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BP awards contest opens for students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The seventh annual Baptist Press Excellence in Journalism Contest is underway.

Nearly 100 awards to schools and to individual student journalists will be presented during the annual Baptist Press Collegiate Journalism Conference, also in its seventh year, Oct. 11-13 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.

“The awards competition is a great way for Baptist Press to honor top student journalists for their work,” Will Hall, executive editor of Baptist Press and vice president for news services with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said. “But it is only the capstone to the conference, which offers many opportunities for professional growth and spiritual encouragement.”

May 31 is the deadline for this year’s contest entries published or broadcast between Aug. 1, 2006, and May 31, 2007.

Last year, more than 350 entries were received from 17 colleges and universities, with awards given for first, second and third place.

Schools earn honors in four divisions in the overall competition: newspaper, yearbook, online and broadcast. Students may win awards and recognition in three divisions of the individual competition: newspaper, yearbook and photojournalism.

The top individual honor is the President’s Award for Collegiate Journalism, presented by SBC Executive Committee President Morris H. Chapman along with a $1,000 scholarship. Candidates must meet academic eligibility requirements and submit a portfolio of work for judging by a panel.

“I want to encourage students to apply for the President’s Award and compete for the scholarship,” Hall said. “We’ve had incredibly gifted winners in the past, and it’s been rewarding to watch not just the winners but top candidates move on to great entry positions in journalism after graduation from school.”

Schools are asked to pay a one-time fee of $50 to enter any part of the Baptist Press Excellence in Journalism Contest.

“It has been incredibly encouraging to see the quality of the entries increase each year,” Joni Hannigan, coordinator of the competition, said. “I think many of the veteran judges, who range from Jim Jones in Fort Worth to Gayle White in Atlanta, would join me in saying students are taking the feedback seriously. The entries reflect serious work and an understanding that only their best need to be submitted for competition.”

Last year’s judges included Adelle Banks of Religion News Service, Gayle White of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Steven Helling, a freelance writer formerly of People magazine, Gary Fong of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Jim Jones of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The keynote speaker and workshop leaders will be announced in May.

Click here for official rules and entry forms to the awards competition. Click here for the President’s Award rules and entry form. To see a list of last year’s winners, click here.

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