The annual NFPW National Communications Contest encourages and rewards excellence in communication in a wide range of categories, with entries judged by leaders in their fields of expertise. All state and national contest entries must have been published, e-published, or broadcast in 2016.
Enter your best work in one of the State Affiliate contests or in the At-Large contest if there is not a contest in your state this year. All work must be submitted electronically with exceptions for a few categories in the Books and Creative Writing division where electronic entry may not always be possible.
Contest Rules and Guidelines
The Contest Rules and Guidelines apply to the State Affiliate and At-large contests as well as to the NFPW National Contest. The Guidelines contain full details on the contest rules as well as information on entry preparation.
Read the NFPW Communications Contest Guidelines
States with Electronic Contests
Alabama . Alaska . Arkansas . California . Connecticut . Delaware . Idaho . Illinois
Indiana . Iowa . Kansas . Missouri . Nebraska . New Mexico . North Dakota
Ohio . Pennsylvania . South Carolina . South Dakota . Texas . Virginia
If your state is not listed, you may enter the At-large Contest (NFPW membership required)
Affiliate and At-large Contest Directors
Direct all affiliate and at-large contest questions to the affiliate contest director in your area or to the at-large contest director if there is no contest in your state this year:
List of Affiliate and At-large Contest Directors
The early bird period for all entries ends at 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, January 17, 2017, in your time zone. A one-time $25 fee will be added to each entrant's first entry submitted from January 18 through February 6, 2017. Note: Hard-copy entries must be postmarked by deadline dates.
||Tuesday, January 17, 2017, early bird period ends
$25 contest fee added to each entrant's first entry after January 17.
Monday, February 6, 2017, electronic / postmark deadline
||Monday, March 27, 2017, electronic / postmark deadline
- Entries are eligible for the national contest, only if they have received a first-place award at the state affiliate and at-large level.
- First-place affiliate entries moving on to the national contest may be submitted only by the at-large or affiliate contest directors who will first verify that each eligible entrant wishes to advance to the national competition.
- All entrants in the national contest must be professional, collegiate, or retired members of NFPW during the contest year. Click here to join NFPW.
The state affiliates determine eligibility for their own discrete contests. Unless otherwise noted in the online contest entry form, all professional communicators are eligible to enter a contest held in their state. For residents of those states not holding a contest, the At-large contest is available to them if they are members of NFPW.
Divisions and Categories
Under each of the division titles and each of the category titles, you will find:
- An explanation of what to submit.
- The information that must be provided in any required one-page statement.
- The criteria the judges will use when evaluating the entries.
for the Online Contest
You already may know how to convert various files to PDFs using your existing software or utilities. If not, read these tips.
Entries in the affiliate and at-large contests and in the national competition will be submitted electronically. The only categories that may be entered in the electronic contests in hard-copy format are the Book and Creative Writing categories 56A–56F and 64. Hard-copy entries must be accompanied by two copies of the entry form, available from the Hard-copy Entries tab of the online Entry Form or from the links in the Hard-copy Entry Forms section of Contest Forms below, and must be postmarked by the applicable state or national contest deadlines.
NFPW Communications Contest Categories
State contest fees, set by each affiliate, appear on the electronic contest site payment page.
The fee for each entry at the national level, regardless of the number of co-entrants, is $20.
Affiliate and at-large contest directors are responsible for submitting all entries to the national contest by the deadline for the national competition and for sending the national entry fees to
NFPW Communications Contest
P.O. Box 3007
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
Entry Form for the Electronic Contests
- Register online through the link below to the electronic contest site.
- Complete an auto-fill entry form for each entry, including hard-copy entries.
- Provide required one-page statements through the Uploads tab of the online entry form.
- Upload work samples or provide URLs pointing to the work online.
- Pay for all entries, including hard-copy, through the electronic contest site.
- If you are submitting hard-copy entries, be sure to follow instructions on the
Hard-copy Entries tab of the online entry form.
Electronic Contest Entry Form
Entry Forms for Hard-copy Entries
The only categories that may be entered in the electronic contests in hard-copy format are Creative Writing categories 56A–59F and 64. Hard-copy entries must be accompanied by two copies of the entry form and postmarked by the applicable state or national contest deadlines. You may use either of the following forms, also available from the Hard-copy Entries tab of the electronic contest site:
NFPW Entry Form (fill in online and print)
NFPW Entry Form (print and fill out)
Affiliate and At-large contest directors must fill out the Compilation Form and submit it to the
national contest manager in the NFPW headquarters office together with national contest
entries according to the directions in the NFPW Communications Contest Guidelines.
Compilation Form (for contest directors only)
Entries in the NFPW Communications Contest are judged by leaders in their fields of
expertise. Judges are asked to provide constructive comments for each entry and a merit rank to
determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and honorable mention.
Those who receive first-place awards in a
state affiliate contest and are members of
NFPW will be eligible to enter the national
competition. Winners in the NFPW contest
are notified by mid-June so that they may
make plans to attend the awards banquet
at the annual NFPW Communications
Conference in September.
Winners are honored individually at the
awards banquet and receive a handsome
award certificate, presented by the NFPW
president. The award certificates and the
judges' comment sheets are mailed to
winners who are unable to attend the
conference. Winners may order special
award plaques for themselves, and they
are available also to employers.
NFPW Awards Plaque
National award winners are supported with
additional materials to help them promote
their award(s) to both the public and to
professional communities. A list of national
winners will be posted on the NFPW
The contest entrants accumulating the most points (based on the award placement of their winning
entries and the number of competing entries in those categories) are named recipients of
cash awards in the NFPW Sweepstakes: $250 for 1st place, $150 for 2nd place, and $100
for 3rd place are given to individual winners. The affiliate with the most sweepstakes points
receives a $100 cash prize.