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Better Magazine Contest (how to enter)

The 2017 contest is now closed. Thanks to all who entered. We look forward to seeing you at the convention and awards banquet in Carson City on Sept. 29-30.

Welcome to the Better Magazine Contest

Thanks for your interest in the magazines-only class in the Nevada Press Association contest. The categories are adapted from the Better Newspaper Contest to fit a magazine format. (Note that not every category available in the newspaper contest is available to magazines.)
Although we do not require membership in NPA for magazines to enter the contest, we welcome you to join us. We’ll be happy to supply more information on dues and benefits.

Entry preparation

All entry material must have been originally published between April 1 last year and March 31 this year. Magazines may enter without being members of the NPA. The fee is $8 per entry, plus a $25 registration charge for nonmembers of NPA. We welcome you to apply for membership.

Entries must be posted by June 1, including mail-only categories.

ADDRESS: Nevada Press Foundation,
 102 N. Curry St.,
 Carson City, NV 89703

We use an online entry system for individual categories. Three categories still require mail-in of compete editions.
You may visit the Better Newspaper Contest site to view a tutorial of the entry process.

BNC instructions

Using the current version of Firefox or Chrome, visit betterbnc.com
Go to Contestant Login
Choose the Nevada Press Better Newspaper Contest from the drop-down menu.
Choose your publication. If it’s not listed, let us know and we’ll add it.
LOGIN: The first person to log in should be the Contest Manager, who will be coordinating entries for your entire publication. Change the password, which will be used by your entire publication. The email address should also be for the Contest Manager, as that enables him or her to retrieve the password if it is lost or forgotten.
The default password for logging in the first time is contained in the instructions mailed to your publication.

On the Manage Entries page, click ‘Submit Entry.’
Select the Division and the Category. Complete the Headline/Title field. Make sure it is clear which item on the page is to be judged.
Upload the content by clicking ‘Choose File’ and navigating to the desired file. Select Open and then Upload.
Click ‘Next’ to add Credits and Comments.
Click Submit. Continue to the next entry. BE SURE TO CLICK ON SUBMIT.

Complete the tally sheet that was mailed to your publication and send payment to the Nevada Press Foundation. The system will keep track of how many entries you have submitted. Here’s a PDF of instructions and tally sheet.
When you have completed your entries, please email us at nevadapress@att.net so we can begin confirming entries.

No more than four entries by an individual are allowed in any category. (Previously, this applied to photo categories only.) Entries credited to more than one person, such as stories with multiple bylines, won’t count against the limit.
Open Call: We allow entries from individual contestants who are published in NPA-member publications. Select ‘Open Call’ on the BNC page and create a log-in account, if you have not previously entered. (Click on ‘Contestant Login,’ then ‘open call contestant.’)

Contest categories

#1 General Excellence (mail-in only)

This represents the highest award given. Entries should reflect the best of our industry. Magazines will be judged on:
• Local, general/departmental news
• Original editorial content
• Relevance to readership
• General appearance, style, design, photo use and graphics
• Advertising enterprise
All entries must be complete copies.
Send four issues total as follows: Three issues from the contest period last year (April 1-Dec. 31) and one issue from the contest period this year (Jan. 1-March 31). The four issues comprise one entry.

#2 Outstanding Journalist

This category recognizes outstanding service and performance to the profession of journalism during the contest year. Entrants may come from any segment of the editorial department. The nomination should consist of a few examples of the person’s work and may include a brief letter describing reasons for recognition. Two awards will be given:

  • For a journalist at an urban paper or magazine (classes 1, 4 and magazines)
  • For a journalist at a community paper (classes 2 and 3)

#7 Best feature writing

Entry may be a single story or a main story with sidebars published in one issue. No series. Entries should have a human-interest focus. Stories about entertainment, lifestyle and health or general-interest feature stories are included in this category. Criteria:

  • Quality of writing
  • Depth of reporting
  • Reader relevance/appeal

#8 Best nonstaff story

Story or series written by someone not part of the regular staff. Entries may be news or feature-oriented, but may not be opinion columns.
Criteria:

  • Quality of writing
  • Depth of reporting
  • Reader relevance/appeal

#11 Best explanatory journalism

Entry may be a single story, a main story with sidebars or a series. Entries must clearly explain an issue of importance to the readership in a way that helps readers understand a significant subject. Limit: No more than eight stories to an entry. Criteria:

  • Quality of Writing
  • Depth of reporting
  • Reader relevance/appeal

#13 Best investigative story

May be a single story, a main story and sidebars or a series of stories. Each subject constitutes an entry. Entries should reflect an investigative enterprise. If the story leads to further developments or impacts, you may submit stories, even if published after the end of the contest year (March 31). A letter of clarification may be submitted. No more than eight stories to an entry. Criteria:

  • Importance to reader
  • Quality of reporting, research
  • Quality of writing

#14 Best local column

Single entry consists of three columns written by the same columnist. The column must appear regularly in the magazine. Limit of one entry per columnist. Criteria:

  • Quality of writing
  • Style, originality and impact

#19 Best entertainment writing

Single entry consists of three samples by the same writer on entertainment subjects and/or events and may be reviews, advances, columns, news stories or features. Limit of one entry per writer.

  • Quality of writing
  • Interest to readers
  • Quality of reporting

#20 Critical writing

Single entry consists of three examples of criticism or review, not including editorials. Limit of one entry per writer. Criteria:

  • Clarity of argument
  • Quality of writing
  • Impact of story

#21 Freedom of the press

An award for upholding the principles of the First Amendment and protecting the public’s right to know.  Submit stories, editorials and/or columns, along with a description of actions taken and results accomplished. Please submit no more than eight examples per entry. Award will be given to the magazine, not an individual.

#25 Outstanding visual journalist

For photographers, designers, artists and others who tell the news in ways other than the written word. An entry consists of a few samples of the nominee’s work and, if desired, a brief letter describing why the person should be selected. One award will be given for all classes.
Limit of two entries per publication. Criteria:

  • Storytelling ability through visual media such as photos, design, graphics
  • News value and impact on readers

#26 Overall design (mail-in only)

Entries will be judged on design and makeup, use of graphics, typefaces, headlines, photo and color use, if applicable.
Submit four complete issues
Three issues from the contest period last year (April 1-Dec. 31) and one issue from the contest period this year (Jan. 1-March 31). The four issues comprise one entry. Limit one entry per magazine.

#27 Cover design

For excellence in design, including use of photos, graphics, headlines and type faces with an emphasis on drawing the reader into the magazine.
Each entry consists of three separate examples of the cover published at any time during the contest year. Limit one entry per magazine.

#28 Graphic designer

An entry consists of three examples of a page layout, original graphic, illustration or other design element created by a single person or design team. For instance, three illustrations by the same individual would qualify as one entry.  Two page layouts and an illustration would qualify as one entry. One entry per person or team. Criteria:

  • Overall design, layout and readability
  • Effective use of elements to convey information
  • Originality and creativity

Photo contest

#34 Best feature photo

For photos that are not directly related to a specific breaking news event. Photos should have a story-telling quality or unusual elements. No portraits. Criteria:

  • Originality/creativity
  • Human interest
  • Technical quality

#35 Best photo essay or gallery

Single subject told through two or more photos, with or without accompanying text. Photos may appear in more than one edition, such as a series or project. The photos may be by more than one photographer.

  • Quality of photos
  • Photo editing
  • Effectiveness of theme

#36 Best portrait

A portrait of a person or a small group of people. Criteria:

  • Storytelling quality
  • Originality

#37 Best illustrated photo

Artistic photos posed and designed to illustrate a specific article, feature or theme. No commercial photos. Criteria:

  • Achievement of purpose
  • Originality/creativity
  • Technical quality

Advertising contest

#41 Best print ad

The ad must be for a single business or advertiser and must be created and produced locally. Criteria:

  • Concept
  • Layout
  • Originality
  • Effectiveness

#43 Best advertising innovation

New ideas in advertising, which could be stickers, flyers, gatefolds or other nontraditional placements, including online advertising.

  • Concept
  • Originality
  • Effectiveness

#44 Best ad series

A series of ads for a single advertiser. It may fit into any category: sale, promotional, brand, etc.

  • Concept
  • Layout
  • Originality
  • Effectiveness

#46 Best in-house promotion for circulation, advertising or editorial

May be a single ad, campaign, or include rack cards, radio, TV, flyers, etc. May include an explanation of promotion, purpose and results.

  • Concept
  • Originality
  • Effectiveness

#48 Advertising general excellence (mail-in only)

Submit three complete issues: Two from the contest period last year (April 1-Dec. 31) and one issue from the contest period this year (Jan. 1-March 31). The three issues comprise one entry.

#49 Silver Star Award

For outstanding performers in advertising, circulation, business office, pressroom, etc. outside the editorial department. One award will be given for all classes.
Limit of two entries per publication.
Criteria: We recognize that a better magazine can’t be built without superior contributions from all departments. 
We want to recognize those who shine in your organization and are worthy of a Silver Star. A nomination consists of a brief letter describing reasons the person should be recognized.

#50 Best Regular Department

For regular magazine departments that appear at least four times in your publication during the contest year. Submit three examples, which comprise one entry.

  • Quality of editorial content
  • Relevance to readership
  • Design, photo/graphic use

#51 Best profile/interview

A feature story focusing on one individual (or perhaps a couple).

  • Quality of writing
  • Depth of reporting
  • Reader relevance/appeal

#52 Best special project (mail-in)

A book, calendar, special edition or other project beyond your usual publication. This is presumed to be a mail-in entry, unless the project was designed primarily for mobile or web. Criteria:

  • Originality
  • Relevance to readership
  • Quality of content

#W1 Web site

Overall appeal to readers, timeliness, ease of navigation and design.  Criteria:

  • Engagement of readers
  • Quality of content
  • 
Attractiveness of design

#W5 Best online ad

Any advertisement produced locally for use on digital platforms, either web or mobile.

  • Creativity of concept
  • Engagement of readers
  • Appropriateness of design for digital content

 

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