Under our FSPA bylaws, we hold elections for President and Vice President every two years. 2015 is an election year. It will be held this year at our annual business meeting on Friday, April 24. Per the bylaws:


A.         The nominating committee shall submit nominations for the offices of president and vice president at the business meeting of the state convention. Nominations may be made from the floor. If more than one candidate is nominated for the position, the vote shall be by secret ballot. The candidate receiving a majority of votes cast at the state convention shall be elected.

B.         The president and vice president shall be elected for two year terms at the state convention held in each odd numbered year.  Their term of office shall begin at the close of the state convention and continue until their successors in office are elected and qualified.

To nominate yourself for one of the two offices, please submit to Executive Director Wayne Garcia at waynegar@ufl.edu the following materials by March 15:

  • Your name, publication advised and school name
  • Office you seek
  • A statement of candidacy in MS Word format no longer than 500 words
  • A .jpg photograph of yourself, no wider than 500 px and 72 dpi
  • A resume in .pdf format

After the March 15 close of online nominations, further nominations may be made from the floor at the business meeting or by contacting Executive Director Wayne Garcia.



We are currently accepting applications for newspaper, yearbook and online media publication critiques. More information is available on our Evaluations page. Newspapers need to be mailed by Jan. 31. Online media and broadcast programs are submitted electronically, with a Jan. 31 deadline for online media and Feb. 7 deadline for broadcast.

You can also review the categories for our 2015 Spring Digital Contests. We welcome entries in 61 different categories. The cost for most is $6 per entry, with some exceptions. For most categories, members publications are welcome to submit three entries. Good luck!




The Todd C. Smith Journalist of the Year contest is going digital. The Journalism Education Association has significantly revised its portfolio process for the national Student Journalist of the Year Competition. Since our state winner advances to the national competition, our criteria has changed as well.

In an effort to make this a smooth transition, JEA has created an online toolbox. Advisers should give the links to eligible candidates. Part of the process is to see what candidates will do to market themselves. This should be the student’s project; however, advisers may guide them however much or as little as they see fit.

In addition to the online entry requirement, work examples need to be organized differently than how it has been done in the past. The toolbox site will address these portfolio-building changes for eligible contestants. Advisers and students should visit the websites below to familiarize themselves with the new criteria.


Check out our Workshops page for more information.

2014 schedule

(See also: What district am I in?)
District 1
Date: Friday, Oct. 24
Location: PSC South Campus in Gulf Breeze
District 2
Date: Saturday, Oct. 4
Location: Weimer Hall, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville
District 3
Date: Saturday, Nov. 1
Location: University of Central Florida, Orlando
Districts 4 & 5 Combined Workshop
Date: Monday, Oct. 6
Location: Marshall Student Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Online Registration is now live
Pre-submitted contests were due Sept. 26. Results will be announced at the workshop closing ceremony.
District 6
Date: Saturday, Oct. 25
Location: Florida International University, South Campus, Miami, FL
Pre-submitted contests can be uploaded through Oct. 1. Click here to view the category descriptions. Entry instructions will be provided to registered publications.
District 7
Date: Saturday, Nov. 1
Location: Deerfield Beach High School, FL.
Pre-submitted contests can be uploaded through Oct. 8. Click here to view the category descriptions. Entry instructions will be provided to registered publications.
Contact the district directors for more information.


Thanks to all who submitted their publications to FSPA for evaluation. Judges reviewed 77 yearbooks and 14 literary magazines this summer. Results have been returned to advisers via email; certificates will be mailed in late August. Contact Joe Humphrey at fspacontests (at) gmail.com with questions.


A reminder that we award $500 scholarships to Florida high school publications advisers who are FSPA members to further their education, typically over the summer. What could you do with that cash?

  • Tuition for one of Poynter’s in-person seminars, where you can learn all the new tricks of the new media technologies — plus a few old, classic skills revisited.
  • Pay for your travel costs out to one of the Reynolds HSJ Institute gatherings.
  • JEA’s Adviser Institute, which will be held in Las Vegas.
  • And so much more…

To apply for either the Julie E. Dodd Scholarship or the Webb-Stapler scholarship, please visit our Awards & Scholarship page.

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Congratulations to these publications, which were honored as All-Florida winners at the

banquet on Friday, April 25.

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Congratulations to the 2014 Spring Digital Contest Best of the Best winners. These were announced at the 2014 state convention. FSPA plans to publish links to all All-Florida winners this summer, including these winners.


Sara Ganim Selfie

During Friday night’s banquet, FSPA 2014 keynote speaker and CNN correspondent Sara Ganim took to the stage to discuss challenges young journalists face, her career and her 2012 Pulitzer Prize win.

But first, she stopped to take a selfie.

The small act of snapping a photo of herself illustrated the main points of her speech: Not long ago, Ganim was in the audience’s shoes. She was 15 when she began reporting for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and at 26, she’s one of the youngest CNN correspondents.

“Just know that where you sit right now,” she said, “you have so very much ahead of you.”

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