Why do we — as consumers of media — need to obtain news from multiple feeds and not just one or two outlets?
About the award
The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association want to increase high school students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of independent media to our lives. National winners of this essay contest receive scholarship awards.
Who is eligible?
All students enrolled in grades 9-12 in U.S. public, private and home schools within the United States. Students must submit original work.
The essay should be 300-500 words. Entries may be typed or handwritten but must be double-spaced.
Entries may be submitted online as a PDF using this form, or mailed to JEA headquarters using this form.
Each submission to the High School Essay Contest must be accompanied by a $5 entry fee. Entrants submitting online must use a credit card, and entrants submitting by mail may pay by check or credit card and should indicate the preferred payment option on the entry form. Checks should be made out to the Journalism Education Association. Entries submitted without the required entry fee will be disqualified.
Send mailed entries to:
Journalism Education Association
ATTN: SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest
105 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S
Manhattan, KS 66506
Postmark/upload deadline: Feb. 23, 2018, 11:59 p.m. Central time/9:59 p.m. Pacific time.
Essays will be accepted beginning Nov. 3, 2017.
First Place: $1,000 scholarship
Second Place: $500 scholarship
Third Place: $300 scholarship
Scholarships are funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Winners will be notified via email, and the names of winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention. Winning essays also will be posted on jea.org and spj.org.
Section I – General Rules
1. Contestants must enter through JEA headquarters.
2. Contestants must compose an original essay with limited guidance from others.
3. The Journalism Education Association and Society of Professional Journalists will have the right to edit, publish or otherwise duplicate any essay entered into the contest without payment to the author.
4. Due to the volume of entries received, only national winners will be contacted with the results.
5. The entry fee for this contest is $5 per essay.
Section II – Qualifications for Contestants
1. The contest is open to all students in grades 9-12 in public, private and home schools within the United States.
2. Contestants may submit only one essay entry during any given contest year.
3. No individual having previously won a national SPJ Essay Scholarship will be eligible to compete at any level of the competition again.
Section III – Contest Rules
1. Participants must write on the official topic.
2. Each entry must include the Contest Entry Title Page (entry form) or submit a cover page containing the same information found on the Entry Form.
3. Essays may be typewritten or legibly handwritten but must be double-spaced.
4. Essays must contain at least 300 words but no more than 500 words. Every word of the essay is counted. This does not include the title, bibliography or footnotes.
5. Any quotations or copyrighted material used in the essay must be identified properly. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.
6. Essays must be written in English.
7. Mailed entries must be stapled together in the upper left-hand corner.
8. Any protest in the conduct of the contest must be made immediately. The JEA executive director will decide all protests in conformity with the contest rules. The decision of the executive director is final, and no higher appeals will be recognized.
Section IV – Judging and Timing
1. Judging will be completed by a panel of qualified judges.
2. Judges will not discuss or compare essays being judged until all essays have been judged.
3. Only judges can assign a penalty or award points.
Section V – Scoring of Contest
Scoring procedures at all levels of the contest will be identical.
1. Material Organization (Logical interpretation of the subject, adherence to topic): 40 points
2. Vocabulary and Style (Phrasing and continuity): 30 points
3. Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling: 20 points
4. Neatness: 5 points
5. Adherence to contest rules (prepared in the proper format): 5 points
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner:
Lauryn Wu, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winners (tie): Aliza Diepenbrock, Spring Street International School, Friday Harbor, Washington; Carolyn Harper, Bob Jones High School, Madison
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Eileen Yang, Peddie School, Hightstown, New Jersey
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Simon Levien, Sparta High School, Sparta, New Jersey
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: David Oks, The Masters School, Dobbs Ferry, New York
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Christine Condon, Dulaney High School, Timonium, Maryland
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Matthew Zipf, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, Maryland. Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Philip Kim, Paramus High School, Paramus, New Jersey. Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Sania Chandrani, Parkview High School, Liburn, Georgia. Read essay [PDF]
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Tianyu Lin of Milton Academy in Milton, Mass. Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Phoebe Fox of La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls in Honolulu, Hawaii. Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Jacob Bloch of Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, N.Y. Read essay [PDF]
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Courtney Swafford of Write from the Heart in Wilmington, Del. Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Anran Yu of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz. Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Chuli Zeng of Woodbridge High School in Irvine, Calif. Read essay [PDF]
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Hwasung (Daniel) Yoo of Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, Va. Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Niisackey Mills of South Plainfield High School in South Plainfield, N.J. Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Dustin Chandler of East Burke High School in Connellys Springs, N.C. Read essay [PDF]
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Emerson Hardebeck of Timberline High School in Lacey, Wash. Read essay [PDF]
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Shaun Moran of St. Augustine Prep School in Richland, N.J. Read essay [PDF]
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Chris Papas of Oakton High School in Vienna, Va. Read essay [PDF]
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Erin McDonough of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Shaj Mathew of Huntingtown High School in Huntingtown, Md.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Xiaonan “April” Hu of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va.
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Alix Cohen of Cypress Bay High School, Weston, Fla.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Victor Hollenberg of Staples High School, Westport, Conn.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Alyssa Patrick of Eisenhower High School, Yakima, Wash.
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Mark Brouch, Aurora Central Catholic High School, Aurora, Ill.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Evan Rich, Jericho High School, Jericho, N.Y.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Danna Seligman, Newbury Park High School, Newbury Park, Ca.
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: David Kelly, Broomfield High School, Broomfield, Colo.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Dan Garon, Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, Plymouth, Minn.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Erin Gowdy, Bob Jones High School, Madison, Ala.
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Angelika Zych, Vanguard High School, in Ocala, Fla.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Jonathan Homrighausen of Sunnyside High School in Sunnyside, Wash.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Amy Brooks of Clayton High School in Clayton, Mo.
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Mindy Zhang, Robinson Secondary School, Fairfax, Va.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Zachory John Drisko, Green Hope High School, Cary, N.C.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Katie Roberts, Home schooled, Walnut Shade, Mo.
— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Heather Hamilton, Sentinel High School, Missoula, Mont.
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Logan Oyler, Hickory High School, Chesapeake, Va.
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Joey Muffler, Bishop Ireton High School Alexandria, VA
— First Place Winner: Jonathan Ross Kaplan, Nova High School, Davie, Fla.
— First Place Winner: Katie Pennock, West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, NC
— First Place Winner: Darcy Colson Baxter, Lansing Central High School (near Ithaca, N.Y.)
— First Place Winner: Michael Anthony Fedele III, Northwestern High School, Rock Hill, S.C.
1. Download the Schwab Entry Form and fill it out.
2. Return the completed entry form by e-mail to email@example.com with Schwab Entry as the subject.
Your completed entry form must be received by Friday, April 13, 2018, so we may assign you a number. No submissions after April 13, 2018 will be accepted.
3. The ABA will then e-mail you an electronic copy of the entry form with an assigned number.
4. Place the assigned number in the upper right-hand corner of each page of the essay. (Contestant's name must not appear anywhere on the essays.)
5. Send one (1) electronic copy of the essay and the completed entry form (with assigned number and your signature) to firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject: Schwab Essay Submission
Please Note: We will only accept one (1) entry per author; we do not accept multiple submissions.
DEADLINE: All entries must be e-mailed on or before April 27, 2018. Remember, in order to be assigned a number, you must send us your entry form by April 13, 2018. These dates must be strictly adhered to.
The ABA will confirm receipt of entries via e-mail.
Questions regarding the contest should be directed to the ABA Section of Family Law at 312-988-5145.Notification of Winners
Notification of Winners
First, second, and third place winners will be notified by the ABA that they have won via the e-mail and U.S. mail addresses listed on their entry form. If winner(s) do not respond to notification within 10 business days or if their e- mail or U.S. mail is returned as undeliverable, another winner(s) will be chosen. Winner(s) from the level(s) below the non-responding or returned e-mail address winner(s) will be notified that they will move up to the appropriate level, and a new winner(s) will be chosen for that vacated place(s) from the other entrants to the contest. Example: first and second place winners do not timely respond to notification that they have won. The third place winner will then be notified that he/she has become the first place winner, and new second and third place winners will be chosen and notified.
License/ Grant of Rights
By entering, the winners grant to the ABA the following rights: (1) the exclusive worldwide right of first publication of their entry in any and all ABA media or form of communication; (2) the non-exclusive worldwide right, in ABA’s sole discretion, to use, transcribe, publish reproduce, distribute, sell (as part of an ABA publication) or display the entry, alone or in conjunction with other materials; (3) the right to edit the essay to conform to the publication’s standards of style, technological requirements, language, grammar and punctuation, provided the meaning of the essay is not materially altered; and (4) the non-exclusive worldwide right to use the winner’s name and likeness in connection with the essay or this Writing Competition without further compensation. Additionally, at the ABA’s discretion, the winning entrant must execute a separate licensing agreement giving the ABA the publication rights enumerated above and the right to use the article for any other purpose related to the ABA mission. At the ABA’s sole discretion, if the winner fails to sign the agreement within 10 business days of receipt, the prize will be considered forfeited and another winner named.
Laws and Regulations
This contest is governed by U.S. law and all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. By entering, all participants agree that the competition shall be governed by the laws of the State of Illinois, that the courts of Illinois shall have exclusive jurisdiction, and that Cook County, Illinois shall be the venue for any dispute or litigation relating to or arising from the competition. Void where prohibited by law.
Conditions of Participation
By participating, each entrant agrees to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, and releases and discharges the ABA, subsidiary and affiliated entities, and each of their respective officers, directors, members, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively “Sponsor”) from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with this promotion, including without limitation legal claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages, demands or actions of any kind (including without limitation personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light) (collectively “Claims”). Except where prohibited, acceptance of a prize constitutes a release by any winner of the Sponsor of any and all Claims in connection with the administration of this promotion and the use, misuse or possession of any prize. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Sponsor is not responsible for errors or for lost, late, or misdirected mail or email, or telecommunication or hardware or software failures, including by reason of any bug or computer virus or other failure. Sponsor may cancel, modify or terminate the promotion if it is not capable of completion as planned, including by reason of infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure or technical difficulties of any kind.
Odds of Winning
Chances of winning will vary depending on the number and quality of entries. However, Sponsor reserves the right not to award any prize if the judges determine that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit selection that year.
Announcement of Winners
For a list of prize winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope by October 31, 2018 to the Section of Family Law, American Bar Association, 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60654.
Any individual may elect to opt out of receiving future contest mailings by calling the ABA Service Center at 800-285- 2221.
American Bar Association, Section of Family Law, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654