2018-2019 General Excellence Critique Service and Competition

GSPA is now accepting entries for yearbooks and literary magazines published in the 2018-19 academic year. All entries for first-round consideration must be be submitted by June 30, 2019.

Click here for the General Excellence Entry Form!

Please note GSPA membership is required to enter all GSPA competitions. All memberships expire at the end of current academic year. If you are uncertain of your membership status, please email gspa@uga.edu

If a yearbook or literary magazine is finished later in the summer and misses the June 30 deadline for the General Excellence competition, then the publication can be submitted for the second round of the summer competition. The second round deadline is July 31, 2019. Please follow the instructions below for proper submission of contest entries. 


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

2. Submit:

  • Yearbook- Send one copy of the 2018-2019.

  • Literary Magazine- Submit one copy of one issue printed during the 2018-19 school year. If you plan to enter more than one issue, you must submit contest entry forms and pay the $35 critique fee for each issue.

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

4. If an invoice is required, please email gspa@uga.edu

5. If paying by check, please make it payable to GSPA. 

6. Payments may be paid online here: https://estore.uga.edu/C27063_ustores/web/classic/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=5492

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


Individual Awards

GSPA offers 59 separate categories to recognize outstanding student work in journalism (see categories below). 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.

Click here for the individual entry form!

Postmark deadline for literary magazine and yearbook entries is June 30, 2019. 


1. Each individual entry is $2.

2. A form is required for EACH individual entry. The form can be found here. You will receive an emailed copy of each form. Please review each form and make sure all information requested was properly included.

3. Entries are limited to THREE PER STAFF per category. 

  • We will not accept multiple entries from one individual in the same category.

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

4. Each individual entry should be in a PDF.

  • The PDF title should be the following: Category Number/Title/Publication Name/Student Name(s).

6. The e PDFs should all be in a google folder.

  • Create the folder with the individual entries prior to submitting the entry forms.

  • Instead of sharing the folder, you will add the link of the PDF to the corresponding entry form.

  • In order to do this: you will open up the PDF (already uploaded into the google folder) hit the share button and the click "Get Shareable" link.

  • Make sure the setting is set to anyone with the link can view.

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

8. ***Make sure all the links work properly***

  • Broken links will be disqualified.

Literary Magazine Categories

L1. Poem: Original poems with the author’s byline may be submitted.

L2. Short Story: Original short stories with the author’s byline may be submitted.

L3. Artwork: Original artwork, not including the cover design, may be submitted.

L4. Photograph: Original photographs shot speci cally for literary magazines are acceptable. e photograph's content and technical quality will be considered by judges. Submit original photograph with one copy of the magazine page containing the photograph. 

L5. Cover Design: This category includes hand or computer-generated artwork or photography used on the literary magazine cover.

L6. Spread Design: Submit one spread from the literary magazine. Please include all pages that comprise the spread. 


Yearbook Categories

Y1. Yearbook Story: Entries can include year-end recaps, school events or other standard yearbook stories. Stories should use creativity, but still follow basic journalistic writing standards.

Y2. Special Interest Story: This category includes specially-reported stories highlighting a speci c issue, person or event unique to the school year. Stories should use creativity, but still follow basic journalistic writing standards.

Y3. News Photograph: Photos in this category should be non-portrait, non-sports photos of on-the-spot coverage of an event that has news value and timeliness.

Y4. Feature Photograph: Photos should be non-portrait, non-sports photos that create a special e ect or entertain, appeal to the emotions and accompany a feature story or stand alone on a page with a cutline.

Y5. Sports Photograph: Any non-portrait photo directly related to sporting events may be entered.

Y6. Portrait Photograph: Photos of an individual or group in a posed setting.

Y7. Photo Essay: This category is for descriptive stories told through numerous photographs.Submit the full page,including the headlines,copy,photos and captions along with the original photographs. The entry will be judged on the quality of the photographs, copy and layout. Please include the names of all students who worked on the photo essay. 

Y8. Information Graphics: This category includes artwork or information graphics used to enhance any news, feature or sports section.

Y9. Illustration: This category is for hand-generated artwork created by a single student. Illustrations that are part of information graphics should NOT be entered in this category (see Y8).

Y10. Photo Illustration: Photo illustrations (photos manipulated for artistic purpose or to illustrate an idea) fall into this category.

Y11. Spread Design: One or two pages may be submitted. Layouts will be judged on content, design, originality, creativity and overall use of space.

Y12. Advertising Design: This category includes student-designed and student- written advertisements. Judging will be based on originality, creativity, design and appeal.

Y13. Cover Design: Only original, student-produced designs may be entered. Company-designed covers will not be accepted. Judges will consider use of color, design elements and relationship to the book's theme. Only one entry per sta accepted.

Y14. Theme Development: Submit all theme-related pages, including the cover, endsheets, title page, opening, closing, divisionals and examples of other pages that highlight the yearbook's theme. Awards will recognize the sta . Only one entry per sta accepted