Pennsylvania Women's Press Association

2019 Excellence in Journalism Contest

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Entries and fees must be submitted by 11 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28

Thank you for your interest in the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association 2019 Excellence in Journalism Contest!

The contest is sponsored by PWPA and recognizes the outstanding work of the organization’s members and other Pennsylvania journalists across 21 categories, including general news and feature reporting, photography, page design and multimedia projects. A complete list of categories is available here:

Please read the rules and information below, then complete the official contest entry form here:


The contest is open to PWPA members and non-members of all genders whose work is published in Pennsylvania newspapers or on news websites that cover issues or people within Pennsylvania and follow conventional print journalism standards and practices.

All entries must have been published between Jan.1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018. All series entries must have been completed within this time frame.

General Rules:

Only one entry may be submitted in each category. The same entries may not be submitted in multiple categories, with one exception: the three entries submitted for “Rookie of the Year” may be submitted in other categories.

Team entries may be submitted if they are bylined. “Staff” entries are not permitted. No member of the team may enter the same category as an individual.

How to Enter:

Fill out the required fields and upload files directly in the entry form here: If possible, combine jumps and related pieces of content for the same category into a single file. If you encounter a problem during the upload, or if the files exceed 10MB, please complete the form and then email the files to Be sure to include the category number and the entrant’s name in the email subject line (ex. Class 10 – Smith).

Name the files for upload the same way, using the category and entrant’s last name (ex. Class 10 – Smith). If multiple pieces of work are required in a category, number the files accordingly (ex. Class 5 – Smith 1, Class 5 – Smith 2, Class 5 – Smith 3, etc.) or combine them into a single file.

For print stories, submit a PDF file of the page(s) where they were published. For online stories and multimedia projects, submit a PDF or website link. For photos, submit a JPEG, PDF or website link; no raw photos. Provide website links in a Word document or PDF file. Be sure to include login and password information for website links that are behind a paywall or require a subscription to view.

Individuals only need to fill out this entry form once, even if submitting in multiple categories. However, please fill out separate forms for team entries.


For current PWPA members, the contest fee is $10 for one entry, $20 for two entries and $25 for three or more entries. Dues for a one-year membership renewal are $25.

For non-members, including past members who have not paid their dues within the last year, the contest fee is $75 for unlimited entries.

For teams, if at least one person is a current PWPA member, the entry fee is $10 per person. If no one on the team is a current PWPA member, the non-member fee of $75 per person applies.

College students can enter Class 21: Student Reporter, with a portfolio of three stories published in newspapers and/or on news websites between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018. A $20 flat fee includes the entry and a one-year student membership.

Electronic payment can be sent via PayPal to Checks may be written out to Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association and sent to PWPA Treasurer Daveen Kurutz, 400 Fair Ave., Beaver, PA 15009.

If you are a contest coordinator submitting entries for multiple people, please contact Contest Director Jo Ciavaglia at to coordinate bulk payment for fees.


Entry forms, emails and fees must be submitted by 11 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. Checks for fees must be postmarked by the same date.


Out-of-state judges will be recruited to evaluate entries, with the following point system: five points for first place; three points for second place; two points for third place and one point for honorable mention.


Winners will be announced by early April. First-place winners (including in the Student Reporter category) will receive an engraved acrylic trophy, second-place through honorable-mention winners will receive certificates.

Journalist of the Year will be recognized as the top winner among those who earn 10 or more points. The award carries a $250 prize and the winner will receive a plaque.

Awards will be presented during the annual PWPA luncheon on May 18, 2019, at the Hilton Harrisburg, as part of the Pennsylvania Press Conference.

PWPA will provide the awards at no cost to all winners in attendance at the luncheon. Winners who will not be in attendance should make arrangements in advance for trophies and certificates to be picked up by colleagues who will be at the luncheon or other conference events.

After the luncheon, certificates will be mailed to honorable-mention through second-place winners not in attendance. Padded frames for the certificates can be mailed as well, for a cost of $10 each. Trophies can be shipped to first-place winners not in attendance for a cost of $10 each.

Contact to order padded frames for certificates or to make arrangements for shipping for trophies.

Fine print:

Late payments for entry fees will not be accepted.

Failure to follow contest rules and information will disqualify entries.


Contact PWPA Contest Director Jo Ciavaglia at, or PWPA President Jenny Wagner at

Click to go to the official contest entry form:

Our Mission

To promote high standards in journalism; to provide exchange of journalistic trends and experience; to advance in careers in journalism, to coordinate opinion on matters of state and national interest to journalists, in particular, those of women.