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Banner with the words 2018 nfpw communication contest. Honoring excellence in communcation.

Enter the 2018
HS Competition

This link will take you to the
electronic High School Contest.

2018 High School
Contest Deadline

Tuesday, February 20

Contest Menu
Click for Information


Contest Rules



Entry Fees

State Contests

Contest Directors

Entry Forms



National High School
Contest Directors

Address contest policy and
category questions to:

National HS Contest Director
Elizabeth Granger


Direct electronic questions
– administration or entry –

National HS Contest Co-Director &
Electronic Contest Consultant
Katherine Ward


Direct At-Large Contest
questions to:

Sandi Latimer


National Results

Winners & Press Release

Winners & Press Release

Winners & Press Release

2018 NFPW High School Communications Contest

The NFPW High School Communications Contest inspires students to do outstanding work in their quest for excellence. This highly-acclaimed competition judges entries at three levels. First-place winners at the state level advance to national judging. First-place winners at the national level go on to the Best of the Best judging round, in which there is only one winner.

Direct all High School Communications Contest questions to:

Elizabeth Granger,
National Contest Director

Policy and Category Questions
Katherine Ward,

Electronic Admin or Entry Questions

The NFPW High School Communications Contest operates on two levels.

Level 1: Statewide contests
NFPW State Affiliates host statewide contests open to all high schools, public and private, in their state. Students who live in states where there is no NFPW affiliate or where the affiliate in their state is not hosting a contest in a given year are eligible to enter the NFPW At-Large High School Communications Contest. First-place winning entries in the affiliate and at-large contests are eligible to advance to Level 2, the NFPW national competition.

Most state affiliates host an electronic communications contest. See State Affiliate Contests below for lists of:

  • States hosting contests (those with a hard-copy option are noted).

  • The 2018 state affiliate contest directors with contact information.

Level 2: The NFPW National Contest
The National Federation of Press Women hosts a nationwide contest for all entrants whose work receives a first-place award in the affiliate or at-large contests. Because the 2017 NFPW Communications Contest is electronic, all state contest directors will process — through the online entry site — the entry forms and entries from each of the state and at-large first-place winners advancing to the national competition by the March 26 contest deadline.

Submission Deadline

State Affiliate and At-Large entries:  Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Contest Rules

High School Communications Contest Rules

The contest rules apply to both the State Affiliate and At-Large contests as well as to the NFPW National Contest.


High school students compete at the affiliate or at-large level, with first-place winners moving on to compete at the national level. All 2018 national, affiliate, and at-large contest entries must have been e-published, published, broadcast or issued between February 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018.


Students compete in 23 categories:
  • Editorial
  • Opinion
  • News Story
  • Feature Story
  • Sports Story
  • Columns or Blogs
  • Review
  • Cartooning
  • Sports Photo
  • News or Feature Photo
  • Graphics/Photo Illustration
  • Radio Prepared Report
  • Radio/TV Interview or Talk Show
  • Best Radio or TV Newscast
  • Single-Page Layout
  • Double-Truck Layout
  • Environment
  • Video News Story
  • Video Feature Story
  • Video Sports Story
  • Yearbook Photo
  • Yearbook Layout
  • Yearbook Copywriting

High School Contest Categories & Descriptors

The contest category descriptors define the type of publication, article, or broadcast for each of the categories and explain what the judges will consider when evaluating the contest entries and giving awards. The categories and descriptors are the same for the electronic contest and the traditional hard-copy contest.

Entry Fees

  • State Contest entry fees are set by each affiliate for their own state competitions and are published in the entry information provided to the high schools in their respective states each year. All state contest fees should be sent to the state affiliate contest directors (see list of contest directors).

  • NFPW National Contest Entry fees are $10 per entry. Entries receiving first-place awards in the State Affiliate or At-Large contests are eligible to advance to NFPW's national competition. A check for $10 x number of entries and made payable to NFPW must be sent to the national contest director. Note: Most NFPW state affiliates cover this cost. An adviser may want to check with the state affiliate director to see whether the affiliate, the student entrant, or the school pays this fee.

Entry Forms


Electronic Entry Form: Students whose state affiliate is hosting an electronic contest or who are eligible to enter the At-Large contest will access the online High School Communications Contest electronic entry form through the link below. All entries will be submitted and judged through the electronic contest site.

Electronic High School Communications Contest Entry Form

Click the link to go to the contest on a secure site. Please read the instructions on the Login page before registering. The first step when HS Advisers fill out the online Entrant Form (HS Adviser info only): Advisers only are to choose their state from a drop-down box to put their students into their State Affiliate contest or will choose the At-Large contest if there is no state contest. Then, easy directions will guide the adviser and/or students through the Entry Form (Student information and Entry info) at every step along the way.

HARD-COPY CONTEST (See chart below for states with a hard-copy contest)

Hard-copy Entry Form (not for students entering the electronic contest): Students whose State Affiliate accepts both electronic and hard-copy entries should download and print two copies of the High School Hard Copy Communications Contest Entry Form through the link below for hard-copy entries only. The form can be downloaded and filled in online, then printed. Entries must be submitted to the state affiliate contest directors (get list of State Affiliate Contest Directors from the link below for mailing addresses) and postmarked by the February 20, 2018, State Affiliate Contest deadline. Note: All students submitting hardcopy entries must go to the electronic contest (use link above) to register. Instructions are available on the Hard-copy Instructions tab of the Entry Form on the electronic contest site.

Hard-copy Communications Contest Entry Form
(Click "Enable Editing" in gold band at top of downloaded form)

State Affiliate Contests

States hosting a contest this year:
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California (hard-copy option)
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • At-Large (all others)

Students living in a state with an NFPW affiliate participate through their state's high school competition. Students should contact the NFPW affiliate contest director about their state high school competition early in the school year for local details.

List of State Affiliate Contest Directors

At-Large Contest

At-Large Director
Sandi Latimer


The At-Large Contest — using the same guidelines, rules, and categories — operates like the state affiliate contests, with first-place winning entries forwarded to NFPW for judging at the national level.

Only those living in a state where there is no NFPW affiliate or where the affiliate does not conduct a contest may compete in the At-Large Contest.

Students attending Department of Defense Schools overseas also are eligible to enter the
At-Large Contest.


Entries at both the state and national level of the NFPW Communications Contest are judged by communications professionals 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.

Award Recognition

Each national award winner will receive a handsome award certificate. Each first-place national entry also is awarded a $100 cash prize. Honors are presented during the High School Communications Contest Awards Luncheon at the annual NFPW Communications Conference. Some state affiliates provide financial assistance to students who attend the conference to receive their awards. See purple sidebar for list of national winners.

NFPW High School Communications Award of Excellence

NFPW has established an award to honor the high school student who submits the entry chosen by a small group of judges as overall best among the national first-place winners. To honor "the best of the best," $500 and an award to be displayed in a classroom or showcase will be presented to the award-winning student's high school journalism/communications program. The student also will be recognized along with all of the other national high school winners present at the 2018 NFPW Communications Conference in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, September 8.

To view the first-place entries in each of the 2016 contest categories, click the red link below.

Winners of the 2017 High School Contest
Winners were honored at the Ed Fund Youth Awards Luncheon
NFPW Conference Sept. 9, Birmingham, Alabama.



View 2016 National First-Place Entries

Read about the 2016 NFPW HS Award of Excellence Winners

Read about the 2015 NFPW HS Award of Excellence Winner

Read about the 2014 NFPW HS Award of Excellence Winner