SPA Awards 2020

The Basics

The SPA Awards are back open for another year! Open to student journalists from across the UK & Ireland, the Awards cover 21 categories, from entertainment to news and the coveted Best Publication award, sponsored this year by the University of Sheffield.

Information on each of the categories, as well as the rules, are listed below. Entries should be uploaded here.

Entries close at 11:59pm on 1 March. Shortlists will be announced soon after, with the winner revelead on 4 April at SPANC.

Awards Categories

  • Best Publication sponsored by the University of Sheffield Journalism Studies Department

This award recognises the best student publication in the UK & Ireland. It takes into account the publication’s relevance to its student community, the quality of the content that it produces, and dedication to innovation.

Submission Guidelines: Include up to two A4 pages of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 Winner: Unified

 

  • Billy Dowling-Reid Award for Outstanding Commitment

The Billy Dowling-Reid Award for Outstanding Commitment rewards students who have shown outstanding commitment to their publications over the previous year, going above and beyond the call of duty.

You can learn more about Billy, who this award was dedicated to in 2018, here.

Submission Guidelines: Include a supporting statement of up to 500 words. You may not enter this category yourself – you must be nominated by somebody else. Multiple nominations from different people for the same entrant will be considered together.

2019 winner: Samuel Turner, Strand

 

  • Best Reporter sponsored by City University London

This award rewards consistently exceptional reporting from an individual at a student publication. It will take into account the range of stories, impact on the intended audience and the quality of journalism.

Submission Guidelines: Include three stories from within the awards timeframe, plus a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of one entry per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Tom Schwartz, Unified

 

  • Best News Story sponsored by News Associates

This award recognises quality news reporting from student publications. It will take into account the quality of sources, structure, and impact of the article on the intended audience.

Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of two entries per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Claisse Opulencia, Unified

 

  • Best Specialist Publication

This award recognises the best specialist student publication, including academic journals and publications that focus on one specific area of interest. It is judged by the same principles as the Best Publication category.

Submission Guidelines: Include up to two A4 pages of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 winner: theGIST

 

  • Best Overall Digital Media sponsored by City University London

This award recognises the most innovative use of multimedia platforms, including using audio and video to enhance a publication’s overall content. This also includes the use of social media networks.

Submission Guidelines: Include up to two A4 pages of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 winner: Epigram

 

  • Best Newcomer Publication sponsored by the Society of Editors

This award recognises the best new student publication. Publications may not be more than three years old (regardless of the length of SPA membership) at the time that the Awards close for entries, nor may it have won this category in the past. It is judged by the same principles as the Best Publication category.

Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 pages of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 winner: WoW Magazine

 

  • Best Website

This award recognises the best website of a student publication. It takes into account design, production, content, overall impact and user engagement.

Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 pages of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 winner: Epigram

 

  • Best Science Publication or Section sponsored by ABSW*

This award recognises the best overall coverage of science in a student publication. It is open to specialist science publications, as well as science sections within a broader publication.

Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 page of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 winner: The Boar

 

  • Best Sports Coverage

This award recognises the best sports coverage by student publications, and is open to events on and off campus. This award is not intended to recognise the achievements of any individual journalist, but the work of the publication in covering an event or events.

Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 pages of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 winner: Gair Rhydd

 

  • Best Human Rights Journalist sponsored by EachOther

This award recognises consistent coverage of human rights issues by a student journalist. It will take into account the range of stories, impact on the intended audience, relevance to human rights and the quality of journalism.

Submission Guidelines: Include a portfolio of three stories and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of one entry per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Kate Hutchison, Epigram

 

  • Best Human Rights Story sponsored by EachOther

This award recognises the best story with a human rights angle. It will take into account the story’s structure, relevance to human rights and impact on audience.

Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of two entries per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Dylan O’Neill, University Observer

 

  • Best Comment Piece

This award recognises the best opinion writing from a student publication. It will take into account structure, relevance to the audience and impact of the piece.

Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of two entries per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Issy Campbell, Redbrick

 

  • Best Interview

This award recognises the best interviews made by student publications, whether that be with politicians, musicians, or even a local community worker. It focuses on the style, presentation and impact of the interview.

Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of two entries per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Jay Staker, The Oxford Student

 

  • Best Science or Technology Piece sponsored by ABSW*

This award recognises the best science and technology reporting. This can include reporting on scientific research at institutions, as well as wider issues and topics in the science and technology sector including gaming. It will take into account the story’s relevance to the audience, structure, and impact.

Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of two entries per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Patrick Hughes, The Glasgow Guardian

 

  • Best Entertainment Piece

This award focuses on various areas such as music, film and culture. An example could be a music preview, a film critique or a theatre review. It will take into account the piece’s structure and relevance to the audience.

Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of two entries per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Annabelle Steele, The Saint

 

  • Best Feature sponsored by the University of Sheffield Journalism Studies Department

This award is for longer, magazine style pieces, about a specific area or focus. Judges will look at flow, structure, impact, passion and storytelling.

Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of two entries per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Ellie Fielding, InQuire

 

  • Best Lifestyle Piece

This award recognises the best lifestyle piece. This could include stories on fashion, travel, or food and drink. It will take into account the story’s structure and relevance to the audience.

Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of two entries per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Katie Jenkins, Exeposé

 

  • Best Magazine Design

This award recognises the best-designed student magazine in the UK & Ireland.

Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 documents of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 winner: BUMF

 

  • Best Newspaper Design

This award recognises the best-designed student newspaper in the UK & Ireland.

Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 documents of supporting evidence. Maximum of one entry per publication.

2019 winner: The Boar

 

  • Best Student Photographer

This award recognises the best student photographers, who provide their publications with memorable, high-quality images showing student life and events.

Submission Guidelines: Include three photographs and a supporting statement of up to 300 words. Maximum of one entry per individual journalist.

2019 winner: Emily Heath, InQuire

 

Entry Rules

  1. The deadline for entries is 11:59pm on Sunday 1 March. Any work submitted after this time will not be accepted.
  2. Only students of the current academic year (2019/20), or who graduated in the previous academic year (2018/19) are eligible to enter.
  3. All work entered must have been published between 8 March 2019 and 1 March 2020.
  4. All work must have been published in a student publication that is a member of the SPA at the time of publishing, or at the deadline for entries.
  5. The maximum number of entries per category is as follows:
  • Twice per individual for: Best News Story, Best Feature, Best Interview, Best Comment Piece, Best Entertainment Piece, Best Lifestyle Piece, Best Science or Technology Story, Best Human Rights Story
  • Once per individual for: Best Reporter, Best Human Rights Journalist, Best Photographer
  • Once per publication: Best Publication, Best Specialist Publication, Best Newcomer Publication, Best Website, Best Newspaper Design, Best Magazine Design, Best Overall Digital Media, Best Science Publication or Section, Best Sports Coverage
  • There is no limit on nominations for the Billy Dowling-Reid Award for Outstanding Commitment.
  1. In the event that more than the maximum number of entries is received, the SPA will endeavour to ask the publication’s editor (for publication entries) or the individual journalist (for individual entries), but reserves the right to accept only the first entries received.
  2. In general, work may not be entered into more than one category. The following exceptions apply:
  • Entries for the following categories may be formed in part of entries for other categories: Best Publication, Best Specialist Publication, Best Newcomer Publication, Best Website, Best Overall Digital Media, Best Science Publication or Section
  • Entries for Best Reporter or Best Human Rights Journalist may feature one article that has been submitted for another award. If this limit is exceeded, then the entry for Best Reporter or Best Human Rights Journalist will be disregarded.
  • Entries for the following categories are expected to be similar but may not be identical: Best Publication, Best Specialist Publication, Best Newcomer Publication, Best Website, Best Overall Digital Media and Best Science Publication or Section.
  1. Any work that is entered may be used by the SPA for promotional purposes.
  2. The decisions of shortlisters and judges are final.

We will endeavour to provide entrants with feedback on request, but this isn’t always possible.

If you have any questions about this year’s SPA awards, email chair@spajournalism.com.

* Winners of the Best Science Publication/Section and Best Science Piece will be invited to the ABSW awards ceremony, with funding provided. The winner of the Best Science Piece award will be provided training by the Dr Katharine Giles Fund.