The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators


The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators


The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators


Best in Texas (Yearbook)

The Texas Association of Journalism Educators announces its annual contest for high school and junior high yearbooks. Categories include concept, writing, design and photography/artwork.

The entries must be received on or before Oct. 25, 2024 by 11:59 p.m.


The contest entry fees will be $3 per entry. Advisers MUST be TAJE members to enter. Profits from the contests benefit TAJE projects, including scholarship programs.

The contest will focus on the quality of concept, writing and design to give yearbook staff members an opportunity to gain recognition for their individual journalistic accomplishments.

The deadline for receiving entries is Oct. 25, 2024. SUBMISSION FORM

Winning entries will be awarded certificates of superior, excellent or honorable mention by qualified scholastic journalism judges. Entries receiving superior ratings will be eligible for the Best of the Best award. One overall winner and runners-up will be selected from each contest group (concept, copy, design, photography, portfolio).

Yearbook entries should be from the previous year’s book.

Multiple entries are permitted in all categories except Y1-Y2 and Y10-Y14. Upload appropriately named PDFs (for categories Y1-Y23 and Y32-Y33) or JPGs (for categories Y24-Y31). The naming scheme is Categorynumber__school_studentname. If entering multiple submissions from the same student, please add numbers to the end of the name. If multiple PDFs are part of the submission, please combine into a single file OR place in a folder so files are not separated or treated as separate entries.  Please pay close attention to this naming scheme – this is how we identify names for award certificates. 

Work entered in the Fall Fiesta contests or Best in Texas Print or Online News are not eligible to be entered here.

The use of AI is not permitted in Best in Texas contests. 

A copy of your responses will be emailed to you after submission.

Entries may not be judged if payment or proof of payment request is not received by Dec. 1.

Invoices will be provided. A $5 flat shipping fee will be added to all invoices to cover award mailing costs. E-mail with any questions.

Make checks payable to TAJE. Mail payments directly to TAJE. 

Mail checks to:


PO Box 176

Buda, TX 78610

All entries may be published in TAJE materials.




Y1. Theme Development – Include all opening, closing and divider spreads

Y2. Theme Copy – Include opening, closing and divider spread copy


Y3. Headline Writing – Include five headlines with stories. If spreads contain multiple packages with headlines, indicate on the file which ones should be judged.

Y4. Caption Writing – Include five captions with photographs. If spreads contain more than five captions, indicate on the file which ones should be judged.

Y5. Student Life – Include copy and headline

Y6. Academics – Include copy and headline

Y7. Organizations – Include copy and headline

Y8. Sports – Include copy and headline

Y9. People – Include copy and headline


Y10. Student-Designed Cover – Must be the work of students, not designed with the aid of yearbook company artists

Y11. Student- Designed Endsheets – Must be the work of students, not designed with the aid of yearbook company artists

Y12. Opening/Closing – Include one sample of spread design; do not submit all opening/closing spreads

Y13. Title Page Design – Include one sample of page design

Y14. Dividers – Include one sample of divider spreads; do not submit all dividers

Y15. Student Life – Include one spread per entry

Y16. Academics – Include one spread per entry

Y17. Organizations – Include one spread per entry

Y18. Sports – Include one spread per entry

Y19. People – Include one spread per entry

Y20. Multi-topic Spread – Include one spread per entry

Y21. Sidebar Presentation – Include entire spread with sidebar

Y22. Alternative Copy – Include one spread per entry. Will be evaluated on design and content.

Y23. Infographics – Include entire spread with graphic

Y24. Student-Designed Ads – Include one full spread. Ads should be created by publications students and not utilize templates. 

Y25. Scoreboard Design – Include full spread with scoreboards. Spread may be from sports section or reference section, depending on how the staff has placed scoreboards.


(Captions must be included with photos. Captions should be submitted in metadata. Do not submit pages with multiple photos.)

Y26. Human Interest – People-centric. Strong emotion, clear story.

Y27. Student Life – Emphasis on students outside the classroom.

Y28. Academics – Emphasis on faculty/students during the school day.

Y29. Organizations – Emphasis on students engaged in activities outside the classroom.

Y30. Sports Action – Action-centered. Should be carefully cropped.

Y31. Sports Feature- Human-interest centered

Y32. Portrait – Informal/environmental portrait or studio portrait.


Y33. Photo Portfolio – Include 5 photos with captions  by one student from any section of the book. Captions should be included in metadata.

Y34. Design Portfolio – Include 5 spreads by one student from any section of the book

Y35. Story Portfolio – Include 5 stories by one student from any section of the book