SPJ Awards Site

 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Things you will need before entering:

  • Your SPJ member number (if applicable). Don’t know it? Contact Us.
  • Have your credit card information available.
  • Be sure your entry is in the correct format. Print stories and photographs should be submitted as PDFs or links to the work online. View our Uploading Help section for help with audio and video requirements.
  • Have all the links you need for online submissions.
  • For Mark of Excellence entries: students - have your adviser's contact information available
  • For Sigma Delta Chi Award entries: if you are entering in radio or television categories, know your market size:

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Mark of Excellence Awards:

MOE Rules

Please also read the general/category specific contest rules.

Watch a video demo of the registration and MOE entry process

What is the entry deadline for the Mark of Excellence Awards?
January 23, 2015 at 5 p.m. ET.
Who can enter?
The contest is open to anyone enrolled in a college or university in the U.S. studying for an academic degree in 2014. International SPJ student members may also enter. The entrant must have been enrolled as a student at the time of publication or broadcast. Students who have had full-time, professional journalism experience, outside of internships, are not eligible. Entries must have been published or broadcast during 2014.
Can graduate students enter the Mark of Excellence Awards?
Yes, graduate students can enter the contest.
Can advisers enter for their students?

Yes, advisers can enter submissions for their students. The awards site has been designed to make the process of entering multiple submissions simple. However, in order to get the member rate for an entry, one of the students that worked on the submission has to be an active member of SPJ. Advisers cannot use their membership numbers for their students' work.

  • Contact information will self-populate for each entry (if you want to be the contact person for every award).
Can I enter work I did for a class or as an intern?

Unpublished manuscripts, classroom exercises and unaired news broadcasts do not qualify. Any work found to be unpublished, unaired or a classroom exercise will be disqualified.

A classroom exercise is defined as work assigned for a grade or fulfillment of a course requirement and is not eligible for an MOE Award unless it was also published outside of class in the campus/local newspaper, campus/ local broadcast stations or Web site.

Work published or broadcast while working as a student intern is acceptable.

Can I enter the same work in two different categories?
Yes. Contestants may enter one story in as many categories as desired. However, an individual student may submit no more than two entries per category. Schools and media outlets have no restriction on the number of entries they can submit. 
The entry was a team effort. How many names can be on the entry?
Up to four individuals may be named on a team entry; otherwise, the entry must be submitted in the name of the newspaper, magazine, station or online news site.
Can I mail my entry to SPJ?

All entries are accepted online through SPJ awards platform.

What is the entry fee?
  • $9.00 per entry for members
  • $18.00 per entry for nonmembers (Join SPJ now and save 50% off your entry fee) 
  • Click here to join thousands of other student members from across the country. SPJ has over 250 student chapters located at universities and colleges across the country. 
  • There are many benefits to becoming a student member of SPJ, including access to  eCampusStudent guide and Generation J
  •  Follow SPJ on TwitterFacebookTumblrGoogle+PinterestInstagramLinkedin and more.
  • Your new membership number will be available to use after you join. Your membership number must be used at time of entry. 
  • To claim the $9 member fee, you must supply your personal SPJ member number. You may not use another student’s membership number.
  • When an entry by more than one person is submitted, a $9 fee will be acceptable if at least one person on the team is a member of SPJ. The member must be identified and supply their membership number. YOUR ADVISER’S MEMBERSHIP NUMBER MAY NOT BE USED FOR ANY ENTRY.
  • SPJ accepts credit card payments from Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
  • Entries submitted in the Best All-Around categories must be accompanied by an entry fee — $9 if the editor(s) is (are) a member of SPJ, $18 if the editor(s) is (are) not a member. To claim the $9 rate, you must supply the editor’s name and membership number.
  • Make checks and money orders payable to: Society of Professional Journalists. Entrants paying by check should include the award confirmation number in the memo line. Multiple confirmation numbers should be listed on note accompanying the check. (The entry confirmation number will be on your email receipt.)
  • No refunds will be issued.
  • Late Entry - Any entry submitted or not paid by 5 p.m. (ET) on January 23, 2015 will be charged $15.00 per entry for members and  $30.00 per entry for non members to enter the 2014 MOE awards. 
When will I be notified if I win?/ How are winners recognized?

Regional MOE winners will be notified in March of 2015. Each of SPJ's 12 regions holds a recognition ceremony for MOE winners at their spring conferences.

National MOE winners and finalists will be notified in early May 2014. National winners will be showcased on spj.org.


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Sigma Delta Chi Awards

SDX Rules

Watch a video demo of the registration and SDX entry process

What is the entry deadline for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards?
February 6, 2015 at 5 p.m. ET.
Who can enter?
The contest is open to any work published or broadcast by a U.S. media outlet and international SPJ members. Freelance work is eligible. Entries must have been published or broadcast during 2014.
Do I have to submit a cover letter? / What should be in the cover letter?

Yes. All Sigma Delta Chi entries require a one-page cover letter. Entries without cover letters will be disqualified.

Let your cover letter speak for you. Explain why you believe your entry is the finest example of journalism in its category.

It should include the following information (if applicable):

  • A summary of the story or stories.
  • A discussion of major findings and subsequent results.
  • A review of the process followed to get the story, including information about the circumstances that prompted the story; the length of time taken to report, write, and edit; and sources and references used.
  • An account of the difficulty or uniqueness of effort in obtaining the story.
Can I enter the same work in two different categories?
No. Each entry may be submitted in only one category.
The entry was a team effort. How many names can be on the entry?
Up to four individuals may be named on a team entry; otherwise, the entry must be submitted in the name of the staff of the newspaper, magazine, station or online news site.
Can I mail my entry to SPJ?

All SDX entries are online only. (See uploading below)


What is the entry fee?

  • $60 per entry for SPJ members
  • $100 per entry for nonmembers (Join SPJ now and save 40% off your entry fee) Click here to see some of the benefits to joining the largest and oldest Society of Professional Journalists.
  • SPJ members are informed of Society and industry happenings as well through a number of high-quality publications delivered to your inbox or your mailbox.
  • Quill magazine (Six issues per year)
  •  SPJ Leads (weekly e-news about SPJ and members) 
  •  Follow SPJ on TwitterFacebookTumblrGoogle+PinterestInstagram, Linkedin and more.
  • Late Entry - Any entry submitted or not paid by 5 p.m. (ET) on February 6, 2015 will be charged $85.00 per entry for members and $125.00 for non members to enter the 2013 SDX awards.
  • Your new membership number will be available to use after you join. Your membership number must be used at time of entry. 

To claim the $60 member fee, you must supply your personal SPJ member number. If it is a team entry, claim the $60 fee if at least one member of the team is a member of SPJ. You must provide the member's name and SPJ member number.

Make checks and money orders payable to: Society of Professional Journalists. Entrants paying by check should include the award confirmation number in the memo line. Multiple confirmation numbers should be listed on note accompanying the check. (The entry confirmation number will be on your email receipt.)

SPJ accepts credit card payments from Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

No refunds issued.

When will I be notified if I win?/ How are winners recognized?
Winners will be announced in spring 2015 and honored honored at an awards banquet at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2015.
Do entries have to be in English?
If not originally published or broadcast in English, entries must include an English transcript or English subtitles.

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Uploading Help

I am mailing my entry. What do I do on the uploading page?

For Sigma Delta Chi Award entries – upload your cover letter. The cover letter must be submitted online, even if you are mailing in an entry, for it to be complete. Printing out another copy of the cover letter to submit with the mailed entry is optional.

For Mark of Excellence Award entries – you do not have to upload anything. Click the "Continue" button at the bottom of the page.

NOTE: Only select categories have a mail-in option. See the above question "Can I mail my entry to SPJ?" (Mark of Excellence | Sigma Delta Chi) for the list of categories.

General Tips to Keep in Mind:

  • If you are uploading videos, do NOT use a dial-up connection. Use at least a Cable modem or a Corporate connection where possible.
  • Name files as simply as possible with no special characters or spaces.
  • Keep file sizes to less than 50 MB, if that is not possible, host your file on a third party website and link it to your entry.

Audio Requirements:

All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav, .aiff. Audio in other formats will not be accepted. A script or transcript with lead-in is strongly recommended, but not required.

Video Requirements:

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit]
— All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.
— A script or transcript with lead-in is strongly recommended, but not required.

Linking Files:

If your entry file is larger than the 50 MB upload limit, we suggest that you host it on a 3rd party website.

For your convenience, we recommend (but make no guarantee for) video sharing sites such as:

Still need help?

If you still need help uploading your entry files, please contact us on our awards specific contact form.

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