Leading the way in scholastic journalism & media education since 1924

Write-off Contests

Registration for the 2016 Los Angeles Write-offs is CLOSED.

Entries are limited to one contestant per category per school.

It is IMPERATIVE that advisers and contestants CAREFULLY read all the rules to make sure all deadlines and requirements are met.

PLEASE NOTE: The instructions for online entries have been updated recently, so be sure to read them thoroughly.  All contests require students to bring their own supplies.  No late entries will be accepted.

Introduction
Newspaper/Newsmagazine Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
News Layout Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Press Law and Ethics — One person per school may enter
Yearbook Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Literary Magazine Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Graphic Design Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Photography Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Broadcast Contests: Some contests allow team entries

Contest Rules & Policy (APPLIES TO ALL CONTESTS)

The National JEA Write-off chair and National Write-off coordinators will have overall supervision of the contests. The local committee Write-off chair is responsible for the organization and execution of the contests as directed by JEA Write-off chair and coordinators.

Before the convention

  • The adviser to entrants must be a current JEA member and a convention attendee.
  • All contestants must be registered at jeawriteoffs.org by the deadline, usually three weeks before the convention. NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. Entries are processed in the order received. Missing deadlines due to “just received permission,” “business office late” and similar situations will not be acceptable excuses for late entries. Entries without names will not be accepted. Contestants must be paid attendees at the convention.
  • The Write-off Rules and Regulations should be printed and read thoroughly by the contestants and adviser, and brought to the convention.
  • A minimum of 10 category entries must be received for a contest to be conducted.
  • Please register early. Some convention venues have limited seating for the writing contests. In the event the number of registrants for a contest category fills the seating capacity of the assigned contest room and a larger room is not available, JEA will CLOSE registration early for that category.
  • Entries are limited to one contestant per category per school. EXCEPTIONS: An individual, two-person team or three-person team may submit one story in designated categories. Team members must each pay the registration and contest entry fees at the convention.
  • A student may enter only ONE category.
  • Junior high /middle school students may enter any contest. They will be judged against high school entries unless advisers indicate at the Write-off registration desk that they wish to receive only grade-level feedback and a certificate of participation.
  • Advisers requesting special accommodations for students with disabilities must do so by the registration deadline and bring documentation (IEP/504) to the convention.
  • No refunds will be given unless canceled 14 or more days before the convention. Call JEA Headquarters, 785-532-5532 or toll free 866-532-5532 for cancellations.
  • Contestants need to provide their own materials for the contests, as noted at the beginning of each group of contests and in individual category descriptions. The JEA Bookstore at the convention will have many of the materials for sale in limited quantities. JEA will not provide materials other than those noted.

Convention and competition

  • ID Labels for each contestant must be picked up by the adviser at the Write-off desk during regular registration hours and checked for accurate assignments before leaving the Write-off desk area. A lost ID Label can be replaced for $5. ID will be replaced only if the contestant is on the original Write-off list and shows a photo ID and convention name badge. Replacements are available until 3 p.m. Friday.
  • Name substitutions and spelling changes may be made during registration hours until noon Friday at the Write-off desk. Categories may not be changed.
  • Contestant ID Labels must be presented in order to compete. Students who arrive at their contest after the start time may be disqualified. Students who leave before their entry is submitted or who leave critique sessions early may be disqualified.
  • Visitors are not allowed to remain in the contest room.
  • If space is available, and with the approval of the Write-off chair, entries that do not meet the requirements (i.e. missed deadline, incorrect submission, entered wrong category, etc.) may be critiqued but will not be eligible for an award. Each participant must pay the entry fee.
  • Results are final when contest judging closes.
  • If any contestant’s name, school name or identifying mark is mentioned or implied, the entry will be disqualified with few exceptions: photo and computer design entries in which a school identification appears incidentally as part of a picture; broadcast categories where names of contestants may be used. Online News Package is also exempt.
  • Students need to check individual categories and contests for materials requirements. Bring your own paper and writing utensils. Digital recorders with earphones, electronic spell checkers, dictionaries, thesauruses and Associated Press Stylebooks are allowed during the contests with the exception of the 08 News Editing.
  • No talking to other contestants is allowed other than in critique sessions. Ask the moderator or monitor to answer any questions.
  • Each contest has a lead judge who will open the contest promptly, give all explanations, hand out assignment sheets, introduce the speaker if one is required for the contest, and see that all time limits are followed. Students who continue to work after time is up may be disqualified. Moderators collect all materials before contestants leave the room.
  • Photography, graphic design, newsmagazine and newspaper layout, yearbook layouts for inside pages, theme and cover/endsheets, broadcast online submission contests and literary magazine layout contests require contestants to attend on-site critique sessions. Students must be present for the entire session or entries will be disqualified.
  • All entries must follow all federal laws regarding copyright. Winning entries may be posted on the JEA website.

Judging the contests

  • Each contest is judged by a minimum of two qualified people. With the entry risking disqualification and in the interest of fairness, judges may not participate in evaluating entries from their own schools.
  • Judges are to be instructed to provide written comments on the JEA critique sheet or provide verbal feedback during critique sessions for the contestants to record on their response sheets. These sheets are not how the entry is judged but is used for feedback to the contestant. Sometimes it is a special spark or creative element that will push one entry to the forefront. High marks do not necessarily mean an award will be given.
  • If an entry indicates that the student is a danger to himself or others, the entry will be disqualified, the JEA executive director will be notified, and the school may face other disciplinary action.
  • In the event of a controversy, the National Write-off chair and JEA executive director will make the final decision.

Awards

  • Winners receive a certificate and are recognized at the Sunday awards ceremony. The ratings are Superior, Excellent and Honorable Mention. Superior ratings, which are awarded with a medal, may be given to no more than 10 percent of the entries in any contest. Judges may give as many ratings in Excellent and Honorable Mention as appropriate.
  • Winning entries may be broadcast, displayed, or published in JEA publications or on its affiliated websites. Winners’ names and schools will be published on the JEA website.
  • There will be no sweepstakes. Emphasis will be placed on the learning experience provided each individual contestant.
  • Entries are available for pick up at the awards ceremony. Unclaimed packets will be mailed to the school.


Contest categories 1-8

Newspaper Contests

All newspaper contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact sheet with specific assignment, stapler.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Contests 1-5, 7:  Pens, sharpened pencils. Optional: correction fluid, eraser, voice recorder with earphones, electronic spell checkers, dictionary, thesaurus, Associated Press Stylebook. If you will be using a reference application on your cellphone (dictionary, thesaurus AP Stylebook only) ask for permission and set your phone on the table where the moderator can see it.
Contest 6: Plain 8.5 by 11-inch white paper, scratch paper, sharpened pencils, black markers of varying thickness, correction fluid, eraser. Optional: ruler.
Contest 8: Lined and/or plain 8.5-by-11-inch paper, scratch paper, pens, sharpened pencils. Optional: correction fluid, eraser.

01: Newswriting

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will listen to a 30-minute presentation — a speaker, panel, discussion, debate, etc. After a 15-minute question-and-answer period, you are to write a news story, according to the instructions given by the moderator, of no more than 350 words, written in ink. Knowledge of current events would be beneficial.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

News writing style; informative lead hooks readers; use of facts instead of generalizations; use of direct quotes; pinpointing the news in the presentation and highlighting it with an effective angle; concise writing with good use of detail and description, well-organized story flow; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material; elimination of libelous statements; knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors.

02: Editorial Writing

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will listen to a 30-minute presentation — a speaker, panel, discussion, debate, etc. After a 15-minute question-and-answer period, you are to write an editorial, no more than 350 words, written in ink. Knowledge of current events would be beneficial.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Persuasive leads that come quickly to an assertion; focus on a single, manageable proposition; clear purpose; editorial format for lead, body, conclusion; opposing arguments refuted; facts to support assertion in the lead; arguments fully developed; effective organization and transitions; strong conclusion; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material and libelous statements; knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors. Contestants should not to use any reference to their school or publication.

03: Feature writing

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will listen to a 30-minute presentation — a speaker, panel, discussion, debate, etc. After a 15-minute question-and-answer period, you are to write a feature story, according to the instructions given by the moderator, of no more than 350 words, written in ink.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Attention-grabbing lead; feature style as opposed to news style; colorful details; liberal use of direct quotes and anecdotes without stating the obvious; objective and fair; copy that appeals to the readers’ interest; writing evokes emotional response; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material; few convention errors; avoids passive voice; avoids cliches; variety of sentence beginnings; elimination of libelous statements and knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors.

04: Sports writing

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will listen to or watch a presentation of no more than 30 minutes that will be the subject of a sports article. After a 15-minute question-and-answer period, you are to write a sports story according to the instructions given by the moderator. The final copy should be no more than 350 words, written in ink.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Attention-grabbing lead; if story is a feature, the lead should be a feature lead; good story flow with effective transitions; colorful details; evokes emotional impact; use of informative direct quotes; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material; elimination of libelous statements and knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors.

05: Review writing

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will watch a 30-minute presentation — a one-act play, dramatic reading, dance, music, film, video—or attend a museum show. There may be an opportunity for a question-and-answer period. You are to write a review according to the instructions given by the moderator. The final copy should be no more than 350 words, written in ink.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Persuasive lead that quickly reaches assertion and/or attention-grabbing lead; clear expression of opinions; strengths and weaknesses of event or performance are clearly noted; strong, effective voice; opinions supported with details and examples; use of colorful details; well-organized story flow with good transitions; facts rather than generalizations; avoids cliche; extraneous information and libelous statements eliminated; demonstrates knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors.

06: Editorial Cartooning

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will listen to a 30-minute presentation — a speaker, panel, discussion, debate, etc. OR read several provided material sources on a contemporary topic. Then you are to draw an editorial cartoon according to the instructions given by the moderator. Artists may use varying thicknesses of black markers/pens to give the art depth. Knowledge of current events would be beneficial.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

A simple and clear editorial statement; evidence of artistic ability; a novel approach; absence of trite and melodramatic imagery; wit; effective conveyance of a message; quality of drawing; simplicity of line.

07: Commentary Writing

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Commentary is used for a column written from a well-supported personal point-of-view. You will read several provided material sources on a contemporary topic. Knowledge of current events is beneficial in this contest. You will write a commentary in ink of no more than 350 words, following the instructions from the moderator. You may not make up or use additional facts or quotes from sources other than those provided to you. Contestants need to be careful not to make any reference to their schools or publications.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Writer’s opinion is clear; background information used accurately and purposefully; does not ignore or distort facts; addresses the high school audience; writer makes good use of provided material sources; voice of the commentary encourages the reader to think about the subject in a new light; first person is used effectively; follows AP style; few errors in conventions.

08: News Editing/Headline Writing

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be given a five-part test that will assess your basic copy-editing skills, your knowledge of current events, politics and newsworthy people. You will write headlines for two stories. Please use ink. The total time for the contest, including passing out materials and giving instructions, is two hours. Contestants for this category will not be allowed use of any spell-checking aid, Associated Press Stylebook, dictionary or thesaurus.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Knowledge of Associated Press style rules; knowledge of correct spelling, grammar and punctuation; sufficient knowledge of current events, geopolitics, contemporary topics and newsworthy people to recognize inaccuracies and mistakes; headlines that are spelled correctly; and headlines that reflect content of the story.

Top


Contest categories 9-10

News Layout Contests

Both news layout contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact sheet with specific assignment, and stapler. Newsmagazine Layout and Newspaper Layout must both be submitted online ahead of time.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Contests 9-10: Students need to upload a PDF (s) as spreads to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens.

09: Newspaper layout: Online submission

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF (s) to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens. You must attend the two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

With software available to you, design the designated inside page for a newspaper according to the directions given to you from the JEA website. The day registration opens for Write-offs the contest materials, including downloadable photos, will be provided. Be careful that you do not download the material for the prior convention.

You will need to plan and edit stories for use, using fill text as you wish. Any graphics, photos or artwork included on the submission may not be from another publication or from the Internet; use only the photos provided to you. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Do not add your own stories or miscellaneous information. Contestants should write headlines and use fill text for captions. Only the placement, size and font selection for those elements will be judged.

Students are encouraged to include design special effects. There are no font specifications; use what you have available, but be prepared to discuss the fonts and the software programs used in the layout creation. You will attend a critique session with other contestants in this category.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Clean layout; creativity; effective positioning of the elements; effective selection, scaling and cropping of photos; effective font choices and sizes; varied headline sizes; a clear focal point; text flow easy to follow; evidence of consideration for readers; consistent use of styles; creative graphics; a sense of personality or style.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Downloadable materials for this contest

10: Newsmagazine layout: Online submission

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF (s) as spreads to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens. You must attend the two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

With software available to you, design the designated center spread and cover for a newsmagazine according to the directions given to you from the JEA website. The day registration opens for Write-offs the contest materials, including downloadable photos, will be provided. Be careful that you do not download the material for the prior convention.

You will need to plan and edit stories for use, using fill text as you wish. Any graphics, photos or artwork included on the submission may not be from another publication or from the Internet; use only the photos provided to you. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Do not add your own stories or miscellaneous information. Contestants should write headlines and use fill text for captions. Only the placement, size and font selection for those elements will be judged. Students are encouraged to include design special effects. There are no font specifications; use what you have available, but be prepared to discuss the fonts and the software programs used in the layout creation. You will attend a critique session with other contestants in this category.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Clean layout; evidence of ability to distinguish importance of stories and photos and to position them accordingly; a focal point; effective display of nameplate with full information; copy blocks, headlines, caption blocks and photos placed effectively; proper selection, cropping and scaling of photos; usage of appropriate headline sizes; consistent use of styles throughout; creative graphics.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Downloadable materials for this contest


Contest category 11

Press Law and Ethics

11: Press Law and Ethics

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Test sheet

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Pen

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Students enter as individuals and take a test that assesses their knowledge and understanding of scholastic press law and ethics. This contest will include either a matching or multiple choice section and short-answer and essay sections covering First Amendment issues, landmark cases and ethical decision-making for members of the scholastic press. Please use ink. The total time for the contest, including passing out materials and giving instructions, is two hours.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges will look for a comprehensive understanding of media law and ethics as they apply to the scholastic media. They will also evaluate the contestants’ ability to apply the law and Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics to situations.


Contest categories 12-18

Yearbook Contests

All yearbook contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact/assignment sheet, final entry photo sheet with place for captions, stapler, paper clips.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Contests 12-15: Lined and/or plain 8.5-by-11-inch paper, scratch paper, pens (for copy). Optional materials students may bring are electronic spell checker, dictionary, thesaurus, AP Stylebook. If you will be using a reference application on your cellphone (dictionary, thesaurus AP Stylebook only) ask for permission and set your phone on the table where the moderator can see it.
Contests 16-18: Students need to upload a PDF (s) as a spread (s) to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens.

12: Yearbook Copy/Caption – Sports

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be given a fact sheet from which you will write a headline and the first 200 words of a copy block. You will not be allowed to add additional facts or make up quotes although you may describe as if you were there. You may not change any of the information provided to you on the fact sheet. You will also be given a photo sheet with two photos for which you will write captions. There is no limit on the caption length. Information for captions and copy may be used as you see fit in either the story or captions.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Good judgment in fact and quote selections; well-written active-verb copy that appeals to the reader; interesting lead; quotations used correctly and effectively; colorful details; good use of transitions; avoids cliche; original angle, focus; headline intriguing and inviting, reflects the dominant photo and directs reader to the story; minimum two-sentence captions state more than the obvious, are varied in beginnings and add to the body of reader knowledge; correct AP style; contains few convention errors.

13: Yearbook copy/captions – Academics

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be given a fact sheet from which you will write a headline and the first 200 words of a copy block. You will not be allowed to add additional facts or make up quotes although you may describe as if you were there. You may not change any of the information provided to you on the fact sheet. You will also be given a photo sheet with two photos for which you will write captions. There is no limit on the caption length, but they must include all necessary information about the photos. You will be given the necessary information. Information for captions and copy may be used as you see fit in either the story or captions.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Good judgment in fact and quote selections; well-written active-verb copy that appeals to the reader; interesting lead; quotations used correctly and effectively; colorful details; good use of transitions; avoids cliche; original angle, focus; headline intriguing and inviting, reflects the dominant photo and directs reader to the story ; minimum two-sentence captions state more than the obvious, are varied in beginnings and add to the body of reader knowledge; knowledge of AP style; contains few convention errors.

14: Yearbook copy/captions – Clubs

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be given a fact sheet from which you will write a headline and the first 200 words of a copy block. You will not be allowed to add additional facts or make up quotes although you may describe as if you were there. You may not change any of the information provided to you on the fact sheet. You will also be given a photo sheet with two photos for which you will write captions. There is no limit on the caption length, but they must include all necessary information about the photos. You will be given the necessary information. Information for captions and copy may be used as you see fit in either the story or captions.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Good judgment in fact and quote selections; well-written active-verb copy that appeals to the reader; interesting lead; quotations used correctly and effectively; colorful details; good use of transitions; avoids cliche; original angle, focus; headline intriguing and inviting, reflects the dominant photo and directs reader to the story; minimum two-sentence captions state more than the obvious, are varied in beginnings and add to the body of reader knowledge; knowledge of AP style; contains few convention errors.

15: Yearbook Copy/Caption – Student Life

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be given a fact sheet from which you will write a headline and the first 200 words of a copy block. You will not be allowed to add additional facts or make up quotes although you may describe as if you were there. You may not change any of the information provided to you on the fact sheet. You will also be given a photo sheet with two photos for which you will write captions. There is no limit on the caption length, but they must include all necessary information about the photos. You will be given the necessary information. Information for captions and copy may be used as you see fit in either the story or captions.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Good judgment in fact and quote selections; well-written active-verb copy that appeals to the reader; interesting lead; quotations used correctly and effectively; colorful details; good use of transitions; avoids cliche; original angle, focus; headline intriguing and inviting, reflects the dominant photo and directs reader to the story; minimum two-sentence captions state more than the obvious, are varied in beginnings and add to the body of reader knowledge; knowledge of AP style; contains few convention errors.

16: Yearbook Layout: Theme (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF (s) as spreads to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens. You must attend the two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

With software available to you, design a Division Page (one double-page layout) for the theme section, according to the directions given to you from the JEA website. That information will be available the day Write-offs registration opens. Be careful that you are not downloading the material for the prior convention.

You must have a minimum of one block of copy per spread but multiple copy units are acceptable. Prior to the convention, downloadable photos (a link will be provided), will be made available to you. Using these, you will create a layout including pictures, caption blocks, headline and copy block(s). You are not required to write headlines, copy or captions, but use dummy (fill) copy for those with your choice of fonts and point sizes that guide the reader through the spread. You may select as many photos as you wish.

Use graphics that add to the design and that follow current trends. You will need to plan and edit, using fill text as you wish. No photos other than the ones provided may be used. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Decide your own column or grid format and create folios and page numbers for your spread. Spread may be designed in color or black and white. Include spot color if you wish.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adhering to instructions, designed as a double-page theme spread; impact of photos; adhering to design rules; using dominant photo; effective positioning of headlines, copy and captions; using current design trends; using point sizes for copy, headlines and captions that indicate visual hierarchy and guides reader through page; effectively balancing photos and copy; using creative graphics; effective cropping; clear labeling of photos, copy blocks, headlines, captions and page numbers; clear printer instructions.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Download materials for this contest

17: Yearbook layout: inside pages (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF (s) as spreads to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens. You must attend the two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

With software available to you, design one double-page spread for a specified section of the yearbook, according to the directions given to you from the JEA website. That information will be available the day Write-offs registration opens. Be careful that you are not downloading the material for the prior convention.

You must have a minimum of one block of copy per spread but multiple copy units are acceptable. Prior to the convention, downloadable photos (a link will be provided), will be made available to you. Using these, you will create a layout including pictures, caption blocks, headline and copy block(s). You are not required to write headlines, copy or captions, but use dummy (fill) copy for that with your choice of fonts and point sizes that guide the reader through the spread. You may select as many photos as you wish. No photos other than the ones provided may be used.

Use graphics that add to the design and that follow current trends. You will need to plan and edit stories for use, using fill text as you wish. Any graphics or artwork included on the submission may not be from another publication or from the Internet; this includes clip art or images even if you have manipulated the original images into something new. Any artwork added to the page must be of your own creation either through drawing or manipulation of the images provided. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Decide your own column or grid format and create folios and page numbers for your spread. Spread may be designed in color or black and white. Include spot color if you wish.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adhering to instructions; designed as a double-page spread, using a dominant photo; effective positioning of headlines, copy blocks, and captions; using current design trends; adhering to design rules; using effective fonts and point sizes for copy, headlines and captions; adhering to visual hierarchy and guiding reader through the spread; effectively balancing photos and copy blocks; using graphics that add to design; effective cropping of photos; including essential layout elements such as page numbers and folio design.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Download materials for this contest

18: YEARBOOK COVER/ENDSHEETS (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF (s) as spreads to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens. Attend a two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

With software available to you, design a front and back cover and 1-inch-wide spine and front endsheets for a yearbook, relating to the theme provided and according to the directions given to you from the JEA website. That information will be available the day Write-offs registration opens. Be careful that you are not downloading the material for the prior convention.

You also will design front endsheets on which you will depict the theme in some way. This may be done by creating a table of contents with spin-off titles from the theme for each section of the book or in any way that enhances or evokes the theme.

Be prepared to discuss how you created the cover and endsheets and how the elements relate to the theme.

Any graphics or artwork included on the submission may not be from another publication or from the Internet; this includes clip art or images even if you have manipulated the original images into something new. Any artwork appearing on the submission must be of your own creation either through drawing, photography, Photoshop or Illustrator work, or some other original creation of your own. Contestants will also be provided with photos to choose from. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Cover and endsheets reflect visual and verbal representation of the theme; design conveys theme; spine includes school name, city and state, volume, year, publication name; cover includes theme, publication name, year; instructions and rules followed, graphics add to theme, effective cropping of photos (if used); creative and visually attractive.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Download materials for this contest


Contest categories 19-22

Literary Magazine Contests

All literary magazine contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact sheet, assignment sheet, and stapler.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Contest 19: Students need to upload a PDF (s) as spreads to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens.
Contest 20: Lined and/or plain 8.5-by-11-inch paper, scratch paper, erasable pen. Optional: dictionary and thesaurus. If you will be using a reference application on your cellphone (dictionary, thesaurus, AP Stylebook only) ask for permission and set your phone on the table where the moderator can see it.
Contest 21: Plain 8.5-by-11-inch paper, scratch paper, eraser, correction fluid, pens, charcoal, markers or pencils. Color or black and white is fine.
Contest 22: Camera with SD card or another size card with a card reader.

19: LITERARY MAGAZINE: LAYOUT (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF (s) as spreads to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org the day after Write-off registration opens. Attend a two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

With software available to you, design one double-page layout for a literary magazine, according to the directions given to you from the JEA website. That information will be available the day Write-offs registration opens. Be careful that you are not downloading the material for the prior convention.

Material will be available to download after registration opens. You may select from the photos, art, poetry and/or prose available. Do not change the photos or artwork in anyway except for sizing or the poetry format as presented by the writer. You may use any fonts that you have available in any effective size.

Any use of graphics should add to the design and follow current trends. Any graphics or artwork included on the submission must come from the images provided on the JEA website. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Decide your own column or grid format and create folios and page numbers for your spread. Spread may be designed in color or black and white. Include spot color if you wish.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Clean layout and design relating to selected copy; impact, action or emotion in design; instructions adhered to; positioning of copy, title, art, photos and captions in relation to each other; use of current graphic trends.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Download materials for this contest

20: LITERARY MAGAZINE: POETRY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will write an original poem of six to 28 lines for a literary magazine. The moderator will announce the theme of the poem. Title your poem and clearly indicate your lines through indentation and use of margins. You are to exhibit your understanding of poetry, its conventions, punctuation and potential to create a setting, convey a tone, connect to feelings and to delve beyond the surface.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Originality and creativity in developing theme, concise writing and word choice. Judges will consider use of concrete language, figurative language and imagery; the use of literary devices (simile, metaphor, repetition), cadence, verb tense and development of tone and mood to create an emotional impact. Few convention errors.

21: LITERARY MAGAZINE: ILLUSTRATION

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will prepare a piece of art to accompany printed copy, such as a poem, for a literary magazine according to the instructions given by the moderator. You will have two hours to sketch and draw your final entry. You may use color or black ink, marker, charcoal, or regular or colored pencil(s). Your art should be prepared as if in its final form, ready for the printer. Size of art and place in relation to the copy should be considered.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adaptation of the art to the copy; originality in interpretation that captures the spirit of the prose or poem prompt. Students will exhibit their control of the medium, design and artistic techniques. The work is a simple, accurate design to illustrate the context of the copy.

22: LITERARY MAGAZINE: PHOTOGRAPHY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will shoot a photograph to accompany printed copy, such as a poem, for a literary magazine according to the instructions given by the moderator. You will have approximately an hour and a half to shoot and submit one image for the contest. The photo can be either vertical or horizontal. Entries will be downloaded for judging in the contest room from your camera’s SD card. If you have a different type of storage media, bring an appropriate card reader etc. No editing of the image will be allowed, so capture a proper exposure and the crop you need when you take the picture. The entry should be a single file, JPEG (no RAW files) and able to view through any standard image browsing program.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Photos that demonstrate original interpretation; photograph is framed in an interesting and visually striking way; photograph demonstrates good use of composition techniques and lighting to effectively communicate the interpretation off the poem; photograph offers effective contrast, depth-of-field and tone; the subject is not cliche. The work is a simple, accurate design to illustrate the context of the copy.


Contest categories 23-26

Graphic Design Contests

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact sheet, photos, clip art, miscellaneous images

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Students need to upload a PDF (s) to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org on the day Write-off registration opens.

REQUIREMENTS

All designs should fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper. Contestant entries may ONLY include images, photos and clip art provided with the contest material on the JEA website. NO OTHER IMAGES MAY BE USED except for items created independently by the contestant.

23: GRAPHIC DESIGN: LOGO (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be designing one logo that you will submit in full color and grayscale for a fictional business based on a fact sheet provided to you. A logo traditionally combines art with text. With software available to you, design the logo based only on the information provided on the contest sheet. Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org the day Write-off registration opens. You must attend the two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

Contestant entries may ONLY include images, photos and clip art provided with the contest material on the JEA website. NO OTHER IMAGES MAY BE USED except for items created independently by the contestant. If the judges feel that the entry violates the spirit of this rule, it will be disqualified.

Students are encouraged to include design special effects. There are no font specifications; use what you have available, but be prepared to discuss the fonts and the software programs used in the logo creation. You will attend a critique session with other contestants in this category.

Be prepared to discuss your designs to the group in a two-hour critique session.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Professional typographic details; fonts, photos and art work together well; creativity, originality and innovation; clean and well-executed work; logo clearly identifies a section, theme or story concept; follows current design trends.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Download materials for this contest

24: GRAPHIC DESIGN: INFOGRAPHICS (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be designing one infographic to accompany a news story for a publication utilizing typography and/or art and graphics. An infographic provides additional information to the reader rather than just being a visual—a diagram, chart or map that conveys information pictorially (i.e. favorite music, survey). Participants will be provided with a fact sheet and story notes to use in creating the infographic. No other outside facts/statistics may be used. Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org the day Write-off registration opens. You must attend the two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

Contestant entries may ONLY include images, photos and clip art provided with the contest material on the JEA website. NO OTHER IMAGES MAY BE USED except for items created independently by the contestant. If the judges feel that the entry violates the spirit of this rule, it will be disqualified.

Students are encouraged to include design special effects. There are no font specifications; use what you have available, but be prepared to discuss the fonts and the software programs used in the infographic creation. You will attend a critique session with other contestants in this category.

Be prepared to discuss your designs to the group in a two-hour critique session.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Proper attribution for information. Makes a point visually using an appropriate format. Typography and artistic details fit topic or content. Follows current design trends.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Download materials for this contest

25: GRAPHIC DESIGN: ADVERTISING (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be designing one 5 x 7 inch black-and-white or color ad. Participants will be provided with a prompt on a contest sheet that will be available on the JEA website the day registration opens. Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org the day Write-off registration opens.

Contestant entries may ONLY include images, photos and clip art provided with the contest material on the JEA website. NO OTHER IMAGES MAY BE USED except for items created independently by the contestant. If the judges feel that the entry violates the spirit of this rule, it will be disqualified.

You must attend the two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Typography and artistic details fit topic or content. Follows current design trends. Creative and imaginative concept. Considers what motivates audience. Includes appropriate pitch, business, event or organizational identification. Design moves reader’s eye through the ad.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Download materials for this contest

26: GRAPHIC DESIGN: PHOTO ILLUSTRATION (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be designing one black-and-white or color photo illustration. You will submit one photograph that has been manipulated through Photoshop or other photo manipulation program to accompany a story package for publication utilizing typography and/or art and graphics. Participants will be provided with a story package and several photos to choose from. Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org the day Write-off registration opens.

Contestant entries may ONLY include images, photos and clip art provided with the contest material on the JEA website. NO OTHER IMAGES MAY BE USED except for items created independently by the contestant. If the judges feel that the entry violates the spirit of this rule, it will be disqualified.

You must attend the two-hour critique session that begins 4 p.m. Friday.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Follows current design trends. Visually communicates an idea. Shows originality and innovation. Shows creativity and artistic details. Clean and well-executed work. Sophisticated use of software.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing layout entries
Download materials for this contest


Contest categories 27-35

Photography Contests

All photography contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

none

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Online submission of photos that you have taken with caption included in the Description field.

REQUIREMENTS

    • Photos must be no more than 2000 pixels in the long direction and no larger than 2MB saved as RGB (or grayscale), JPEG files.
    • Captions must be included in the Description field.
    • Full directions for online submission of photos are available online at http://jea.org/home/awards-honors/write-off-contests/write-contests-instructions-online-submission-photos/.
    • You are responsible for attending a two-hour group critique session.
    • Pictures need not be cropped for competition in the same manner as they appeared or will appear in the publication.
    • Photos may be color (RGB) or black-and-white (grayscale) or a combination of color and black-and-white.

DO NOT

  • Do not bring images to the convention. All critiques will be completed online.
  • Do not mail the photographs.
  • Do not submit images in which the content has been significantly digitally altered. Such images should be entered in the GRAPHIC DESIGN – PHOTO ILLUSTRATION competition. Photo illustrations are acceptable as part of a portfolio in contest 33: Portfolio.

27: THEMED PHOTO (NEW CONTEST – ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST
You will submit ONE image related to a theme that will be released via social media, email distribution lists and online at jea.org one month prior to the submission deadline for entries. Photos taken before the theme is released may not be used in this contest and the metadata embedded in the image will be used should a question arise regarding when an image was taken.

Photo entered must not have been entered in a previous national JEA competition. The photograph should be taken by the entrant. A full caption should be included. Photo may be color or black-and-white. Photos neither need be published in scholastic media nor considered for publication.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR
Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Quality of the caption may also be considered.

The theme for the spring 2016 Los Angeles Write-offs is “Not So Serious.”

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries

28: YEARBOOK SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE of your photographs that appeared in last year’s yearbook or that will appear in this year’s yearbook and that have not been entered in a previous national JEA competition. All three photographs should be related to sports.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph; simplicity; cropping; and lighting. Judges will also look for a variety of sports-related images, including action and reaction, not three similar images. Quality of the caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries

29: NEWSPAPER SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE of your photographs that have been published in the school news publication within the last year and that have not been entered in a previous national JEA competition. All three photographs should be related to sports. Photos may be color or black-and-white or a combination of color and black-and-white.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Judges will also look for a variety of sports-related images, including action and reaction, not three similar images. Quality of the caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries

30: YEARBOOK STUDENT LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE of your photographs that appeared in last year’s yearbook or that will appear in this year’s yearbook and that have not been entered in a previous national JEA competition. All three photographs should be related to any aspect of student life (not sports).

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter, technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Judges will also look for a variety of student-life-related images, not three similar images. This can include any aspect of student life. Quality of caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries

31: NEWSPAPER NEWS/FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE of your photographs that have been published in the school news publication within the last year and that have not been entered in a previous national JEA competition. All three photographs should be news or features images (not sports).

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter, technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph; simplicity; cropping; and lighting. Judges will also look for a variety of news/feature-related images, not three similar images. Quality of caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries

32: PHOTO STORY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE, FOUR OR FIVE of your photographs that appeared in last year’s yearbook, will appear in this year’s yearbook or that have been published in the school news publication within the last year and have not been entered in a previous national JEA competition. All photographs should be related to a common theme and should visually tell a story.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph as well as in the package of images; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Quality of caption and written story may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries

33: PORTFOLIO (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

This is a contest for expert high school photographers. It is designed to help photographers, generally graduating seniors, prepare for scholarship applications, internship applications or job interviews by giving them the opportunity to prepare a portfolio and to have it critiqued by a professional. Students should submit a MINIMUM OF FIVE images and a MAXIMUM OF EIGHT images that reflect their abilities as a photojournalist. A student may enter the portfolio contest only once during his/her high school career. Captions for images in this competition may be a simple title but may also be full journalistic captions.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Strong, clear message within a variety of assignments; creativity; technical quality; photo composition; visual impact; simplicity; effective cropping; lighting. Quality of the caption may also be considered as will presentation of the entire portfolio.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries

34: PHOTO PORTRAIT (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit ONE of your portrait photographs that has been published in your scholastic media within the last year or that will be published this year. It must not have been entered in a previous national JEA competition. The photograph should be a portrait, either a formal portrait or an environmental portrait, taken by the entrant.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; simplicity; cropping; lighting. The caption, although required, need be nothing more than the name of the individual in the photograph with some identifying characteristics such as grade, major, sport or activity. Students should NOT enter mug shots, sometimes called head shots.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries

35. FIRST-YEAR PHOTO (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Only students in their first year of any journalism, photojournalism or media class (or in their first year on a media staff if the campus does not offer such classes) are eligible for this competition.

Contestant will submit ONE photograph that has been published in their scholastic media within the last year, or that will be published this year. It must not have been entered in a previous national JEA competition. The photograph should be taken by the entrant and may be of any subject matter. A full caption should be included. Photo may be color or black-and-white.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Quality of the caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Write-off online submission directions
Preparing photo entries


Contest categories 36-48

Multimedia Broadcast Contests

Check each contest to see if it is for an individual or if a team entry is allowed.

There are two categories of broadcast contests: on-site and online submission.

On-site broadcast contests are held at different times on Friday, beginning in the morning. Read the convention program and update for time and meeting place of each broadcast contest. Required equipment and materials are listed with individual events below.

Online-submission contest entries will be uploaded to a third-party site for judging prior to the convention. The students entered will then have the opportunity to receive feedback in a critique session held on the Friday of the convention. Otherwise risking disqualification, each entrant into an online-submission competition must be present at their respective contest’s critique session on Friday and remain for the entire session (up to two hours). If the entry is registered as a team and both students are not able to attend the convention, at least one member of the team must be present at the critique session for the entry to be considered for an award.

Refer to http://jea.org/home/awards-honors/write-off-contests/videoinstructions/ for specific online-submission instructions.

Video, music and image integration into Write-off Contests: Students may use portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works (not bootlegged) in their Write-off entries provided that the material is no more than 10 percent of their overall project and they can provide documented proof at time of upload. Scanned permission letters and emails will be considered as acceptable proof. Works submitted with copyright material without copyright permission will be disqualified from award contention.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Varies with contest. Please read individual contest requirements.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

This varies with the contest. Please read individual contest requirements.

REQUIREMENTS

The following applies to all broadcast contests.

  • The following applies to all broadcast contests.
  • Show the moderator of the orientation meeting (or critique session for online submissions) the contest’s entry ticket provided at registration.
  • Do not write your name or school on your entry.
  • Entries must not have been submitted in any previous JEA contest.
  • During on-site contests, do not talk with anyone other than your teammate and the moderator and any sources you may be required to interview. This includes any other contestant or anyone from your school, including your adviser.
  • Editing of Broadcast Package entry MUST be done in the room provided, and contestants cannot consult with advisers or students other than their teammate.
  • All entries for Contests 36-42 must be submitted in advance of the convention. Visit the link below for directions for submitting video:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

36: BROADCAST NEWS STORY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide)
Students enter as individuals or in pairs (reporter and camera operator). Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30. A package is a prerecorded news story containing (usually) a reporter’s voice-over, videotaped shots and sound bites. The story must have been broadcast at school or in the community from March of this calendar year for the fall convention and during this school year for the spring convention, must be 1:30 long, may include an introduction or outro (tag) done by an anchor but it, too, must have been broadcast.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adherence to broadcast style (short sentences, present tense, conversational, clear). Contains all the necessary information and exhibits news judgment. Video sound bites are well-shot close-ups, relevant and interesting. A variety of shots are used and are steady and in focus. Editing is free of glitches and jump cuts, and natural sound is used effectively. Overall, the script and video complement each other, telling the story in an interesting and informative manner. The voice-over is effective and delivered with clarity. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

37: BROADCAST SPORTS STORY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide)
Students enter as individuals or in pairs (reporter and camera operator). Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30. A package is a prerecorded sports story containing a reporter’s voice over, videotaped shots and sound bites. The story must have been broadcast at school or in the community from March of this calendar year for the fall convention and during this school year for the spring convention. It must be 1:30 long, may include an introduction or outro (tag) done by an anchor but it, too, must have been broadcast.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adherence to broadcast style (short sentences, present tense, conversational, clear). Contains all the necessary information and provides a new perspective. Video sound bites are well shot close-ups, relevant and interesting. A variety of shots are used, steady and in focus. Editing is free of glitches and jump cuts, and natural sound is used effectively. Overall, the script and video complement each other, telling the story in an interesting and informative manner. The voice-over is effective and delivered with liveliness and clarity. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

38: BROADCAST FEATURE STORY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide)
Students enter as individuals or in pairs (reporter and camera operator). Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30 to 4 minutes. A package is a prerecorded feature story containing a reporter’s voice-over, videotaped shots and sound bites. The story must have been broadcast at school or in the community from March of this calendar year for the fall convention and during this school year for the spring convention, may include an introduction or outro (tag) done by an anchor but it, too, must have been broadcast.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adherence to broadcast style (short sentences, present tense, conversational, clear). Contains all the necessary information, and story is told in a manner that sustains interest. Video sound bites are well-shot close-ups, relevant and interesting. A variety of shots are used and are steady and in focus. Editing is free of glitches and jump cuts, and natural sound is used effectively. Overall, the script and video complement each other, telling the story in an interesting and informative manner. The voice-over is well-recorded and delivered with liveliness and clarity. Time limit is met.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

39: BROADCAST COMMERCIAL/PSA (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide)
Students enter as individuals or in pairs (writer and sound/video editor). Total Running Time (TRT) must be exactly 30 seconds or 1 minute. The piece entered must be produced for school announcements or TV programs, should publicize school events, activities and social functions; PSAs should attempt to shed light on an issue or situation of importance to teens. Any commercial or PSA scripted and produced by radio or TV students is eligible, and all should be appropriate for entry in this event.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

A strong overall impact is critical. Judges will watch for solid videography; editing, audio, graphics/effects and pacing will all be considered. Content material should be accurate and appropriate to the message being delivered. Entries must not exceed either the 30- or 60-second maximum length.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

40: SOCIAL MEDIA REPORTING (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST
*Entries will be submitted online before the convention. Students enter as individuals or in pairs. The contest entry will consist of social media usage to cover a single school activity or event.

Students will test their multimedia broadcast skills with good use of writing and news judgment, photography skills (photo composition, visual impact, simplicity, cropping, lighting), and broadcast skills (videography, editing, use of audio, relevancy to story). No outside help from adviser or other students will be permitted. The topic will be chosen by students.

You may use any form of social media that you like, but you must submit your final collection using a Storify link that accumulates all of your work for the judges.

Students will submit their link on the pre-submit broadcast form.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR
Judges will look how students use social media to cover an event while on the go with the tools that they have in hand over a period of time. Judges will determine if the reporter adequately covered the event using an appropriate amount of writing, pictures and video equally and when appropriate.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

41: SHORT DOCUMENTARY (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide)

**Audio only entries must be submitted as a video file (see Broadcast submission guide)

Students enter as individuals or in pairs. TRT is 4 to 8 minutes. The short documentary (radio or television) offers contestants a challenge to select a complex topic of interest to students that demands research.

The short documentary presents facts that have been selected to illustrate a point. It may create argument, enhance understanding of the breadth of a topic or develop a desire to explore a topic more. Individuals selected should personalize the topic and provide perspective; through them, the subject becomes more relevant and interesting.

The story must have been broadcast/podcast at school or in the community from March of this calendar year for the fall convention and during the school year for the spring convention.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

The topic merits the attention given to this longer piece. The completed short documentary provides an understanding, perspective or insight into the chosen topic. A national or international subject has been given a local angle; a local story has been placed in perspective with attention to historic, political, social and cultural perspectives. Judges expect the short documentary to be factual, accurate and informative.

The opening quickly draws the listener/viewer into the story. It reaches an identifiable and appropriate ending. The storytelling is organized, written for the ear and sustains viewer/listener interest. Viewer/listeners are presented multiple perspectives. Sufficient information is provided for the listener/viewers to arrive at their own conclusions, to agree or disagree with the short documentary’s perspective or to inspire further exploration.

Artistic reenactment and representational video are clearly labeled. If archival footage has been used, credit is given at the end of the story. Permission to use copyrighted music, video and audio is clearly indicated in the credits.

The television short documentary includes a variety of shots (long, medium close and close-up). Natural sound is utilized to establish setting, to convey popular culture, to portray societal conditions or to set tone. Audio levels are acceptable and consistent throughout. Lighting is effective.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

42: VIDEO PACKAGE EDITING (ONLINE SUBMISSION)

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA
Raw video material

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANTS MUST PROVIDE
Hardware and software required for video editing (e.g. Premiere Pro, Final Cut, Moviemaker, etc.)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Individual entries only. Students entering this contest are being tested on their ability to edit video and audio into a news package. JEA will provide a collection of video clips to choose from including interviews and b-roll all relevant to the same story. The contestant will download all of the clips, choose what elements to use in their final product, edit using their own school’s equipment and submit their work online prior to the convention. See this guide for submitting online work. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets, which are available at www.jea.org the day Write-off registration opens.

  • Final package TRT is to be 1:30. Entries outside +/- 5 seconds of the required 1:30 will be disqualified.
  • Once the clips are downloaded the student is not to receive any help from friends or advisers.
    Do not add any additional video.
  • Name keys or lower thirds may be added using your school’s standard graphics or with the guides provided by JEA.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

  • Good news judgment when crafting the story.
  • Cuts and transitions are used effectively, helping to tell the story and control the flow of the piece.
  • Audio levels are consistent throughout.
  • Attention to detail.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS
Download materials for this contest

43: Online News Package

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

A contest room with wireless Internet access

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

All necessary hardware/software for producing a multimedia package (i.e. laptop computers, cameras, memory cards, memory card readers, video cameras, digital recorders, power strip, microphones, tripods, all editing equipment, wireless card for laptop)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Students enter as individuals or in a team of no more than three students. Students will create a multimedia news package and post it to their own school’s news website. Only students may post material and should have knowledge and appropriate passwords to do so. No tech support will be available in the contest room. Students will be provided with a general topic at a brief, pre-competition meeting at 8 a.m. Friday. After that, they will have until 2:30 p.m. to write copy, shoot photos and create other multimedia material. Contestants should report back to the contest room at 2:30 p.m. and will have until 4 p.m. to post their material to the school’s website. No outside help is permissible. Only students entered in the contest can provide content. Students must create all content for the package.

Students will provide the moderator with a completed form that indicates their website URL and a list of the items they posted.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges will look for a comprehensive news online package that includes a main story, photos, video and/or audio (no more than 3 minutes long total) and at least one additional layer of coverage that might include a sidebar, links to related resources, interactive reader feature etc. Students should make use of social media for the post as well.

Package should be visually pleasing. Copy should be organized for online presentation and be relevant to students at the contestant’s schools. Video and audio used in the package stay on topic and enhance the story content.

Material should be clearly accessible and easy to navigate. All items in the package should adhere to ethical standards and journalistic style.

44: ON-AIR REPORTER

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Camcorder, mics and speaker/interviewee.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Paper, pen or pencil; appropriate dress for contest: professional attire

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Individual entries only. Students will draw for order of taping. After receiving a topic and listening to a speaker, they will have 30 minutes to write a broadcast news report that will include a brief interview (one to three questions) with the speaker.

They will have 30 minutes to write the script, then will read the story on-camera and conduct an interview (on-camera) with the speaker. The interview will include a maximum of three questions. The news report should last no more than 60 seconds, followed by the interview phase that is composed of no more than three questions and responses. A teleprompter will NOT be provided.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges will look for poise, effective use of voice, strong writing including leads and transitions, appropriate language, strong overall delivery, professional manner and appearance. Judges will expect display of news judgment and selection of significant information. Interviews will be judged based on source designated and questions asked.

45: BROADCAST NEWSWRITING

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Paper, pen or pencil, timing device.

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Individual entries only. Total Running Time (TRT) 90 seconds. Each contestant will receive news copy from a JEA moderator to rewrite into broadcast style. The contestant will turn in a printed or neatly written script that judges will evaluate by reading aloud, so timing is crucial. Begin with an introduction, such as, “I’m Lauren Green, and this is your morning news update.” Finish with some sort of closing, such as, “That’s a brief look at news. I’m Lauren Green reporting.” Contestants will have two hours to read and select news, and to write their scripts and turn them in.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges will look for accuracy, balance, news style, an interesting lead, transitions between points, paraphrases, an effective closing, correct grammar and overall structure. Since judges will read the scripts aloud, participants are encouraged to time their scripts before turning in their final entries. Scripts should be well timed and neatly written in broadcast style.

46: BROADCAST PACKAGE

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Powerstrip, tables; package topic or theme

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Editing equipment, extension cords, camera, microphone, tripod, flash drive or SD card for submission.

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Students enter in pairs (reporter and camera operator) as a team. (See convention program and update for time and place.) Total Running Time (TRT) 1:28-1:30 minutes. Students will edit on their own digital system. Each team will have four hours to shoot and edit the story. Deadlines will be enforced so plan accordingly. Rendering and copying is part of the process and will not be allowed after time has expired. Technical assistance will be available from the monitor in the room. All editing must be done in the contest room with no outside help from the adviser or other students. All contestants must attend a brief, orientation meeting before the activity begins. The contest topic will be given at this general session. Entries will be submitted on a SD card or flash drive in an MPEG4 or MOV file. Teams are encouraged to remain in the room until the moderator successfully processes their submission.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges in this event will carefully study the development of a story line, pacing, transitional elements, sound editing techniques appropriate for a news story, use of video and audio for impact and segments which stay on topic. Time limit is met.

47: VIDEOGRAPHY

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Camcorder and tripod. Entries will be submitted by turning in the media on which the contestant recorded (SD/CF Card, Mini DV tape, etc.) without modification. Contestants are encouraged to remain in the room until the moderator successfully processes their submission.

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Individual entries only. Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30-3 minutes. A JEA moderator will give students a general topic at an orientation session. (See the convention program and update for time and place.) Entrants will have two hours to shoot a video essay addressing some aspect of the topic. No interviews are allowed. This is a story told by video and natural sounds. No editing is allowed—this is done in-camera; students should plan the sequencing of their shots.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

The judges will evaluate overall videography skills displayed, including creative angles, sequences, proper technique, use of natural sound when possible, development of a story line that addresses the general topic and overall impact of the piece.

48: BROADCAST COMMENTARY

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Camcorder, topic and related research materials.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Paper, pen or pencil, timing device.

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Individual entries only. Maximum Total Running Time (TRT) 90 seconds. Students are presented with a topic by a JEA moderator at an orientation meeting. (Please note room and time in the convention program and update.) They will have 45 minutes to write a 90-second (maximum) commentary that they will read on-camera. Students can read from notes/script for the taping. Students will draw for order of taping.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges will look for attention-getting opening, clear development of main points, supportive information and examples, creativity, dynamic delivery appropriate to the piece, clearly-stated opinions and a memorable overall impact. Eye contact, poise and personal appearance will also be considered. Time limit is met.

 

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.

If you don't receive it within a few minutes, please check your spam folder or check with your email provider.