2020 State Publications Contest

The annual 2020 JACC State Publication Competition is now live and the Better BNC contest site is accepting entries. The contest entry deadline is Friday, Jan. 24 Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.

Some important things to pay attention to:

PASSWORD ISSUES: If you encounter issues remembering your login and password, here's a tip: the login to the BetterBNC site is by specific contest so some folks have two different logins and passwords, one for the state contest and one for regionals. If you try the login/PW combination you used for regionals and it does not work, try the one you used for state. If that fails, shoot me an email and I will look it up for you. If you cannot reach me, contact the BetterBNC support number (360) 427-6300 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pacific Time.

DOUBLE-CHECK: Don’t forget to double-check before you are finished entering that all your entries are attached. You can see whether files were successfully uploaded or linked by checking your Manage Entries page. Missing entries has been a continuing problem in state and regional contests for some colleges. If we have time we try to notify each of the impacted colleges, but since the deadline for state is at the beginning of the spring semester, there will be little downtime for us to function as a safety net, so you should plan enough time in your entry process to double-check your own entries before deadline to make sure everything is there. Read that — don’t wind up hugging deadline so closely that there is no time to check your manage entries page 😉 In addition, if you have plans to update your website over winter break it may be better to submit your contest entries as PDFs rather than links. While links are faster to upload since they take no special preparation, judges wind up with numerous broken links from changes to publication sites. If they can't access the entry, they can’t judge it.

ENTRY PARTICULARS: Please remember that the contest entry site accepts writing entries as clips (cropped PDFs of the stories as they appeared in the print edition), or links to the stories in the online edition. Don’t submit Word or other similar document formats, or PDFs of Word documents. Photo entries are JPEGs with embedded captions and entrants are asked to reproduce the caption in the caption field in the online entry form. Pages are submitted as PDFs, and issues are submitted as links to the complete edition/s on Issuu or another similar platform, or to their online edition as appropriate. Isolated page entries may entered this way as well. If you find you have entered something in the wrong format, simply delete and re-upload the entry. Please note: Schools with sites that use a subscription or registration model must provide judges easy access to their sites by providing a password entered into the comments section of the BetterBNC entry. If judges cannot access entries, they can’t evaluate them.

CONTEST ENTRY FEE: The contest entry fee for both both the state and regional publication contests is $100 each and the Wild Apricot event site is live for member colleges to generate contest fee invoices. The contest entry fee deadline is also Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. If you are one of the JACC member colleges that opted to pre-pay contest entry fees as part of a membership bundle ($500 membership fee plus $200 for the 2020 state and regional contests), you do not need to generate an entry fee invoice. If you don’t know whether you opted for the bundle or paid standard membership, you can check your account in Wild Apricot.

JUDGES: One of the responsibilities of entering JACC contests is helping to provide judges to evaluate entries. Thanks to all of you we have created a list of judges that have been suggested over the past several years that we have been working from, but we would like to add to that list because not everyone can continue to judge our contests twice a year, and some of the contact information is no longer current. So if you have any suggestions of judges to add, we would really appreciate it.

Nathan McIntire of Pasadena City College has been working hard as the judging coordinator and secured some new judges for the fall regionals, but we need more. We will be assigning judges in the following broad categories:

  • Design
  • General Excellence
  • Magazine
  • Multimedia
  • Photo
  • Writing

Most categories require only a couple hours of evaluation time. But General Excellence categories require a bit more as we ask GE judges to complete evaluation forms to score publications based on specific criteria, so if you know anyone who would be willing to judge GE that would be awesome. Please send along the name and contact information of someone you have confirmed would like to help out with judging, and the broad category/ies they would like to judge to Nathan (mcintirenathan@gmail.com) and copy me (mcgrathlmc@aol.com). We prefer working journalism professionals, and those who have recently retired may have time to spare. Ask those you know or have networked with. Former JACC alums now working in the field always do a good job, too, as do retired journalism professors no longer connected with a JACC journalism program.

It was great to connect with many of you at the northern and southern regional conferences this fall, and I hope to see you again at the 2020 Mid-winter Faculty Conference in Cambria Jan. 31-Feb. 2 and the Annual State Convention in Burbank March 19-21 (registration will be available soon).

Please let me know if you have questions or encounter any contest entry problems. Take care and have a wonderful winter break!

Cindy McGrath
JACC Secretary-Treasurer
2019-20 Contest Coordinator

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