Frequently Asked Questions

Entrants

Q: How should I proceed if I'm submitting several entries for different people at my newspaper?
A: Make sure the person whose name should appear on the award certificate is named in the field that says "Entrants."
Q: I'm an SPJ member, but my newspaper is paying for my entries. What rate do I pay?
A: Only members entering for themselves get the discounted member rate. If your news organization is entering for you, the fee is $25.
Q: What types of news organizations can enter the contest?
A: Print newspapers, magazines, television, radio, online-only publications and special supplements. At least 51 percent of the intended circulation or audience must be in Connecticut. The Associated Press is judged in the Regional A category.
Q: When is the deadline?
A: We will accept entries until 5 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2017. All entries must have been published or broadcast during the 2016 calendar year. The college contest deadline is April 20, 2017. All entries must have been published or broadcast during the 2015-16 academic year.

Q: Why won't it let me enter my college entry for this Spring??
A: Due to a computer programming error, we can only accept entries dated 2016. Please date your 2017 entries with the 2016 year. Judges will double check the publication date on review.

Entries

Q: What formats are accepted?
A: We accept the following file formats (up to 50 MB):
            Audio: .mp3
            Video: .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .avi
            Images: .jpg, .gif, .png, .pdf

We recommend anything else be submitted as a link.

Q: Is there a limit to how many entries I can submit?
A: Yes. Each entrant can submit no more than three entries per category. Each item can be submitted no more than twice in the contest. 

Q: Can I submit a Word document with the text of my article?
A: No. For print entries, you must submit a PDF or JPG version of the page the article appeared on, or a link to the online version of the article. Text submissions -- in any format, such as Word or RTF documents -- will be disqualified.
Q: My article appeared online and in print. Can I just link to the online version?
A: Yes, as long as it's the same one that appeared in print.
Q: What if I need to change my entries?
A: You may change details about your entries up until the point where you confirm and pay for the entries. The entries will appear as "not finished" on your entry list until you've confirmed and paid for them. Once an entry is paid for, you must contact a contest administrator if changes need to be made. No changes may be made after the entry deadline.
Q: Is there a full list of categories for this year's contest?
A: Yes, there is. You can find it here.

Payments

Q: How much does it cost to enter?
A: The entry fees remain unchanged from last year:

  • $10 for active Connecticut SPJ members
  • $25 for non-members and news organizations
  • $50 for the three top awards
  • $5 for student members
  • $10 for students who are not members
  • If you do not know your member number, please contact SPJ's national membership coordinator, Linda Hall, at LindaH@SPJ.org or at (317) 927-8000. 
Q: How do I pay by check?
A: Select the option for "Check" during the checkout screen. You will receive an e-mail with instructions for payment. You should mail the check to:
CTSPJ
P.O. Box 5071
Woodbridge CT 06525

Q: How do I pay for several entries at once?
A: Once you've completed one entry, click on "Add Another Entry" before clicking on "Checkout." Once you've input all the entries you want to pay for at once, click "Checkout" to pay for all of those entries together. You may still add more entries after you've checked out (before the deadline) but must pay for those separately. 
Q: What type of credit cards do you accept?
A: Mastercard and Visa

Judging

Q: Will the entries go through a first round of judging?
A: No. All entries will be sent for final judging. There will be no finalist list as a result.
Q: Who judges the contest?
A: The contest entries are judged by qualified journalists in states outside of Connecticut. The names of the judges are not released.

If you are a judge looking for the judging directions overview, click here.

Q: Why does CTSPJ ask my news outlet to judge each year?
A: As part of the reciprocal swap, Connecticut SPJ accepts entries from SPJ chapters across the country. We ask Connecticut news outlets to help judge so that we can continue to receive outside help judging our own contest. 

This year we've added a bonus for your help: If your news outlet agrees to judge 10 categories from our swapping partners, we'll give you a free entry. Individuals who agree to judge two categories will get a free entry. Please sign up for judging swaps with Contest Clerk Jessica Garin.