2022 NFPW High School Communications Contest

The NFPW High School Communications Contest, one of only a few nationwide communications competitions for high school students. It inspires students to do outstanding work in their quest for excellence. In this highly acclaimed competition, entries are judged at three levels.

See the 2022 Winners!


October 1, 2021:  High School Communications Contest opens
February 9, 2022:  Entry deadline, at noon in the entrant's time zone

Level 1: State Affiliate and At-Large contests 

State affiliate contests: NFPW affiliates host statewide contests open to all high school students. This includes public, private, or home school students who reside in their states.

At-Large contest: Only those students who live in states where there is no NFPW affiliate, or the affiliate in their state is not hosting a contest, may enter the NFPW At-Large High School Communications Contest. Students attending the Department of Defense Schools overseas also are eligible to enter the At-Large Contest.

First-place winning entries in the state affiliate and at-large contests are eligible to advance to Level 2

Level 2: The NFPW National High School Communications Contest

NFPW hosts a nationwide contest for all entrants whose work receives a first-place award in the state affiliate or at-large contests. First-place winners at this level receive an award certificate, an invitation to the National High School Luncheon at our National Conference, and a check for $100 per entry.

Level 3: NFPW National High School Communications Award of Excellence

All first-place entries from the national contest will move to the third level of the contest where they will be judged against one another. The student or team whose national first-place entry is judged best among all national first-place entries receives the National Federation of Press Women High School Communications Award of Excellence and an additional $250 per entry. Another $250 is awarded to the school or program the student attends.


All 2021 contest entries must have been published, e-published, broadcast, or issued between February 1, 2021, and January 31, 2022.

Entries must be produced by a current high school student or a recently graduated student who produced the work in their senior year after February 1, 2021.

Entries must have been professionally published/produced or published/produced by a school or professional publication in a recognized medium for the category. I.e. A school, local or national newspaper, a website, a school, local or national television production and the like. No social media posts are accepted at this time. Please visit the Categories and Descriptions page on our contest site to learn more about each category.


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.


Winners receiving a first, second, third, or honorable mention at the state level (Level 1) will receive an award certificate. First-place winners advance to the national level of competition (Level 2). 

Winners at the national level (Level 2) will receive an award certificate, an invitation to the National High School Luncheon held at the NFPW National Conference and a check for $100 per entry (team entries will split the prize money) First-place winners advance to the NFPW National High School Communications Award of Excellence round (Level 3) 

The winner of the NFPW National High School Communications Award of Excellence will receive an invitation to speak at the National High School Luncheon, an award certificate and a check for $250 per entry (team entries will split the prize money).

Cost of Entry

The cost of entry varies by state. Please visit the Find Your Competition Page on our contest website to find out if your state offers a high school contest. Entrants without a high school contest in their state should enter the at-large contest. Entries into the at-large contest may be split by region if entries warrant.

Membership Requirements

Entrants in the high school contest are NOT required to be NFPW members to participate or advance in the high school contest. High school students are welcome to become members at the discounted student rate to enjoy the benefits of membership in NFPW. Visit our Join page to learn more.

Congratulations to the national winners in the 2021 NFPW High School Communications contest.
Here is a link to the 2021 NFPW National  High School Contest Winners.  

Congratulations to the 2021 Best of the Best winner - Sumit Nalavade, Heritage High School, Frisco, Texas and all the 2021 National Winners

Texas high school newspaper editor wins top communications award  (2020)...
 The NFPW High School Communications contest is sponsored by the NFPW Education Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, community-oriented organization. The Education Fund invests in members by funding programs that fulfill evolving educational projects such as the High School communications contest. The fund operates solely on donations. Two anonymous long-time members of the organization sponsored the Best of the Best contest for the first seven years and NFPW member donations have since funded the contest. Six of the eight award winners have been from Texas high schools.