SPA Awards 2018 open for submissions

SPA Awards wide, Lucy Aprahamian

The highlight of the student journalism calendar, the SPA Awards aim to recognise the very best in student media across both the UK and Ireland. The shortlist will be announced on Wednesday, March 21st at 7pm. 

Students and recent graduates are able to submit work across 19 categories, which will be put before industry experts. 

The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony during our national conference, with a shortlist revealed beforehand. 

Here’s all the info you need to know: 

  • The Basics
  • Award Categories
  • The Rules

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is Thursday 15th March at 23:59. 

Shortlisting 

All entries will be sent to our shortlisters who are all industry professionals before being sent to another panel of industry experts who will decide on winners. 

Awards Categories 

Best Student Photographer
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include three photographs and a 300 word supporting statement
This category recognises the best student photographers in the country, who provide their student publications with memorable, high-quality images showing student life and events. 

Best Comment or Opinion
Judged by:  TBC  
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words
This category showcases the best comment or opinion writing from a writer at a student publication. It will take into account structure, relevance to the audience and impact of the piece. 

Best Entertainment Piece
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words
This category can focus on various areas such as music, film and culture. An example could be a music preview, a film critique or a theatre review. 

Best Interview
Judged by:  TBC 
Sponsored by: Brighton Journalist Works 
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words
This category aims to recognise the best interviews made by student publications, whether that be with politicians, musicians, or even a local community worker, looking at the style, presentation and impact of the interview. 

Best Feature
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words
This category is for longer, magazine style pieces, about a specific area or focus. Judges will look at flow, structure, impact, passion and storytelling. E.g. Investigative journalism, content with impact. 

Best News Story
Sponsored by: City, University of London 
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words
This category is designed to recognise quality news reporting from student publications. It will take into account quality of sources, structure, and impact of the article on the intended audience. 

Best Multi-Media Journalism Story
Judged by:  TBC
Sponsored by: Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Culture
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words.

This category will recognise the stories told by publications using multi-media within stories. This could be integrated interactive graphics, integrated video, or even audio. This does not include the use of social media networks. It will take into account how well the different mediums are integrated into the story, structure, and impact to the audience. 

Best Science and Technology Story
Sponsored by: ABSW
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words.
This category will recognise 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. 

Best Lifestyle Story
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words.
This category will recognise the best lifestyle story. 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. 

Best Specialist Publication
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 document of supporting evidence in any format
This category has been introduced to recognise the best specialist student publication, whether this is an academic journal, fashion website or science magazine. It will take into account quality of content, design and other achievements. 

Best Newcomer Publication
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 document of supporting evidence in any format
This category recognises the best new publication in student member. Publications must be no more than three years old at the time the awards closes. It will take into account quality of content, relevance to the student community and achievements in other awards. 

Best Sports Coverage
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 document of supporting evidence in any format.
This category aims to recognise the best overall sports coverage by student publications, whether it be coverage of BUCS events, Varsity series’ or other university sports events. 

Best Overall Digital Media
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 document of supporting evidence in any format
This category will recognise the most innovative use of multimedia platforms, including audio and video, to enhance a publication’s overall content. This also includes the use of social media networks. 

Best Design – Magazine / Newspaper
Judged by: TBC  
Judged by: TBC 
Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 document of supporting evidence in any format.
This category aims to recognise the best-designed student publications across the country. It is split into two sub-categories for magazine and newspaper. Please enter your publication into the respective sub-category and state this on the nomination form. 

Best Website
Judged by:  TBC
Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 document of supporting evidence in any format
This category will recognise the best overall website and take into account design, production, content, overall impact, and user engagement. 

Best Reporter
Judged by:  TBC
Sponsored by: Press Association
Submission Guidelines: Include a portfolio of three stories and a supporting statement of 300 words

This category rewards consistently exceptional news 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. 

Outstanding Commitment Award
Judged by: Former Winner
Sponsored by: Gorkana

Submission Guidelines: Include 500 words supporting statement. This cannot be entered yourself, you can only nominate other people.
This category aims to reward those members of publications who have shown outstanding commitment to their title over the last year, going above and beyond the call of duty. 

Best Publication
Sponsored by: Print & Digital Associates
Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 document of supporting evidence in any format
This category will recognise the best student publication, and shall take into account overall relevance to their student community, quality of content produced, and achievements across the other award categories.
 

Rules 

  1. Please submit nominations only to awards@spajournalism.com with a subject heading: ‘[AWARD YOU’RE ENTERING] – [NAME], [PUBLICATION].’
  2. Only students ofthe current academic year (2017/2018), or graduates from 2017 may enter the awards. 
  3. All work entered must have been produced or published between 1st March 2017 to 15th March 2018. Please make the date of publication clear on your submissions.
  4. Work submitted within these time frames for Regional Awards are eligible for SPANC Awards.
  5. All work entered must have been produced for a student publication in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland
  6. Any publication entering the awards MUST be a member of the Student Publication Association. This will be checked on closure of the nominations period and any awards received from non-members will be disqualified.
  7. All articles/images submitted must be clearly shown to have been published in a student publication.
  8. Each entry may only be entered intoone category, with the exception of ‘Best Publication’, which may include information from other entries. 
  9. The Best Reporter category, however, can include ONE article entered into any one of Best News Story, Best Entertainment, Best Comment/Opinion, Best Feature, Best Interview in their portfolio of three stories. Any Best Reporter category entry that includes more than one article entered into these categories will be automatically disqualified.
     a) To clarify, if a Reporter enters three stories for Best News Story, only one of these can be used for the Best Reporter entry.
     b) Entrants are advised to consider what is their best piece for the individual article categories to decide what is entered in those categories out of what will be included in their portfolio.
     c) If an entrant is not entering Best Reporter, they are welcome to enter as many articles as they wish into the individual categories, provided each entry is entered into only one category. 
  10. In a situation where two members enter the same supporting documents for different categories, the decision on which to enter will reside with the publication’s editor.
  11. All material will be judged as received.
  12. Any part of your entry may be used by the SPA for promotional purposes.
  13. Entries must be submitted as PDF and DOC files only (except images).
  14. Entries must be original work. Any plagiarism detected will result in immediate disqualification.
  15. The judge’sdecisions are final. 
  16. While we will endeavour to provide feedback to all entries, this may not always be possible.

 

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