: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180705/racin-mason-new-berlin-boy-13-behind-wheel-at-local-dirt-tracks

HEADLINE ON STORY 3 (ENTERPRISE): New helmet design led to fewer football concussions

STORY LINK: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180705/racin-mason-new-berlin-boy-13-behind-wheel-at-local-dirt-tracks

HEADLINE ON STORY 4 (WILDCARD): Baker breaking state records despite his height

STORY LINK: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180705/racin-mason-new-berlin-boy-13-behind-wheel-at-local-dirt-tracks

LINK TO ENTRY 5 (MULTIMEDIA): http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180705/racin-mason-new-berlin-boy-13-behind-wheel-at-local-dirt-tracks

  1. Create cover letters for categories that need them. Place these in the “cover letters” subfolder inside your Google folder. Instructions on how to do that are provided below.
  2. Copy the cover letter links and paste them in the correct place on your entry form.
  3. Double-check everything. Is all the information on your entry key correct (authors, headlines, etc.)? Do your links all work? Is your contest username/password valid? Are your cover letters all there and have their advanced options been changed so judges can read them?
  4. Change the “Status of Entry” at the top of the page to “Completed”
  5. Notify Todd Adams that your entry is completed and ready to go.

HOW TO SUBMIT/GET LINK FOR A COVER LETTER

In short, you will create cover letters for the necessary categories and place them all in the “cover letters” folder in your Google drive folder. Once they are there, you will open each cover letter, copy their links and paste them onto your entry key.

Here’s how to create your cover letters and get the links …

  1. Log in to Google Drive.
  2. Get your upload link. The links are not currently available, but will be included at the bottom of this document and posted separately on the site later this month.
  3. The link will take you directly to your publication’s folder, which includes a subfolder for cover letters.
  4. Ready? Click on the link. Then open your “cover letters” subfolder.
  5. In the top right corner, click the “Open in Drive” button.
  6. Now we come to a fork in the road.
  7. Have you already created your cover letter and just need to upload? Yes? Great. On the left is a button titled “NEW.” Click on it to reveal its menu. You want “file upload.” Find the cover letter on your desktop and upload it.

Now, after the file is uploaded, click on the blue box in the upper right corner that says “share.” A new box will pop up that says “share with others.” In the bottom right, click on “advanced.” A new box will appear. There will be an option that says “private.” Click “change.” Click on the circle next to “On – anyone with the link.” Click save.

  1. Need help uploading? Directions straight from google: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2424368)
  2. Wait, you say you have NOT created your cover letter yet? No problem. Let’s get started.

* On the left is a button titled “NEW.” Click on it to reveal its menu.

* You want “Google Docs.” Click on it. You’ll get the following message: “Create in a shared folder? The created item will have the same sharing permissions as the selected folder.” Click yes.

* Name the document. In the left-hand corner you’ll see “unnamed document.” Click on that text and enter your title — “Breaking News 1 cover letter,” “Columns 1 cover letter,” etc.

* In the upper right corner, there should be blue box that says “share.” Click that. A new box will pop up that says “share with others.” In the bottom right, click on “advanced.” A new box will appear. There will be an option that says “private.” Click “change.” Click on the circle next to “On – anyone with the link.” Click save.

  1. Now you’re ready to fill out your cover letter. Just follow the cover letter instructions.
  2. The bonus for you is the google doc has been created right there in your publication’s folder, no need to upload. They should already be in the correct folder.
  3. NOW, regardless of how you created your cover letters, open each one separately. Once opened, this is the link you will use on your entry key.
  4. Paste each link onto the entry key.
  5. Double-check to make sure each entry has the correct cover letter link and that their advanced options have been changed so that judges can read them.

HOW TO PREPARE WRITING ENTRIES

It’s easy.

  1. Copy the link of the story from your website and paste it onto your entry key.
  2. Fill out other information on the entry key: name of organization, author(s) and headline.
  3. If a cover letter is needed, create that and put it in your “cover letters folder.” Once it is there, open it, copy the link and paste it onto the correct place on the entry key.

That’s it. When it’s done, email Todd and let him know

        If you are UNABLE to use story links off your website …

No problem. You will just need to create google docs for your stories and place them in your google drive folder. This is done exactly the same as creating cover letters (see instructions above), except instead of placing the completed entry in the “cover letters” folder you will just place them in your general folder (no subfolder). Once a story is created and in that folder, open it, copy the link and paste it on the entry form. You will need to make sure the complete story is on the new google doc, but you do not need to redact anything (author, name of paper, etc.).

How to submit your writing entries:

  1. Log in to Google Drive.
  2. Get your upload link from the bottom of this document.
  3. The link takes you directly to your publication’s folder, which includes a subfolder for “entry key”.
  4. Fill out the entry key in that folder.
  5. Double-check your entry key. Everything is filled out correctly? All the links to your website work? All your usernames and passwords are valid? All the links to cover letters are working and the advanced options have been changed so judges can read them?
  6. If so, you are done. Notify Todd that your entry is ready.

Let us know when you’ve finished your entries

* Send an email to apsecontest@gmail.com – IMPORTANT: Put the name of the news organization plus ENTRY COMPLETE in subject line. Make this a fresh, new email, and not part of a chain of any earlier correspondence.

*  Include a copy of your the ENTRY KEY as an attachment. This is as a backup to your google drive.

CONTEST BASICS

Who can enter?

Any APSE member that has paid its 2019 dues.

If you haven’t paid your 2019 APSE dues, there’s still time to pay them and become eligible to enter APSE’s annual contests. Sign up here: http://apsportseditors.com/become-an-apse-member/

 

What are the writing categories?

BREAKING NEWS

Three entries per organization; one article per entry; cover letter allowed.

Article of a sports news development (trades, hirings, firings, franchise shifts, etc.) that occurred in the most recent news cycle.

Online or print stories can be submitted.

A cover letter should explain:

  • Who broke the story
  • When the news was obtained relative to publication
  • Publication time online
  • How it might have been expanded upon for print.

For judging purposes, only the final story and cover letter must be read, but up to three examples of complementary material may be included and read at the judges’ discretion. Judges, using their discretion, will weigh the various elements of a breaking news story: timeliness, thoroughness, exclusivity, significance. These should be explained in the cover letter.

EXPLANATORY

Two entries per organization; one article per entry; cover letter allowed.

Article along with any accompanying sidebars or graphics/charts that help supplement the story.

Sidebars will not be required reading by the judges. They will be included to answer judges’ questions concerning why material may be missing from the single-story entry. An editor also can attach a cover letter that is a synopsis of the sidebars.

NOTE: If you include optional sidebar material, place it as a link on your entry key. Label it “Optional Material.”

Explanatory stories include trends, issues, original ideas and it should explain something. They shed new light on issues and personalities in the news. They are more than the feature and less than the project entry. They go beyond the “yesterday” of the breaking news story.

 

GAME STORY (Class C AND D ONLY)

Two entries per organization; one article per entry.

The best single article by a single author. No series; no sidebars. No cover letters.

Judging will be on reader interest, and quality of writing and thoroughness of reporting.

 

BEAT WRITING

Two entries per organization; five articles per entry; cover letter allowed.

Collection of articles by a single author that shows authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage of a beat.

Each entry should consist of five pieces: at least one breaking news story; one event or game coverage story; one enterprise piece; one multimedia piece (video, blog post, tweet); and a wild-card story or multimedia entry from any of the aforementioned categories (or other stories or analysis related to the beat).

Entries should include a cover letter with a synopsis of how the combined submissions demonstrate excellence on the beat. The cover letter should note other metrics that show authority and audience engagement on the beat.

This is the only category where stories can be entered for a second time — the five articles that make up the entry can (but do not have to) be also entered in other categories (for instance, a breaking news story can be entered in Breaking News and also as part of the Beat Writing entry).

 

FEATURES

Three entries per organization; one article per entry; no cover letter.

The best single article. No series; no sidebars.

Judging will be on human interest, reader interest, quality of writing and thoroughness of reporting.

 

COLUMNS

Two entries per organization; four articles per entry; no cover letter.

Judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal.

No restriction on subject matter and no requirement that they appear regularly.

PROJECTS

One entry per organization; 1-10 articles per entry (refer to category explanation for more detail); cover letter allowed.

A project sheds new light on personalities and issues in the news, including trends and original ideas. It is pre-planned content that is conceived and executed as a larger body of work. It is not  ongoing coverage of a news event over a period of time where a number of stories are compiled for an entry.

For judging purposes, the project is limited to 10 stories. Links to additional material may be attached and read at the judges’ discretion.

There should be a synopsis of the supplementary material in the cover letter. The material is not required to have appeared in a single day or on consecutive days.

Multimedia can be entered as a project to allow the full scope of the project to be judged. This should be done by providing a link or links on your entry key. Like other entries, it must include information on who worked on the multimedia entry (author(s)).

***NOTES****

  • You CANNOT enter the same work in both Projects and Multimedia, or Video or any other category. You have to choose. Just like you can’t take a sidebar from your project entry and enter it in Features and three more pieces of an entered project and enter them in Explanatory.
  • Stories and material entered as a special section may not also be entered as a project writing entry.
  • Discovery of the same material entered under Project and in Multimedia or any other category will result in both entries being disqualified.

 

INVESTIGATIVE

One entry per organization; 1 to 10 articles per entry; cover letter allowed. (There are no circulation categories in Investigative: all entries are judged across all categories)

Best single article or best series.

Judging will be based on the entry’s enterprise, initiative, documentation, resourcefulness and original reporting in uncovering newsworthy and significant facts and developments that otherwise might not have been reported. Impact and aftermath of the work should be considered.

Investigative work should rely on reporting of facts discovered or uncovered by the author rather than reports from anonymous sources offering unverified statements.

Investigative entries must not include articles for which payments were made for information. Pure and truly significant investigative reporting is rare. Relying solely on quotes from an FBI source does not make a story investigative. Doing the work the FBI would do in order to build a story might be investigative.

NOTE: A maximum of 10 articles can be submitted as part of the official entry. You may submit more articles as supplementary material if you choose. The judges may read the supplementary material but are not required to. If you include supplementary material, place it as a link on your entry key. Label it “Supplementary Material.”

 

MULTIMEDIA

Two entries per organization.

Multimedia includes interactive graphics, audio, slideshows or combinations thereof, or anything else that falls under the broad description of multimedia other than simple videos (which must be entered in the video portion of the contest). Entries will be judged, foremost, on the strength of storytelling. Visual and auditory quality will be considered.

A single entry may be a series on the same topic (such as following a team through a season) with a limit of five installments per entry.

A cover letter (follow standard format above) can be submitted with the entry. In instances where the multimedia entry supplemented a written story, that should be summarized in the cover letter. The story itself may be submitted for background purposes and can be read at the judges’ discretion. The written story will not be a part of the material judged. NOTE: If you include a supplementary story, place it as a link on your entry key. Label it “Supplementary story.”

Judges will select a Top 5 and up to five honorable mention entries — unless the number of entries, at the contest chair’s discretion, supports expanding the number of entries.

VIDEO

Two entries per organization.

Entries will be judged, foremost, on the strength of storytelling. Visual and auditory quality will be considered.

A cover letter (follow standard format above) can be submitted with the entry(s). In instances where the video entry supplemented a written story, that should be summarized in the cover letter. The story itself may be submitted for background purposes and can be read at the judges’ discretion. The written story will not be a part of the material judged. NOTE: If you include supplementary story material, place it as a link on your entry key. Label it “Supplementary Material.”

Judges will select a Top 5 and up to five honorable mention entries — unless the number of entries, at the contest chair’s discretion, supports expanding the number of entries honored.

Categories for video contest entries are the same as for Multimedia and all other contest entries, by circulation for news organizations with a daily print product or unique monthly visitors for website/digital-only members. See above for details.

 

WHAT ARE THE PHOTO ENTRIES?

ACTION PHOTO

Two entries per organization; one photo per entry.

The best single action photo.

No cover letters.

Judging will be on quality of photo.

FEATURE PHOTO

Two entries per organization; one photo per entry.

The best single sports feature photo.

No cover letters.

Judging will be on quality of photo.

COVER LETTER FORMAT

How do I write a cover letter?

A cover letter actually isn’t a letter at all. It’s a form that gives judges pertinent information. You must follow this strict format or your letter may be tossed. So PLEASE take care to adhere to this (in the case of breaking news there is allowance for other material as specified – see above):

Origin of the idea of the story: (Place your explanation here …)

Timeliness of its publication: (Place your explanation here …)

Difficulty in acquiring it: (Place your explanation here …)

Impact, reaction, aftermath: (Place your explanation here …)

Headline: (Your story’s headline, so we can distinguish between cover letters)

Where can I enter a story?

With the exception of the beat writing category, no article may be entered in more than one writing division. There is a limit of one entry per writer per category, with a single exception: a writer may be entered in the same category a second time (and only a second time) if he/she is a member of a team (two or more writers) entry. A single team may not be entered twice. Example: Writer A could be entered once individually. She also could be entered a second time for an entry co-authored by Writer B. Or, Writer A could be entered twice as a part of a team, as long as the teams were not the same.

The same rule applies in the multimedia and video categories.

 

What’s my contest category?

Entries will be judged by category determined by the level at which the news organization pays APSE dues: for news organizations with daily print products, this is determined by average daily circulation; for website-only news organizations, this is determined by unique monthly visitors:

Here are the categories:

Category A: Largest 25 percent of APSE members. (This year, it is “over-87,000” circulation).

Category B: Second-largest 25 percent of APSE members. (This year, it is “31,000-86,999” circulation).

Category C: Third-largest 25 percent of APSE members. (This year, it is “14,800-30,999” circulation).

Category D: Smallest 25 percent of APSE members. (This year it is “under-14,800) circulation).

All contest entries – writing and section divisions as well as video and multimedia – must be made in the same category. Editors wanting to compete in a larger category must notify contest chair Todd Adams before submitting entries. Those “playing up” will be required to pay the higher dues for the higher division.

When one staff publishes sports sections for several papers, they are considered one paper for APSE purposes. To enter individually, these papers need to pay dues individually. Questions on your organization and how it fits in should be directed to APSE President John Bednarowski.

When one staff publishes sports sections for several papers, dues must have been paid accordingly, with the combined circulation determining the category. If you didn’t follow this procedure when you paid dues, your contest entries are subject to disqualification.

How are writing entries judged?

Preliminary judges will select the top 10 stories in each group as finalists. Each judge, separately and on a secret ballot, will list the stories in order from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best story. The final 10 will be given to a second judging group, which also will rank the stories 1-10 in the same fashion as the first group. The final judges’ ballots and the final 10 stories will be turned into the contest chair. The chair will tally all the votes awarding points in reverse order (No. 1 story gets 10 points, No. 2 gets 9, etc.). It is the responsibility of the entering news organization, based on the judging guidelines, to select the proper division in which an entry should be placed.

For articles that appeared in the newspaper as columns but are entered in game, feature or breaking news divisions, the judging group will have disqualification authority.

LIST OF ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS WITH CONTEST LINKS:

GROUP A

AL.com: https://tinyurl.com/ybwgr2er

The Arizona Republic: https://tinyurl.com/ycbad4gv

The Athletic: https://tinyurl.com/y84ry5aa

The Baltimore Sun: https://tinyurl.com/y84nekk8

Bleacher Report: https://tinyurl.com/ya4y3xb4

The Boston Globe: https://tinyurl.com/y9qdgshk

The Buffalo News: https://tinyurl.com/ybez2659

CBS Sports Digital: https://tinyurl.com/yc654gwm

Chicago Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/ya3daalu

The Cincinnati Enquirer: https://tinyurl.com/ybazg3kj

Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer: https://tinyurl.com/y7kdfrye

The Courier Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y78kapk7

The Dallas Morning News: https://tinyurl.com/y8kevkkg

The Detroit News: https://tinyurl.com/ybp89sjt

The Denver Post: https://tinyurl.com/y9m9znpn

Detroit Free Press: https://tinyurl.com/y92f8sq9

ESPN.com: https://tinyurl.com/yb37ley8

ESPN Undefeated: https://tinyurl.com/y7m75bdw

FloSports: https://tinyurl.com/y9zbjhf8

Hartford Courant: https://tinyurl.com/yan49orw

Houston Chronicle: https://tinyurl.com/y89ntjfq

The Kansas City Star: https://tinyurl.com/ycwvcgsu

Las Vegas Review Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y8om9xbn

Los Angeles Times: https://tinyurl.com/y8osf8gu

MassLive.com: https://tinyurl.com/yct5p7xj

The Miami Herald: https://tinyurl.com/y8mqr473

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: https://tinyurl.com/ya39x2kl

Mlive Media Group: https://tinyurl.com/ydeeqh2b

New York Daily News: https://tinyurl.com/yd7pkbun

The New York Times: https://tinyurl.com/ybxrqz69

Newsday: https://tinyurl.com/y9mq8f4d

NJ Advance Media: https://tinyurl.com/ybso2zex

Omaha World-Herald: https://tinyurl.com/ycapwmry

The Oregonian/Oregon Live: https://tinyurl.com/yblawzen

Orlando Sentinel: https://tinyurl.com/yd6fvgwg

Philadelphia Inquirer: https://tinyurl.com/ycdehauy

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/yc42ywxe

San Diego Union-Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/y8ggccan

San Jose Mercury News: https://tinyurl.com/ybru3kjj

The Seattle Times: https://tinyurl.com/ybv4jpdq

South Florida Sun Sentinel: https://tinyurl.com/yae9kjts

Star Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/y9c6b6g5

Tampa Bay Times: https://tinyurl.com/y8rv2ugf

The Virginian-Pilot: https://tinyurl.com/y7hzqow5

The Washington Post : https://tinyurl.com/y9jdztct

USA Today: https://tinyurl.com/y99293r6

Wall Street Journal: https://tinyurl.com/ychzfctq

Yahoo Sports: https://tinyurl.com/y7gem9xt

GROUP B

The Advocate (Baton Rouge): https://tinyurl.com/y8gncc6k

Boston Herald: https://tinyurl.com/yd2j83so

The Canton Repository: https://tinyurl.com/y7clr2fd

Charlotte Observer: https://tinyurl.com/ybqq83k3

Chattanooga Times Free Press: https://tinyurl.com/ycdbn5q7

The Commercial Appeal: https://tinyurl.com/y9uem7a5

The Daily Advertiser: https://tinyurl.com/yd89ro3d

Daytona Beach News-Journal: https://tinyurl.com/ydfmv646

The Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/ycelvkm9

Green Bay Press Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/y9zuht8z

Indy Star: https://tinyurl.com/ya83ldll

The Journal Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/y8wa862v

Knoxville News Sentinel: https://tinyurl.com/ycdacdfm

Lexington Herald-Leader: https://tinyurl.com/y9wfgevc

Maine Sunday Telegram: https://tinyurl.com/yckezqfo

The Morning Call: https://tinyurl.com/y7t7mpzl

Naples Daily News: https://tinyurl.com/y7zx9d6c

The New Orleans Advocate: https://tinyurl.com/y7ff76d2

The News & Observer: https://tinyurl.com/y7ubr8gu

The News-Press: https://tinyurl.com/yar8auwc

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune: https://tinyurl.com/y75yb5dn

The Oklahoman: https://tinyurl.com/yb8mxq8m

PennLive/Patriot-News: https://tinyurl.com/ybpt7drh

Pensacola News Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y9alqqx5

Philadelphia Daily News: https://tinyurl.com/y8j9vsv3

Portland Press Herald: https://tinyurl.com/y7qqb6sp

The Post and Courier: https://tinyurl.com/y78h7yz7

The Press Democrat: https://tinyurl.com/y74q2wz8

The Providence Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y9h5po4d

Quad-City Times: https://tinyurl.com/y7t6u8yg

The Register-Guard: https://tinyurl.com/ya8kamvs

Richmond Times-Dispatch: https://tinyurl.com/ycvgpoun

The Roanoke Times: https://tinyurl.com/ybo5fhwp

The Salt Lake Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/ydctsz7m

San Antonio Express-News: https://tinyurl.com/ycox6sk7

South Bend Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/ydd33kzr

The Spokesman-Review: https://tinyurl.com/ycw2kkay

The State: https://tinyurl.com/ybxnql88

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: https://tinyurl.com/yckvrx52

Syracuse.com/The Post-Standard: https://tinyurl.com/y7m4r4t4

The Tennessean: https://tinyurl.com/y7nwbxvp

Times Union: https://tinyurl.com/ybl2bfcp

Toledo Blade: https://tinyurl.com/ybyt8th2

Tulsa World: https://tinyurl.com/ycp45txm

The Villages Daily Sun: https://tinyurl.com/y732myq4

Winston-Salem Journal: https://tinyurl.com/ycknvcxv

Wisconsin State Journal: https://tinyurl.com/ydgjlru3

Group C

Altoona Mirror: https://tinyurl.com/y8oqe2vo

Anderson Herald-Bulletin: https://tinyurl.com/y7w8q9js

Auburn Undercover: https://tinyurl.com/y9yj54yq

Beaumont Enterprise: https://tinyurl.com/ybmfxn4m

The Bryan-College Station Eagle: https://tinyurl.com/y9esf2ys

Burlington Times-News: https://tinyurl.com/yaj35ucz

Casper Star-Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/yahsgnu5

The Citizens’ Voice: https://tinyurl.com/y9bhqvw3

The Clarion-Ledger: https://tinyurl.com/yd3wl9g3

Corpus Christi Caller-Times: https://tinyurl.com/y7m8t63m

Daily Hampshire Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/yaekvoux

Deseret News: https://tinyurl.com/y7m5n37u

The Desert Sun: https://tinyurl.com/y9gasznp

Elyria Chronicle-Telegram: https://tinyurl.com/y7g3sre2

The Fayetteville Observer: https://tinyurl.com/yblqsupk

Florence Morning News: https://tinyurl.com/y8h3xotg

The Free Lance-Star: https://tinyurl.com/ydylnpvf

The Herald (Rock Hill): https://tinyurl.com/yahzdmhw

Idaho Falls Post Register: https://tinyurl.com/ybqu4tr2

Idaho Statesman: https://tinyurl.com/yc2hs92r

Inside Carolina: https://tinyurl.com/yd65hrl8

Janesville Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/ycj5uucl

Journal & Courier: https://tinyurl.com/y8uk34n9

Lawrence Journal-World: https://tinyurl.com/y984bsne

Mail Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/y7afhhhe

Marin Independent Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y9mjr2oq

The Monitor: https://tinyurl.com/yajrxjh5

Napa Valley Register: https://tinyurl.com/yd3nsaso

The News-Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/yb8dm6zj

News & Record: https://tinyurl.com/yc9yg94e

Northwest Herald: https://tinyurl.com/y9gdzuhq

Peoria Journal Star: https://tinyurl.com/yd7cwoct

The Post-Star: https://tinyurl.com/yclq6kby

Racine Journal Times: https://tinyurl.com/y774x8zl

Sauk Valley Media: https://tinyurl.com/y9am2mck

Savannah Morning News: https://tinyurl.com/y7ukjwky

The Scranton Times-Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/ybcuee2e

Springfield State Journal-Register: https://tinyurl.com/y92xunmb

Sun Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y8kym3ud

TimesDaily: https://tinyurl.com/y7lhw7ol

The Topeka Capital-Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y96jbljc

Tucson Local Media: https://tinyurl.com/y7jzzyld

Victoria Advocate: https://tinyurl.com/y72vbj7k

Virgin Islands Daily News: https://tinyurl.com/ybl3wv8n

Wilmington StarNews: https://tinyurl.com/y9e2n863

Williamsport Sun-Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/y9g3xk5c

Group D

Alexander City Outlook: https://tinyurl.com/yardczuj

Ames Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/ycbqwa33

Ashland Daily Tidings: https://tinyurl.com/y6uo2d4z

Athens Banner-Herald : https://tinyurl.com/yc453bge

The Carlisle Sentinel: https://tinyurl.com/y8wz3c5j

Cherokee Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/yc2aw7mc

Columbia Missourian: https://tinyurl.com/y7fxcaz3

The Covington News: https://tinyurl.com/y75lyw4r

Daily American Republic: https://tinyurl.com/y7bmo7fb

The Daily News Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y8kx9wfd

The Daily Progress: https://tinyurl.com/yd3gfdqb

Daily Record: https://tinyurl.com/ybbv2mmu

Decatur Daily: https://tinyurl.com/yd37fkgn

Denton Record-Chronicle: https://tinyurl.com/yb84sas8

Dodge City Daily Globe: https://tinyurl.com/yaam3569

Durham Herald-Sun: https://tinyurl.com/y7s2okgx

GamecockCentral.com: https://tinyurl.com/create.php

GoPowercat.com: https://tinyurl.com/y8wg2bza

Grand Forks Herald: https://tinyurl.com/yas5fgl2

The Hawk Eye: https://tinyurl.com/y79lmn3c

Hickory Daily Record: https://tinyurl.com/ybkwr8m9

Idaho State Journal: https://tinyurl.com/ya7ghrlv

Inside Pack Sports: https://tinyurl.com/y8ek372b

The Jackson Sun: https://tinyurl.com/yax7havm

Journal Tribune: https://tinyurl.com/ybwakb2b

Kearney Hub: https://tinyurl.com/ydgmt9ua

Kennebec Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y7fl8lj6

Lake City Reporter: https://tinyurl.com/yapl4f7f

Laramie Boomerang: https://tinyurl.com/y7yz5us8

The Leaf Chronicle: https://tinyurl.com/ydylf438

The Manhattan Mercury: https://tinyurl.com/ycv5gvoa

Marietta Daily Journal: https://tinyurl.com/y7d7mkdf

Mason City Globe Gazette: https://tinyurl.com/y7z35f2f

The Missoulian: https://tinyurl.com/y84soae9

Mon Valley Independent: https://tinyurl.com/y8jwceeu

Morning Sentinel: https://tinyurl.com/y8ujgwqu

Newburyport Daily News: https://tinyurl.com/ybgpbdd8

Powermizzou.com: https://tinyurl.com/y7q8rqcn

Roswell Daily Sun: https://tinyurl.com/ycj7qrw6

Santa Cruz Sentinel: https://tinyurl.com/y72yho4a

The Sheridan Press: https://tinyurl.com/ydxf3mvd

St. Tammany Farmer: https://tinyurl.com/yb2f68l2

Steamboat Pilot & Today: https://tinyurl.com/y9yyzw9r

Tider Insider: https://tinyurl.com/y83axcwx

The Tuscaloosa News: https://tinyurl.com/y8gcgb8q

Washington Co. Daily News: https://tinyurl.com/y75clpqy

Wyoming Tribune Eagle: https://tinyurl.com/yc9r8zym

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