The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators

TAJE

The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators

TAJE

The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators

TAJE

Fall Fiesta Contest Rules

TAJE Fall Fiesta Convention Contests

Unless otherwise indicated, all contests will be held Saturday, Oct. 8.

 

Writing (3-5 p.m.)

  • News Writing
  • Feature Writing
  • Editorial Writing
  • Yearbook Copy
  • Sports Feature Writing
  • Review Writing
  • Headline Writing

 

Design (3-5 p.m.)

  • Yearbook Theme Package
  • Editorial Illustration
  • Newspaper Design

The following design entries below must be received by 6 p.m. Oct. 7. 

  • Beginning Yearbook Design
  • Advanced Yearbook Design
  • Infographic
  • Marketing

 

Photo/Video

(Entry deadline 6 p.m. Sept. 23)

  • Sports Action Photo
  • Sports Reaction Photo
  • Feature Photo
  • News Photo
  • Photography Portfolio
  • Portrait
  • First-Year Photo
  • Video News Story
  • Video Commercial/PSA
  • Video Feature Story
  • Video Sports Story
  • Video Commentary Package
  • Podcast

 

On-Site Photo

  • Digital Photography (2:30-6 p.m.; return to hotel by 5:15 and check in)
  • Team Scavenger Hunt (2:15-5:15 p.m.)

 

On-Site Broadcast

  • Digital Reporting (2:30-6 p.m.)
  • Broadcast Package (2:30-7:30 p.m.)
  • Videography (2:30-5:30 p.m.)
  • In-Depth Package (2:30-8 p.m.)

 

General Guidelines

Advisers of competitors must be members of the Texas Association of Journalism Educators at the time of pre-registration. Only one entry per school per contest except for uploaded broadcast contests and photography contests. 

Participants should arrive at their contest site 10 minutes prior to the start of the competition. Arrivals after the designated starting times will not be allowed to compete. Entries must be turned in within the time limit unless a waiver has been obtained from the contest director. BE SURE TO CHECK START TIMES OF EACH CONTEST.

Substitutions may be allowed 30 minutes prior to the contest at the on-site registration desk.

Students will need a laptop to submit on-site photo entries. 

All entries may be used in TAJE publications.

 

Writing Contests

  • Writers should bring pencils, pens, erasers, notebook paper, dictionary, thesaurus and stylebook. Students are allowed to bring computers but should bring a power strip. Students MAY NOT use a cell phone to compose entries. Stories must be saved as PDFs and submitted to the Google Drive folder by the end of the contest. Students planning to type their entries should be able to sign into a personal Google account on the computer. 
  • Style should be consistent throughout writing.

News Writing (Live)

Contest Overview

Contestants will write a news story based on a set of notes compiled from background information and a live interview. The contest will be two hours long. Students may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and/or AP Stylebook. Students using computers must save their entries as PDFs and submit them to the correct Google Drive folder by the end of the contest. The contest moderator will provide submission instructions to competitors.

Checklist

  • Lead includes the most important aspects of the story idea and answers the basic news questions. News-feature leads may be used when appropriate.
  • Content reveals the writer’s ability to prioritize information.
  • Story is void of editorializing.
  • Appropriate direct and indirect quotes are used. 

Feature Writing (Live)

Contest Overview

Contestants may be given a fact sheet which includes background information. Participants will conduct a live interview. In the two-hour competition, writers must write a feature story. Students may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and/or AP Stylebook. Students using computers must save their entries as PDFs and submit them to the correct Google Drive folder by the end of the contest. The contest moderator will provide submission instructions to competitors.

Checklist

  • Lead catches the reader’s attention. 
  • Body of story uses short paragraphs. Summary statements are used as transitions. Conclusion ties back to lead.
  • Quality quotes are used throughout the story. The quotes are appropriate to the tone and mood of the story.

Review Writing (Live)

Contest Overview

Students will write an entertainment review based on a performance. Each reviewer will form his or her opinion on the performance. Students may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and/or AP Stylebook. Students using computers must save their entries as PDFs and submit them to the correct Google Drive folder by the end of the contest. The contest moderator will provide submission instructions to competitors.

Checklist

  • Includes background
  • Answers the appropriate question: “Is it worth what I’d have to pay to see/hear it?”
  • Uses purposeful wording to persuade the reader
  • Includes the name/title in review

Editorial Writing (Live)

Contest Overview

Contestants may be given a fact sheet and will conduct a live interview. Students will determine which side of the issue to take and write an editorial. Students may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and/or AP Stylebook. Students using computers must save their entries as PDFs and submit them to the correct Google Drive folder by the end of the contest. The contest moderator will provide submission instructions to competitors.

Checklist

  • Lead states the writer’s viewpoint.
  • Writer’s arguments are logically and convincingly presented.
  • Opposing arguments are successfully refuted by the writer.
  • Name-calling, insults and personal attacks are avoided.

Sports Feature Writing (Live)

Contest Overview

Within the two-hour contest, writers will take a set of notes compiled from a live interview and will write a sports feature. Students may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and/or AP Stylebook. Students using computers must save their entries as PDFs and submit them to the correct Google Drive folder by the end of the contest. The contest moderator will provide submission instructions to competitors.

Checklist

  • Lead showcases the most important aspect of the story idea.
  • Content reveals the writer’s ability to prioritize information and develop the story in order of importance.
  • Story is void of editorializing.

Yearbook Copy (Live)

Contest Overview

Given a fact sheet including background information, yearbook reporters will write a headline presentation, three captions and a story for one yearbook spread during the two-hour session. Photographs will be included for which basic identification/description material will be provided. Students may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and/or AP Stylebook. Students using computers must save their entries as PDFs and submit them to the correct Google Drive folder by the end of the contest. The contest moderator will provide submission instructions to competitors.

Checklist

  • Headline catches the readers’ attention and captures the gist of story content.
  • Body copy follows feature writing format.
  • Captions begin with catchy lead-ins. First sentence tells the action in the photo. Second sentence goes beyond the obvious and tells the reader something he can’t see in the photo.
  • Quotes are used effectively. 

Headline Writing (Live)

Contest Overview

Contestants will have an hour to write headlines to specified counts for six printed stories and record answers on provided answer sheets. (Contestants may use only blank or plain lined paper for scratch paper.) Headlines can be written upstyle, downstyle, or in block letters, but contestants should remain consistent in style. Headlines do not end with periods. Students may bring and use a thesaurus, a dictionary and an AP Stylebook, either bound or electronic. Students will need to bring pencils and erasers.

Checklist

  • Headlines should fit the mood/content of the story and contain the most important, relevant information written to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Headlines should utilize active verbs in the present or future tense. If a headline has both a main and secondary headline, at least one of the headlines must have a verb.
  • Headlines should not include split prepositional or verb phrases  
  • While creativity is important, emphasis will be given to accuracy and correct form.
  • Students should avoid using the same word twice, using unfamiliar abbreviations, and starting the headline with a verb.
  • Students should use single quotation marks and omit articles (a, an, the). A comma may be used in most cases in place of “and.”
  • Headlines over or under count will be disqualified.

 

Design Contests

  • With the exception of Editorial Illustration, Newspaper Design and Yearbook Theme Package, design contest entries must be uploaded before the convention. 
  • A week before the convention, contest materials for all categories except Editorial Illustration, Newspaper Design and Yearbook Theme Package will be on the TAJE website, taje.org, for contestants to download. Designers will select as many photos as they wish, crop and place the photos. Students in the uploaded contests must email a completed PDF to contests@taje.org by 6 p.m. Oct. 7. Files that are not submitted as PDFs will be disqualified.  Name the file StudentName_SchoolName_Category. 

Newspaper Design (Live)

Contest Overview

Designers will create one spread as either a broadsheet page or a tabloid double-page spread for a specified section and topic. 

 NEW IN 2022: This is a live contest. Therefore, students will not be eligible to enter other on-site contests. Students will need to bring a computer with the appropriate software and have the ability to download files from a USB flash drive. Entries will be submitted as a PDF called ContestantNumber_Category on the same flash drive.

Checklist

  • Features a dominant visual entry point
  • Features a dominant typographical entry point
  • Creates clearly defined stories on different angles to the spread or page’s topic
  • Devices such as text heads, drop caps or pull quotes facilitate reading and keep the reader interested.
  • Visually balanced
  • Visuals add to the design flow of reader information
  • Illustrations add interest
  • Photographs are cropped effectively, and caption placement is indicated.
  • Color (if used) adds effectively to overall design.

Beginning Yearbook Design

Contest Overview

Beginning designers will create one double-page layout for a specified section of the yearbook (theme, student life, academics, etc.). A week before the convention, contest materials will be on the TAJE website, taje.org, for contestants to download. Students must email a completed PDF (named StudentName_SchoolName_Category) to contests@taje.org by 6 p.m. Oct. 7.

 There will not be a live critique session. Students entered here are eligible to enter on-site contests. 

  • Both exterior and interior margins are consistent. Column/grid structure is evident.
  • Dominant photo is noticeably larger than other photos.
  • Photos are various sizes and shapes.
  • Photos are grouped in center of spread with copy to outside. 
  • Trapped copy and unplanned white space are avoided.
  • Photos are action shots, cropped correctly.
  • Graphics and screens are used effectively.

Advanced Yearbook Design

Contest Overview

Advanced designers will create one double-page layout for a specified section of the yearbook (organizations, sports, individuals, specialty section, etc.). A week before the convention, contest materials will be on the TAJE website, taje.org, for contestants to download. Students must email a completed PDF (named StudentName_SchoolName_Category) to contests@taje.org by 6 p.m. Oct. 7.

 There will not be a live critique session. Students in this contest are eligible to enter other on-site contests. 

Checklist

  • Criteria for Beginning Yearbook Design contest should be followed.
  • Basic reading patterns have been acknowledged in the design.
  • Spread uses all elements of content effectively to relate story.
  • Spread achieves a planned, consistent presentation.
  • Specialty content has been treated effectively.

Marketing

Contest Overview

Competitors will receive a scenario and develop marketing materials that reflect the situation. A week before the convention, contest materials will be on the TAJE website, taje.org, for contestants to download. As part of the contest, students will be asked to develop specific items, such as branding, graphics, flyers and/or social media campaigns. Students must save their entries as PDFs (named StudentName_SchoolName_Category) and submit them to contests@taje.org by 6 p.m. Oct. 7.

 There will not be a live critique session. Students entered here are eligible to enter on-site contests. 

Checklist

  • Original or creative marketing strategies used
  • Marketing strategies developed with situation in mind (not one size fits all)
  • Materials connect to one another visually
  • Copy highlights key aspects; no errors in information.
  • Required element included

Infographic

Contest Overview

Competitors will receive a topic and create an infographic that incorporates visuals, data and appropriate sourcing. The topic will be released on the TAJE website a week before the convention. Competitors may use websites such as Canva or Adobe Spark to design the entry, but may not use templates for the design. Premade graphic elements such as icons are acceptable. Students must save their entries as PDFs (named StudentName_SchoolName_Category) and submit them to contests@taje.org by 6 p.m. Oct. 7.

 There will not be a live critique session. Students entered here are eligible to enter on-site contests. 

Checklist

  • Infographic cites at least two authoritative sources on the subject.
  • Data and visuals work well together.
  • Infographic tells a story.
  • Infographic has a clear, but concise title.
  • Attention paid to design principles such as space and unity.

Editorial Illustration (Live)

Contest Overview

Illustrators should bring pencils, pens and 8.5 X 11 illustration paper and/or board.

Based on a live interview, artists will prepare an editorial cartoon which captures visually the position or statement expressed. Illustrations must be in black & white. The contest will be two hours long.

Checklist

  • Visual message is simple and clear.
  • Artistic techniques are obvious, well-defined and developed.
  • Unique approach taken to the content, avoiding the obvious.

Yearbook Theme Package (Live)

Contest Overview

A team of two contestants will be provided a fact sheet from which they will develop copy and designs for the opening theme spread and one division spread. The fact sheet will include a stated theme around which copy will be developed. 

Students are allowed to use computers. Competitors who plan to use a computer need to check it has the appropriate software and  the ability to download files from a USB flash drive. Entries will be submitted as a PDF called ContestantNumber_Category on the same flash drive.  Contestants not using a computer should bring a ruler, pencil, scissors, glue stick and dummy sheets. Contest is two hours.

Checklist

  • Theme copy captures the tone or mood of the year.
  • Theme copy needs to be featurized, conversational and stylized rather than formulaic.
  • Theme concept should dictate design.

In-Depth Package (Live)

Contest Overview

Students will create an in-depth package that includes an infographic, a video and a story. Students will receive a contest topic and instructions and will then have five hours to complete their package. Students can work alone or in teams of no more than three, but only those students entered in the contest can create content for the competition. Students will put the content in a Google Drive folder. At the end of the allotted time, students will share the folder with the provided address. Contest will begin at 2:30, and entries must be received by 8 p.m.

More than one team per school is permitted to enter.

Checklist

  • Includes a main story, photos, video and/or audio (no more than three minutes in length) and one additional coverage component (sidebar, links, infographic)
  • Displays use of social media or other means of interactivity with the audience
  • Created for the contestants’ school audience
  • Visually appealing
  • Readable and easy to navigate
  • Follows journalistic ethical standards and style

 

Uploaded Photo Contests

  • Students may submit one entry per category. Schools may enter three students per category. Students do not have to attend the convention, but at least one member of their school must be registered for the convention.  Entries must be entered online at contest.atpi.org. 
  • Photos must be no more than 2500 pixels in the long direction, saved as RGB (or grayscale), JPEG files. Images can be either color or black and white. Captions and school information must be included in the Description field.
  • Category
  • Student Name
  • School Name
  • School City, State
  • Teacher Name, instructor
  • Caption
  • For instructions on how to enter the caption information, go to http://www.atpi.org/submission/.
  • Advisers may register contestants with student email addresses so that students can log in and upload their own photos, or teachers may upload the photos for the students.  
  • DO NOT wait until the contest deadline to enter students.
  • All critiques will be completed online. 
  • DO NOT submit images in which the content has been significantly digitally altered. 
  • Entries must be entered online no later than 6 p.m. Sept. 23.

Sports Action Photography

Sports Reaction Photography

Feature Photography

News Photography

Photography Portfolio

Overview of categories

Photographs must have been taken between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 23, 2022.They must have appeared in scholastic media within the last year or be scheduled to appear in the current school year’s media. 

Students do not have to attend the convention, but a student from their school must be registered to attend the convention. Students will enter ONE image per category. Images can be either color or black and white. Images cannot be entered in more than one category (except portfolio). Pictures need not be cropped for competition in the same manner as they appeared in the publication. Entries must be entered online at contest.atpi.org. 

Entries submitted for the Best in Texas Yearbook, Print News, Broadcast and Online News contests are not eligible.

Photography Portfolio ONLY:

 Students should enter at least three but no more than five photos. Photographs must have been taken between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 23, 2022

Entries must be entered online no later than Sept. 23.

Checklist

  • Deserving subject matter captures action and/or reaction.
  • Imaginative, unique approach to traditional subjects
  • Lively, easy-to-consider composition with attention to artistic techniques
  • Above reproach technical quality including sharp focus, effective tonal quality and lack of flaws
  • Neatness in presentation
  • Captions must be included in Description field.

Portrait

Category Overview

Students will submit ONE portrait photograph that has been published in their scholastic media within the last year or that will be published this year. The photograph should be a portrait, either a formal portrait or an environmental portrait, taken by the entrant.

Checklist

  • Imaginative subject matter
  • Technical quality and excellence
  • Photo composition, visual impact, simplicity, cropping, lighting. 
  • Students should NOT enter mug shots, sometimes called head shots.

First-Year Photo

Category Overview

Only students in their first year of any journalism, photojournalism or media class are eligible for this competition. Contestants will submit ONE photograph that has been published in their scholastic media within the last year or that will be published this year. The photograph should be taken by the entrant and may be of any subject matter. A full caption should be included in the Description field. Photo may be color or black-and-white.

Checklist

  • Imaginative subject matter
  • Excellent technical quality
  • Excellent photo composition
  • Visual impact, simplicity, cropping, lighting. 
  • Quality of the caption may also be considered.

 

Pre-Convention Video/Broadcast

All video contest entries must be submitted in the following manner:

  • Upload videos to YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Video titles should use the following format:  School – category – name 

Example: Washington HS – TAJE Sports 2018 – J. Doe

  • Submit entries via bit.ly/3cBPHhM. All entries should be submitted at once.

Deadline for uploading video entries is 6 p.m. Sept. 23.

Contest Overview

Limit of two video entries per category per school. Students may submit one entry per category. Videos must have been produced after Oct. 10, 2020. Videos submitted in the Best in Texas contest are not eligible for the pre-convention contests.

Categories and Criteria

Commercial/PSA: 15-, 30- and 60-second spots to be judged all together. These should advertise a real product or service, promote a real or nonprofit organization or educate the public on an important cause.

News Story: single story, less than 3 minutes

Feature Story: single story, less than 3 minutes

Sports Story: single sports story, less than 3 minutes

Checklist

Videos will be ranked on the following criteria:

  • Appropriate topic
  • Evidence of journalistic storytelling
  • Follows AP Broadcast style
  • Video quality, framing, editing technique

If applicable:

  • Camera presence

Commentary: Uses reporting, writing, narration, videography and on-camera presence to share a journalistic story with editorial commentary to inform and persuade an audience. Less than 3 minutes.

Checklist

  • Clear, concise, accurate and newsworthy storytelling that answers the 5 Ws and H
  • Video commentary is structured with an outline, script or guide to assist with journalistic storytelling.
  • Video commentary exhibits preparation and research.
  • Visuals demonstrate composition rules and techniques. 
  • On-camera talent speaks in a clear voice and conversational tone.
  • Clear identification and attribution of sources when necessary.
  • Edit smooth sequences and transitions. Avoid common editing mistakes which include jump cuts and flash frames. Editing should not distract from the focus of the story.

Podcasting

Category overview

Use audio storytelling to convey the facts and emotion of your nonfiction, journalistic story to your listeners. Podcast should be identified from the following categories: nonfiction narrative, interview/conversational, or hybrid with host and interview(s).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Podcast needs to use four types of audio to help tell the story: interviews, voiceovers, natural and ambient sounds. 

Limit of two podcast entries per category per school. Students may submit one entry per category. Podcasts must have been produced after Oct. 1, 2021. Submit entries via bit.ly/3cBPHhM. All entries should be submitted at once.  Include a title and description for the podcast. Deadline for uploading entries is 6 p.m. Sept. 23.

Checklist

  • Sound design in audio storytelling
  • Use of four types of audio in podcast
  • Clear, concise storytelling that answers the 5 Ws and H
  • Transitions
  • Audio helps the audience visualize a scene
  • Podcast is structured with an outline, script or guide to assist with journalistic storytelling.
  • Podcast exhibits preparation and research to craft the audio storytelling.

 

On-Site Photo/Broadcast Contests

  • Photographers should bring their cameras. 
  • Advisers may not help students select photos.
  • Broadcast students should bring all equipment needed.

Digital Photography (Live)

Contest Overview

Photographers will have three hours to shoot specific assignments around the hotel in five categories. Schools are limited to eight photographers total. Contest entries should clearly fit category. Students need access to a laptop to turn in entries. Images will be uploaded to the ATPI contest website (contest.atpi.org). Advisers will need to assign students to the contest on the website prior to the convention. 

Students MAY NOT enter another on-site contest. Students may use a digital camera or cell phone to take pictures.

Editing is not allowed, including cropping or color-correction. Photos must come straight out of camera.

Checklist

  • Make sure picture is in focus and has appropriate lighting.
  • Fill the frame; move in close.
  • Take both horizontal and vertical pictures.
  • Use rule of thirds, patterns, leading lines and framing.
  • Look for fresh, creative, innovative approaches to pictures.

IMPORTANT: Students are expected to return to the hotel 45 minutes prior to the contest deadline in order to submit entries. Extra time will not be granted. 

Broadcast Package (Live)

Contest Overview

Students will edit on their own equipment in teams of two. Each team will shoot and edit a complete broadcast feature story. All editing must be done with no outside help from the adviser or other students. The contest topic will be given at a brief meeting at the start of the contest. Entries will be submitted on an SD card or flash drive in an MPEG4 or MOV file. Any rendering or exporting should be included in the contest time. Please plan accordingly. Extra time will not be given as a result of technical difficulties. The total running time should be between 1:30 and 2:00. Contest will begin at 2:30 p.m., and entries must be received by 7:30 p.m. 

More than one team per school is allowed in this contest.

Checklist

  • Addresses topic
  • Evidence of journalistic storytelling
  • Follows AP Broadcast style
  • High video quality
  • Attention to framing and editing technique

Videography (Live)

Contest Overview

Entries will be submitted on a SD card or flash drive in an MPEG4 or MOV file. Videographers will be given a topic by the contest moderator and will create a video essay on that topic. No interviews are allowed. All work is done in-camera, then combined into a single file. Students will need a laptop to edit. Video essay should address the topic and pay attention to sequencing. Story should be told only through video and sound. Contests are done by a single student; each school may enter one student. Total running time for entry is 1:30-3 minutes. Contest will begin at 2:30 p.m., and entries must be received by 5:30 p.m. 

Checklist

  • Use of creative angles.
  • Overall videography skills are displayed.
  • Use of natural sound when available.
  • Development of a storyline.
  • Attention to sequencing

Digital Reporting (Live)

Contest Overview Use smartphone only to capture and record a multimedia story and produce through the ADOBE SPARK APPS only. Multimedia story may include a combination of video, text, still photos, audio and graphics to tell a feature/news story including the 5 Ws and H. Story will follow a topic shared with participants at the beginning of contest time. Students will submit their entry via Google Form at the end of contest time. Digital reporting on-site contest may be completed by one person or a team of two. No more than two entries per school. A team of two people is considered one entry.

Checklist 

  • Clear, concise newsworthy storytelling that answers the 5 Ws and H
  • Digital reporting is structured with an outline, script or guide to assist with journalistic storytelling.
  • Digital reporting exhibits preparation and research to craft digital storytelling.
  • Storytelling content completely gathered using a smartphone only.
  • Digital reporting story produced completely using a smartphone and the Adobe Spark apps.
  • Visuals demonstrate composition rules and techniques
  • Text such as captions, headlines and body copy demonstrate journalistic writing skills and follow AP standards.
  • Clear identification and attribution of sources

Team Photo Scavenger Hunt  (Live)

Contest Overview

Teams of 3-5 students using a single digital camera will go in search of photographs near the convention hotel. Teams will be given a list of items to photograph worth different point values.  A maximum of 20 images will be submitted by each team, and the team with the highest point total will be named the winner. All photos must be taken with one camera. Students MAY NOT enter another on-site contest.