• March 29Blue Banner, newspaper and website, are due January 15.
  • March 23Golden Dozen deadline is November 15.
  • March 23Best Story Contest entries are due January 15.

SISPA

Site for the Southern Illinois School Press Association

SISPA

SISPA

Winter Conference

SISPA’s Winter Conference will be held  in the Student Center at SIU Carbondale Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022.

The conference is designed to recognize award winners, give students practice at on-site writing contests and offer informational seminars.

One of the main events of the Winter Conference is the On-Site Writing Contest.  SISPA offers 14 categories that mirror several of the IHSA Journalism series.  These events can offer publication staff members some practice before competing in the IHSA Sectional.

If you would be willing to serve as a proctor, present a session, or if you have any questions, suggestions or want to help with the Winter Conference in some other way, please email Cathy Wall at [email protected].

You may register early or at the door

  1. Pre-register your students by Feb. 1.
    1. Member schools should send a check for $4 for each student who will attend and a completed registration form to Cathy Wall, 333 W. College St. Harrisburg, IL  62946.
    2. Make checks payable to SISPA/SIUC.
    3. No refunds will be given.
  2. Register at the door. 
    1. Member schools should bring a check for $5 for each student who will attend the conference and complete a registration form at the door.
    2. Make checks payable to SISPA/SIUC.

 

On-Site Writing Contest

Member schools may enter two students in 14 categories INCLUDING Yearbook Theme Development.  A school may enter two teams of up to two students in Theme Development. The Photography contest is limited to one student per program due to space constraints in the SIUC photography lab.

Please note that students WILL be allowed to use their phones as voice recorders, to access the AP Stylebook and for other tasks typically associated with writing during the writing contests.

They WILL NOT be allowed to use their phones for photography or design contests. 

Descriptions of each of the contests are as follows:

1. News Writing- Students will interview an individual. Students will then compose a news story from information gathered through the interview.  Students will be able to use voice recorders (please bring headphones for playback), AP style books and dictionaries.  The word limit will be 350 words.

2. Editorial Writing- Students will be given a fact sheet from which to draw information.  After reading the material,  students will write an editorial on the topic using their ideas to support or oppose a position. Students will be able to use AP style books and dictionaries.  The word limit will be 350 words.

3. Editorial Cartooning- Students will be given information on a topic of general interest.  After reading the material, students will be asked to design an editorial cartoon supporting or opposing the proposition.  Students may bring rulers, pens, pencils or black felt-tipped pens, but FINAL ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED IN BLACK INK and all artwork must be original.

4. Yearbook Feature Copy Block-A fact sheet will be provided for those entered to write a typical feature copy block. Students will be able to use AP style books and dictionaries.  The word limit will be 350 words.

5. Yearbook Sports Copy Block-A fact sheet will be provided for those entered to write a typical sports copy block. Students will be able to use AP style books and dictionaries.  The word limit will be 500 words.

6. Yearbook Theme Development- A team of one to two students will be asked to develop a cover, title page, folios and double page spread based on a theme given to them. Students SHOULD bring layout sheets, color pencils, markers etc.

7. Copy Editing- Students will be asked to proofread a story  checking for good journalistic style. Students will be able to use AP style books and dictionaries.

8. Sports Writing- Students will be provided interview information on a sports activity or person.  They will write a sports story based on that information.  Students will be able to use voice recorders (please bring headphones for playback), AP style books and dictionaries.  The word limit will be 350 words.

9.  Feature Writing- Students will interview an individual.  They will write a feature story based on those facts.  Students will be able to use voice recorders (please bring headphones for playback), AP style books and dictionaries.  The word limit will be 500 words.

10. Advertising Design- Students will be given two business information sheets. They will be asked to design ads to fit certain sizes. Students may bring a ruler and any type of pen or pencil. Contestants will not be able to use color.  All artwork in the ads must be original.

11. Review Writing- Students will review an entertainment event.  The type of event will be posted closer to the Winter Conference date. The word limit will be 350 words.

12.  Photography- Using a digital camera, students will complete a photo assignment on a given topic. After completing their assignment, students will go to a computer lab where they will download and enhance their five best photos for judging. Only cameras that do not require special software for downloading may be used in the contest.

13. Yearbook Photo Captions – Students will write yearbook captions for a series of provided photos. This was a new IHSA contest event for 2015.

14. Informational Graphic Design – Students must bring their own device with Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator. They will have to use those programs to design the infographic from scratch (no clip art, etc.)