Journalist of the Year— Due Feb. 5, 2020

Each year, GSPA recognizes the top student journalist in the state with the Georgia Champion Journalist Award. The winner receives a $100 prize and represents the state in the Journalism Education Association's National Journalist of the Year competition.

Entrants must be seniors, maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have at least two years of journalism experience and be planning to major in journalism in college. Entrants must prepare a comprehensive portfolio showcasing their journalistic work and include an official transcript and three letters of recommendation.

The 2020Georgia Champion Journalist and Junior Champion Journalist competitions require entrants to complete an online portfolio of their work. View the JEA guidelines for portfolios.

Click here to fill out the 2020 GSPA Champion Journalist entry form.

Click here for 2020 Champion Journalist & Jr. Champion Journalist Guidelines.

Postmark deadline for both the Champion Journalist and Junior Champion Journalist Award is Feb. 5, 2020.

2019-20 General Excellence Critique and Competition — Opens Jan. 3 & Due by March 6, 2020


On Jan. 3, 2020, GSPA will begin accepting entries for newspaper, newsmagazine, news websites, and broadcasting published between Feb. 1, 2019 and March 6, 2020. All entries must be be submitted by March 6, 2020.

Please note GSPA membership is required to enter all GSPA competitions. 


1. The contest/critique entry form is available online here. 

2. Submit:

  • Newspaper & Newsmagazine- Mail TWO COPIES EACH of your best two issues for the 2019-2020 year.

  • News Websites & Broadcasts- Provide link to publication on the entry form.

3. An entry form is required for each publication being critiqued/entered in the contest. 

4. The contest fee is $35 per entry. Or, the critique-only fee is $30 (rating will not be announced or published for this option). Payments may be mailed to GSPA 120 Hooper Street, Athens, Georgia 30602. Or, payments can be made online.

5. If an invoice is required, please email 

6. Please mail materials to GSPA, 120 Hooper St. Journalism 211A, Athens, GA 30602.

Individual Awards—Opens Jan. 3 & Due by March 6, 2020

GSPA offers 59 separate categories to recognize outstanding student work in journalism. NOTE: 2020 Category descriptions have been updated. Please review each category before submitting your entries. Work published in newspaper, newsmagazine, news website and video broadcast may be entered in the spring competition, while yearbook and literary magazine entries are accepted in the summer.

On Jan. 3, 2020 we will begin accepting entries for individual student work published in a newspaper, newsmagazine, news website or video broadcast. Entries must be published between Feb. 1, 2019 and March 6, 2020. ALL REQUIRED FORMS WILL BE SUBMITTED ONLINE.


1. $2 fee for each individual entry

2. A form is required for each individual entry. The form is available online here.

3. Entries are limited to THREE PER STAFF per category. We will not accept multiple entries from one individual in the same category. 

4. Staff members should work with their fellow staffers and advisers to select the three best individual pieces from your staff per category. 

5- Individual entries for newsmagazine & newspaper should be in a PDF. The PDF title should be the following: Category #-Headline/Title-Publication Name-Student Name. The PDF should also include the title of entry and name of students in the document. 

6. Enter the URL below for individual entries submitted for the broadcast & news websites type of media.

7. Entries that do not follow guidelines properly will be disqualified.

8. Once you completed all entry forms, please compile all individual entries in a Dropbox folder and email link to or a Google Drive folder and email the link to

Payments may be mailed to GSPA 120 Hooper Street, Athens, Georgia 30602. Or, payments can be made online.

Achievement Awards

The GSPA Achievement Awards recognize "behind-the-scenes" work of staffs or individuals.

Deadline for entries is March 6, 2020.

Achievement Award Descriptions:

Administrator of the Year recognizes an administrator who has demonstrated strong support for the journalism program.

Adviser of the Year recognizes a journalism adviser who goes beyond the “call of duty” in supporting his or her staff.

Community Service recognizes a staff that through its forum has initiated significant change within the community.

First-Year Adviser recognizes a new adviser who has demonstrated success and desire in strengthening the program.

Freedom of the Press recognizes a producer(s) of work that demonstrated solid reporting and/or insight, but was censored from student publication.

Perseverance recognizes a staff that has overcome significant adversity to put out a quality product.

Start-Up recognizes a first-year publication/program that has demonstrated significant quality.

Turnaround recognizes the staff that has significantly changed the quality of its product from the previous year.

All winners will be announced and celebrated at the Spring Awards and Workshop Monday, April 13, 2020, at the University of Georgia’s Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

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