Professional Contest

Welcome to the National Federation of Press Women’s Communications Contest

The NFPW National Communications Contest is a two-tiered contest open to anyone regardless of age, gender, professional status or location.

The first tier of the contest is run at the state level. Entrants in states without an affiliate-level contest and international entries are welcome to enter the at-large section of the contest. When entries warrant, the at-large section of the contest may be split into regions to create a more level playing field.

First-place winners from the state-level contest and the at-large contests are then moved to the national level of judging. To be eligible to compete at the national level, the entrant must be a member in good standing with the National Federation of Press Women.  Entrants can join NFPW once they learn of their winning status.

*Entrants from Missouri, Nebraska and North Dakota must be NFPW members to enter*

Eligibility

The NFPW Communications contest is open to anyone regardless of sex, professional status or location. College students do not have to be 18 to enter any of the categories in the Collegiate Division. High school students may enter the professional contest if they are acting in a professional capacity. 

Entrants must enter into the contest into their home state if that state is sponsoring a contest. Entrants who reside in a state without a contest must enter the at-large contest. Entries in the at-large contest may be regionally divided depending upon entries. 

All work must have been published or broadcast between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, to be eligible for entry. 

Membership Requirements

Entrants in most state-level contests are not required to be members of the state affiliate or NFPW, with the exception of entrants from Missouri, Nebraska and North Dakota. People residing in those three states must be members of their state affiliates to enter the contest.  

Entrants from states with contests open to non-members must join NFPW once they learn that their entry is eligible to advance to the national competition. College and high school students must also be NFPW members to advance to the national round but can join at the discounted student rate. First-place winners advancing to the National contest must be members in good standing of NFPW by March 15, 2021.

For more information about joining your state affiliate, visit our join page. 

Deadlines

Late Fee Deadline, January 27, 2021 (noon in your time zone)

A one-time $25 late fee will be assessed to all entrants after this date. 

Book final deadline, February 3, 2021 (noon in your time zone)

Due to the extended time it takes to judge book categories, all book entries must be entered by this date. 

Final regular deadline, February 10, 2021 (noon in your time zone)

All remaining entries must be entered by this date.

Categories

NFPW offers a wide range of communication categories:

  • Writing (Categories 1-17)
  • Editing (Categories 18-20)
  • Photography (Categories 21-23)
  • Graphics and Design (Categories 24-26)
  • Radio and Television (Categories 27-32)
  • Web and Social Media (Categories 33-41)
  • Advertising (Categories 42-45)
  • Communications Programs and Campaigns (Categories 46-50)
  • Public Relations Materials (Categories 51-53)
  • Information for the Media (Categories 54-56)
  • Speeches (Category 57)
  • Collegiate/Education (Categories 58-61)

For a complete list of categories and entry guidelines visit the Categories and Requirements page on our contest site. 

Each category and subcategory has specific guidelines and requirements.  If you have any questions about the guidelines or the category in which your entry should be submitted, email Teri Ehresman at [email protected]

Judging

All NFPW judges, both at the state and national level, are experts in their fields. They are to judge each entry in accordance with the judging criteria outlined in the contest categories and guidelines.

Each entry will receive constructive comments from the judges. You will receive your comments regardless of your placing.  After all entries have been evaluated, the judge will assign first, second, and third place winners, along with any honorable mentions he/she sees fit to award. A judge can decide no entry in a given category merits a first-place award and may assign the other places accordingly.

Names and personal information of the judges are not made public.

The decisions of the judges are final.

Awards

Entries receiving first place in their respective states or in the at-large contest are eligible to advance to the National competition, providing the entrant is an NFPW member in good standing.

If there are co-entrants on a first-place entry advancing to the National contest, each co-entrant must be an NFPW member in good standing to be included on award certificates, celebrated at the National Awards dinner held at our National Communications Conference Award Banquet, or featured on any of our social media channels. If the co-entrants are not NFPW members, the entries can still advance to National-level judging if at least one entrant is an NFPW member in good standing and was the primary lead on the project. 

National award winners will receive a Certificate of Achievement at the NFPW National Communications Conference Awards banquet. Award certificates will be emailed to award winners who are unable to attend.  First place winners also are eligible to be featured in our Winners Showcase, both online through social media and at the National awards banquet. 

Entrants who have placed in multiple categories in the National contest are automatically entered into the National Sweepstakes contest.  Each winning entry will receive a weighted point score determined by the number of entries in the category of placing.  Cash prizes will be awarded to the entrants with the three highest point totals.

Want to see the past sweepstakes winners? CLICK HERE!

Cost of Entry

Entry fees vary according to location and membership status, please visit the Find Your Competition page to see what your state charges per entry. If your state is not sponsoring a contest, you can enter the at-large contest.

How Do I Enter? 

To enter the contest, visit the contest site and follow the directions for entry.

For technical questions about entering the contest, please contact the NFPW office at 571-295-5900 or email us at [email protected] 

For policy questions about the contest please contact Teri Ehresman at 208-521-5171 or email her at [email protected] 

Want to check out 2020 winners?

Check them out here!