Insider Tips for you SPA Awards Entries

Insider Tips for you SPA Awards Entries

Insider Tips for you SPA Awards Entries

There’s just over a week until the 2016 Student Publication Association national awards close, so if you haven’t submitted your entries yet, you better get a wiggle on!

We’ve had some questions about what you should include in your entries and what sort of entries really stand out to our judges, so we’ve compiled a list of some hints and tricks to think about when submitting your entry.

  • Read the Guidelines

    First and foremost, make sure you read the submission guidance! In fact, read it twice. The submission guidance is the best place to see exactly what we’re looking for in each category, and what sort of things we’d like to know about your submission. You can read the submission guidance here.

  • Make Sure Your Membership is Up to Date

    Make sure you, or your publication is a member of the SPA. By applying for these awards you confirm your publication is a member of the SPA – the SPA is free to join and any applications from non-members will be disqualified

  • Give Yourself Time

    Give yourself plenty of time to submit your awards entries, and try not to leave it to 11:59 to get them in. These will give you time to read over each entry properly, and not leave you in a mad scramble to make the deadline. Also means you can act smugly whilst everybody else is panicking to get their entries in. It’s a win win.

  • Think About Why You Stand Out

    Make sure your entry really stands out. Anybody can write an album review, so how can you make yours the one that the judge will remember? Why will people want to read your story on lousy landlords over another publication’s? Make sure your submissions are the ones that will catch the judge’s eye.

  • Back Yourself Up

    Back your pieces up with evidence. Include quotes supporting your arguments, FOI requests and statistics when relevant. If you’ve gone to extra effort that might not be evident from reading the piece – make sure you tell us about it!

  • Focus on Issues That Matter to Your Audience

    SPA Chair, Jem Collins, suggests: “Making sure your work is focused on what students want to read and really care about. I’m less interested in your views on how to fix Syria, but I do want to know why rent keeps going up or you have no street lighting.”

  • Get Feedback

    Get someone else to read through your entry before you submit it and get their feedback – what you may think is the perfect pun may not be that punderful after all (case in point).

If you have any questions about submitting your entries, you can always ask in the SPA Facebook group, ask your regional officer, tweet us or email us at

Good luck!

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