High School Journalism Contest

The High School Communications Competition sponsored by Nebraska Press Women (NPW) and the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) inspires students to excel in their journalistic endeavors.

Students can compete in 17 categories: editorial, opinion, news, feature, sports, column, feature photo, sports photo, cartooning, reviews, graphics, single-page layout, double-truck layout, environment, video news story, video feature story, and video sports story.

First place state award-winners are invited to attend the NPW spring convention to receive their certificates (left). Their entries go on to national competition, vying for $100 cash for first place, plaques for second and third places, and certificates for honorable mentions.

The only nationwide communications competition for high school students, the NFPW contest is endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Dow Jones announces first-place winners and promotes the competition in its publication distributed to journalism advisers across the nation, giving students and their teachers/advisers local and nationwide recognition.

On the state level, competition is held in two divisions with awards presented in each. Division 1 is for students in Class A schools, and Division 2 is for all schools smaller than Class A. Schools that do not have a newspaper but have a newsletter also are eligible to enter the contest. Because winners are chosen in Divisions I and 2, the state judges select a “best of show" in each category, and that entry advances to the national contest.

Work eligible for the 2011 competition must have been completed between Feb. 15, 2010, and Feb. 15, 2011. The $2 fee (per entry) must accompany the entry, which must be postmarked by Feb. 28, 2011. Late entries will not be judged. Nebraska Press Women follow national guidelines, and use the national entry form, both of which may be downloaded here.

For more information on the state contest, contact Sara Giboney, NPW High School contest, 13 E. 22nd St., Kearney, NE 68847. You can e-mail her from our Contact Us page.


LINCOLN – The work of students attending Nebraska high schools was showcased during the 2009 Nebraska Press Women High School Communications Competition. Results were announced May 1, 2010, during the Nebraska Press Women’s spring convention in the Cornhusker Hotel at Lincoln. Students from 14 schools entered work completed during 2009 in the contest, which included 17 different categories, from writing to photography to video entries.

Omaha Westside students captured first place in seven of the 17 categories. Other schools with submissions that placed first include Papillion LaVista South High School, with three first-place entries; Milliard West and Bellevue High School, two apiece; and Hastings and North Platte High School, one apiece. Those first place entries were forwarded to the National Federation of Press Women’s High School Communications Contest. National winners will be announced in August during the national convention at Chicago, Ill.

The 2009 NPW High School Communications Competition drew 254 entries from 14 schools. Schools were divided into two divisions, Division 1 for Class A schools, and Division 2 for all other class schools. Judges determined between first-place winners in each division which entry should advance to the national contest.

Division 1 schools that participated were Lincoln Southwest, Grand Island, Hastings, Bellevue West, Marian, Omaha Westside, Papillion-LaVista South, Millard West, Blair and North Platte. Division 2 schools were Crete, Broken Bow, Loup City and Rock County. The category that drew the most entries was feature story, with 46 entries. News story drew the second highest number of entries with 28.

While every school had at least one entry that placed in the top four spots, Omaha Westside had 18 entries that placed in the top four, seven of those first-place awards. Papillion-LaVista South students earned 10 awards, three of which were first place, while two of the seven awards for Millard West students were first place.

DIVISION 1 RESULTS *indicates the entry placed at nationals
Bellevue West High School – Kira Northrop and Kaitlyn Klein, first, graphics; Christopher Nelson, first, review; Olivia Cunningham, third, opinion; Samantha Churchill, honorable mention, feature photo and review; and Kaitlyn Klein, honorable mention, review.

Blair High School – Joey Gentzler, second, graphics, and third, double-truck layout; Michael Blaha, second, single-page layout; and Nate Barnhill, third, graphics.

Grand Island High School – Sarah Mirza, second, columns; and Brandon Pfeifer, third, review.

Hastings High School – Bethany Schmidt, first, double-truck layout; Annie Dillman, second, editorial; Michael Beahm, second, opinion; Mikaela Newlun, second, single-page layout and honorable mention, feature story.

Lincoln Southwest – Will Folsom, second, cartooning; Connor Stange, second, sports story; and Kaley Cook, third, columns. Marian High School – Hailey Konnath, third, editorial; Ann Brudney, third, cartooning; and Jacqueline Alvine, honorable mention, single-page layout.

Millard West – Hannah Bargman, first, feature photo; Molly Christenson, first, sports photo; Jessica Goltl, second, feature photo; Lindsay McCoy, second, sports photo; Josephine Orsi, third, feature photo; Natalie Ketzler, third, sports photo; Liz Brown, honorable mention, sports photo.

North Platte High School – Brett Schmidt, first, opinion.

Omaha Westside – Jenny Shehan, first, editorial; Julius Fredrick, first, cartooning; Mary Susman*, first, news story; Cara Wilwerding*, first, sports story; Olivia Babe*, first, video feature story; Lea Rendell, first, columns; Ali Tomek, second, news story; Grace Lyden, second, feature story; Sidney Peterson, second, video news story; Claire Pedersen, second, video feature story; Jesse Milliken, second, video sports story; Lizzie Davis, second, reviews; Hannah Gill, third, news story; Cara Wilwerding, third, feature story; Sarah Nelson, third, video news story; Shanley Reynolds, third, video news story; Lauren Florea, third, single-page layout; and Shelby Pieper, honorable mention, news story.

Papillion LaVista South High School – Emily Barnes and Amy McConnell, first, feature story; Rebecca Conrad and Karly Sorys*, first, video news story; Emily Barnes, Ryan Daly and Joseph Fabian*, first, video sports story; Amy McConnell, first, single-page layout; Carley Thomas, third, sports story; Brittany Suthard and Emily Kuklinski, third, video feature story; Emily Parish and Carley Thomas, third, video sports story; Amy McConnell, honorable mention, editorial; Ryan Daly and Emily Parish, honorable mention, video news story; and Rebecca Conrad and Gretchen Pille, honorable mention, video feature story.

Broken Bow High School – Travis Connely, first, opinion, Emily Smallcomb, first, news story, second, sports story, third, columns; Justin Mattox, first, feature story, third, sports story; Jeremy Hunt, first, environment and review; Patrick Wright, first, sports story; and Niclas Gottmann, second, columns.

Crete High School – Jessalyn Holdcraft, second, news story; third, news story; honorable mention, feature; and honorable mention, news story.

Loup City High School – Casey Wilson, third, feature story.

Rock County High School – Emily Sybrant, first, columns, and second, feature story.

Nebraska Press Women is an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women. Both organizations provide professional growth opportunities for women and men in the communications field. Programs include conventions, workshops, contests, awards, and scholarships.

Home Page | Contact Us |