2014 State Convention Preliminary Timeline

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Convention Registration; OTS Contest Check-in

Thursday 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

First wave of OTS contests; Networking and critique sessions

Thursday 4 p.m. – 5: 45 p.m.

Second wave of OTS contests; Networking and critique sessions

Thursday 6:30 p.m.

Doors open for Opening Session

Thursday 7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

Opening Session

Thursday 8:30 p.m. – 10:15 p.m.

Third wave of OTS contests; Student swap shop

Thursday 9 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Adviser Reception (note: final time may vary slightly)

Thursday 10: 30 p.m.

Day-long OTS contest deadline for submission

Thursday 11:30 p.m.

Convention curfew

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Adviser breakfast

Friday 9 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.

Session No. 1

Friday 10 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Session No. 2

Friday 11 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

Session No. 3

Friday 12 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Adviser luncheon/business meeting; student lunch on own

Friday 2 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Session No. 4

Friday 3 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

Session No. 5

Friday 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.


Friday 9 p.m. – 11:15 p.m.

High School Dance (alternate middle school activity)

Friday 11:30 p.m.

Convention curfew

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday 8: 30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Closing Session (note: final time may vary slightly)

The Tampa Bay Times Fund Emerging Young Journalist Award recognizes the freshman or sophomore high school student in Florida who shows the most journalistic promise. This year, there are four finalists for the award. A winner is announced the Thursday night of convention, April 24. They are, in alphabetical order:

Isabel Hanewicz of the Excalibur, T.R. Robinson High School
Grace King of WAHS News, American Heritage School
Danielle Malkin of WVHS News, Felix Varela Senior High School
Kathy Xie of the Red & Black, Hillsborough High School

Congratulations to our finalists, and here is a salute from our judges to everyone who applied. The judges said all of the applicants were very talented and among the strongest fields seen in recent years.



We value our middle school member publications and understand that many are limited in terms of travel and overnight stay and cannot attend the entire FSPA Convention. For the first time, we are offering a one-day seminar for middle schoolers who are not registered for the full convention. The cost is $35 per student and $20 per adviser, and both include a boxed lunch. (We’re sorry, but the sessions are keyed to middle school programs, so our high school members are not eligible for this workshop.)

You can find the registration form here.

SCHEDULE (subject to change)

8:30-9:00 am — Check In at the Wyndham Orlando Resort

9-9:30 am — Welcome session

9:45-11:45 a.m.– Middle School On The Spot contests

Noon-1 p.m. Lunch, box lunches provided

1:30-2:20 pm — Breakout Session 1

2:30-3:20 pm — Breakout session 2 & Advisers Roundtable

3:30 pm — Closing Session with awards for contests announced

4 pm — End of Day

Email  Executive Director Wayne Garcia  if you have further questions. Early registration closes on April 1.


We’re proud to announce the finalists for the Todd C. Smith Florida Student Journalist of the Year award.

These seniors submitted portfolios in writing, design, photography, broadcast journalism and online media, and they all showed excellence in student journalism. Judging was supervised by a highly qualified, out-of-state professional involved in scholastic journalism. Our lead judge wrote of the four  top submissions that they “were all equally good. I mean they were all strong.”

Congratulations to our four finalists this year, listed here in alphabetical order:

  • Clarissa Buch, Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School, Miami
  • William Harvey, King High School, Tampa
  • Jordan Thurn, Lakeland High School
  • Liz Tsourakis, Hillsborough High School, Tampa

The winner will be announced at the state convention awards dinner on Friday, April 25, and will represent FSPA at the national level. Three of Florida’s past four winners have been honored as finalists for the Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarship,  the national Student Journalist of the Year competition.

Follow us on social media on Facebook or Twitter for more convention and award updates throughout our April 24-26 convention at the Wyndham Orlando Resort.


2014 fspa logo

UPDATE: We have closed the registration for the 2014 state convention. Waiting List schools will be notified as soon as possible about their options to attend the convention.

We have reached our registration capacity for the 2014 FSPA state convention! Thanks to the nearly 1,100 students, advisers and chaperones who registered. We’ll see you in Orlando.

Publications that have not registered yet but wish to attend should still fill out the registration form, and you will be placed on a Waiting List and contacted individually to discuss options to attend the convention, as they become available. Email Executive Director Wayne Garcia for more information about the Waiting List.

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If you’ve missed our latest social media posts, we have some breaking news for you: the Florida Scholastic Press Association has a new email address. So pull up your contact list and edit your email for us to fspaoffice@gmail.com.

We will still be checking out Ufl address through the end of the school year but we encourage you all to use our gmail address to communicate from now on. So shoot us an email at our new address. It’ll still be the same old office staff responding to your emails–just from a different place.

Have any questions? Best way to reach us: fspaoffice@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing and working with you all.


Sponsors can now download the fspa_sponsor _contract_2014.

Deadlines are as follows, all dates are received by, not postmarked:

Feb. 28, 4 p.m.Contracts faxed or e-mailed to Brit Taylor for drawing to resolve duplicate requests

March 22 Final day to reserve ad space in program

March 29 Final day to reserve exhibit space

April 1 Artwork due for program Submit all advertising as a JPEG or PDF file to guarantee quality.

Questions? Email Sponsorship Coordinator and FSPA Vice President Brit Taylor.


Friday, Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline to submit entries into our 2014 Spring Digital contests. Advisers should have received instructions for submitting to the database multiple times in the past month, but just in case you still need them contact fspacontests@gmail.com for help.

The contests include 60 different categories, including nine different “quick turn” categories. The specific prompts for those quick turn categories have been added to the document attached below. If you have not yet accessed  the database, we STRONGLY suggest you begin uploading entries before Friday. Technical support may be limited that afternoon so make sure you are able to access the system beforehand.

Spring Digital with Quick

Download high-resolutation Lit Mag photo here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/upxjq8o4xhod57s/Lit%20Mag%20Document.jpg

Download low-resolution Lit Mag spread photo here: http://www.jou.ufl.edu/fspa/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Lit-Mag-low-res.jpg



Screen shot 2014-02-24 at 9.59.48 AM

Our new 2014 Sponsor information sheet is now available for download.

Official contracts will be available here on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Sponsors who request the same item the first day will be placed into a blind drawing at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28 to determine who sponsors the item. Mark alternate choices on the contract as needed. Sponsors will be contacted with the results on Saturday, March 1.



Friday, Feb. 28 is the final day for member publications to submit entries in the Spring Digital Contests. Advisers should have received instructions via email for accessing the database and we strongly suggest you begin doing that now rather than waiting until the last minute. That day is a firm deadline due to the large number of entries that need to be judged.

If you have not received your instructions, (1) check your spam filter first and (2) contact Evaluations Coordinator Joe Humphrey at fspacontests@gmail.com to request a copy.


Some categories in the Spring Digital are called “Quick Turn.” The specific prompts for those will be released next Wednesday, Feb. 26 on the FSPA website. You may want to carve out some time for students to work on those projects. We can offer some basic information now on some of the various contests.

Category 54, Two-Minute Movie: Students will be creating a “mockumentary” (mock documentary) on a topic that will be announced next week.

Category 55, Product Commercial: Students will be creating a commercial based on a specific food item that will be announced next week.

Category 56, Double Page Spread: Students will be creating a spread based on “A Day in the Life” of their campus. That day must be next Wednesday, Feb. 26, Thursday, Feb. 27 or Friday, Feb. 28. Students can begin preparing now but no coverage can occur until the day you select.

Category 60: Students will have to localize a specific state, national or international story.

More details for these and the other quick turn categories will be on the FSPA website beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.