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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > SPJ Contests + Volunteer of the Month

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SPJ Leads | 1/8/2014
SPJ Contests + Volunteer of the Month

By Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Department



The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on your work in 2013, and our awards programs give you a chance to have your best pieces honored. Check out what we have to offer below and submit today. Questions? Contact Awards Coordinator Chad Hosier at 317.920.4791 or

Students: MOE Awards

SPJ honors exceptional student journalism with the Mark of Excellence Awards, but only a few weeks remain before the submission deadline. Explore the awards categories to see if your work or journalism produced by your students fits the criteria, and enter online at by Friday, Jan. 24.

For Professional Journalists: SDX Awards

Enter your best work from 2013 in the Sigma Delta Chi Awards for a chance to have it recognized as some of the best professional journalism of the year. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 7, so don't put off those entries any longer. There are several categories, many of which have divisions for smaller and larger outlets, and you can explore those details online. Submit your entries online at

Immigration/Culture Reporters: New America Awards

Journalism is a public service, and SPJ has an award that specifically honors reporting that highlights issues in the immigrant and ethnic communities in the U.S. If your work provides such a service, consider entering for the New America Award. Details are available online, and submissions must be postmarked by Friday, Feb. 7.


If you're a recent college graduate (or about to be), consider applying for a year-long internship at SPJ headquarters. The Communications Postgraduate Intern is responsible for all writing, marketing, social media and public relations efforts of the organization. Based in Indianapolis, the position includes a competitive salary, excellent benefits and paid leave.

The application deadline is Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. To apply, send a cover letter, resume and 3-5 writing samples and three professional references to Chapter Coordinator Tara Puckey via Google Drive at You are responsible for making sure the application is accessible. Questions? Contact Tara at 317.920.4784.


If you live near Nashville, Tenn., you're in for a treat: great journalism training. On Saturday, Jan. 25, we're bringing you SPJ JournCamp, a fun day of professional development plus FREE breakfast and lunch. You can't beat it.

Topics covered will include digital media tools, narrative writing, web coding and telling stories with photos. Plus, you'll learn these skills from all-star journalists Elise Hu of NPR, Lane DeGregory of the Tampa Bay Times, Andy Boyle of the Chicago Tribune and Samaruddin Stewart, a 2013 Stanford Knight Fellow.

Hurry and register online before spots are filled! The cost is $35 for SPJ members and $55 for non-members. Encourage your journo friends and colleagues to join you.

Look online for more details about the schedule and location. Questions? Contact Director of Education Scott Leadingham at 317.920.4788.

P.S. - Nashville JournCamp will be a great preview of Excellence in Journalism 2014, also in the "Music City."


Do you need to rejuvenate your SPJ chapter? Do you feel lost when it comes to running chapter business? Want to become a better leader? On March 7-9, the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute stops in Kansas City, Mo., and we invite you to join us for a weekend of everything SPJ by taking an intuitive look at your leadership style and building new relationships with other SPJ leaders. For details, check out the Scripps Kansas page, and to apply, fill out the online form by Feb. 6.

Note: Participants in the program are responsible for travel to Kansas City. Questions? Call Chapter Coordinator Tara Puckey at 317.920.4784.


If you're an SPJ contest coordinator, you have our condolences. No one appreciates how much you do - not only promoting a contest to get entries, but also finding quality judges who can meet deadline. SPJ has a program to help you. It's called CASH.

Right now and through Jan. 15, we're accepting calls for judging swaps. In other words, we'll find proven judges for you. For free. Interested? Email Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky at


Congratulations to Chris R. Vaccaro of the Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) for being named our December SPJ Volunteer of the month! Vaccaro, a board member and officer for PCLI, was nominated by Bill Bleyer for his outstanding service to the chapter. He has been serving the chapter doing everything from web redesign and chapter promotion to volunteer recruitment and recognition. Among Vaccaro's accomplishments:

Taking charge of editing the annual PCLI media guide
Overseeing the redesign for
Proposing the creation of Long Island Journalists' Hall of Fame
Co-chairing the annual PCLI awards content
Running the membership committee, managing board members making calls and emailing members whose memberships have lapsed

Vaccaro serves as Senior Sports Editor for The Topps Company's digital division, an adjunct journalism professor at Hofstra University and as Publisher of, a local news website in his community on Long Island. Vaccaro was the winner of the 2013 Phil Spahn Memorial Award presented by PCLI to a member for their dedication to the club and journalism. He is also the author of five books about Long Island sports history and writes for newspapers and websites around the world regularly.

Congratulations, Chris, and thanks for all you do for SPJ!


Robert Allen Little, a member of SPJ since 1953, passed away on May 2. A resident of Allentown, Penn., Little was a member of the New Jersey Pro chapter.

James K. McKenna, a member of SPJ since 1960, passed away on April 10. A resident of McClean, Va., McKenna was a member of the Washington D.C. Pro chapter.

James A. Conlin, a member of SPJ since 1999, passed away on Sept. 20. A member of the Fort Worth Pro chapter, Conlin received his degrees in photography and architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. He went on to become the owner of the Greater Meadowbrook News. You can read his obituary in the Star-Telegram.


Why did the Harvard Crimson produce a special edition on Tuesday?

Answer: The students were covering an on-campus bomb threat

And the winner is ... Keith Cannon from the Greater Charlotte Pro Chapter. Congrats!


USA TODAY put a humorous graphic called "Today's Weather" on their website Tuesday. Turns out, the design and a cleaner version of the wording was stolen from a New York writer. What is his name?

Submit your answer to Ellen Kobe.

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