2019 SIPA’s Best Writing Contest



Academic Script

News Script


Sports Script

Literary Magazine



Prose Fiction and Narrative

Prose Non-Fiction


  • First Place – Gracie BoycePsyche, Richland Northeast HS
  • Second Place – Emily NagelVoices, Nation Ford HS


Editorial Column

  • First Place – Katie Grace UpchurchODYSSEY newsmagazine, Clarke Central HS
  • Second Place – Gaby PaezThe Southerner, Henry W. Grady HS
  • Third Place – Franklin WeiNorthwest Horizons, Northwest Guilford HS

Staff Editorial

Entertainment/Feature Column

Feature Story

  • First Place – Sophie RylandThe Shield, McCallum HS
    Judge’s comments: “It’s not a “sexy” topic, but this piece on Community College is so well-written and researched. The story is personal with excellent quotes and yet informative with expert sources and national stats to give the big picture. With rising costs of college, this story is a real service to readers. This journalist knows how to do the legwork, pack a story with valuable information, and also how to tell a story – not just write an article – which is tricky sometimes with a topical feature. Nice job on AP style as well. It’s this attention to detail and a feel for how to grab a reader and make them care about the topic that sets this story apart. Very professional.”
  • Second Place – Abby OngThe Dispatch, James Bowie HS
    Judge’s comments: Freedom of the press and free speech is, of course, a critical topic – especially today, and especially for all of us in scholastic journalism. This well-researched article could be used as a primer for teaching press law in classrooms. Well-written, this piece does an excellent job of informing readers in an in-depth and broad way on the topic. The journalist addresses both national issues and localizes the story, and the subheads are definitely needed. A lot of hard work went into researching this piece. Impressive. Suggestion: Because it begins almost like a textbook or with what is likely to be common knowledge, you might grab readers to begin with an overall lead – more of a delayed (feature) lead, perhaps even a quote – to hook readers with the promise of why this story affects the reader right away. Then go for the subheads. This topic has plenty of drama and conflict to grab readers (as opposed to the review of First Amendment law.) Hook, then back up and explain, then get to the conflict and drama of real lives being affected by prior review.
  • Third Place – Max NevinsThe Southerner, Henry W. Grady HS
    Judge’s comments: The story is an eye-opener, and a source willing to go on the record speaks to the trust this reporter can engender in sources. This story is more than a profile, however, and it focuses on the issue and how the school both is and is not aware of the problem. At least three sources and the article also tells a dramatic story of the real challenges of a young person without painting her in a solely positive light – she’s real, bravery and blemishes, perseverance and pain. Homelessness as a topic can seem like a list of stats, but this story makes it real and personal. Well-written, though there is an opportunity here for a more dramatic delayed lead. Nice job – and a service to the community. 

News Feature

  • First Place – Madison OlsenThe Shield, McCallum HS
    Judge’s comments: A wide variety of student perspectives and personal connections to the issue make this story stand out.
  • Second Place – Rosemary DelamaterTribal Tribune, Wando HS
    Judge’s comments: The opening personal story and other anecdotes humanize the topic well.
  • Third Place – Cooper LockettTribal Tribune, Wando HS
    Judge’s comments: This interview with the brother of a school shooting victim shows an emotional side to this national story.

News Story

  • First Place – Sophie RylandThe Shield, McCallum HS
  • Second Place – Molly ArcherThe Charger, Oxford HS
  • Third Place – Katie HolmeThe Dispatch, James Bowie HS
  • Honorable Mention – Aidan DowneyThe Southerner, Henry W. Grady HS

Personality Feature


  • First Place – Anya LomsadzeThe Southerner, Henry W. Grady HS
  • Second Place – Eva ChilluraTribal Tribune, Wando HS
  • Third Place – Bonnie ZhangThe Eagle, East Mecklenburg HS
  • Honorable Mention – Camryn TederTribal Tribune, Wando HS

Sports Column

  • First Place – Julie Robertson, The Shield, McCallum HS
    Judge’s comments: You do a nice job here of diving into a complicated issue with a great scene-setter style of lede that explains WHY what you are about to argue about is so important. Great job!
  • Second Place – Mackenzie CaudillODYSSEY newsmagazine, Clarke Central HS
  • Third Place – Steven Tibbets, The Shield, McCallum HS

Sports Feature

Sports Story

  • First Place – Rosemary DelamaterTribal Tribune, Wando HS
    Judge’s comments: Despite some little things in this story, you told an interesting story with a lot of different perspectives and had a really fun lede, and that put you over the top!
  • Second Place – Alexander RobinsonODYSSEY newsmagazine, Clarke Central HS
  • Third Place – Andrea Matta-CastilloODYSSEY newsmagazine, Clarke Central HS


Alternative Storytelling



  • First Place – Addie Robey, PHS News, H.B. Plant HS
  • Second Place – Tyler Jones, The Southerner, Henry W. Grady HS
  • Third Place – Sophie Ryland, The Shield online, McCallum HS

Investigative Story

  • First Place – Sophie Ryland, The Shield online, McCallum HS
  • Second Place – Tanya Raghu, Coppell Student Media, Coppell HS
  • Third Place – Kelsey Tasch, The Shield online, McCallum HS


  • First Place – Ana Aldridge, ODYSSEY Media Group, Clarke Central HS
  • Second Place – Haley Medeiros, Eagle Nation Online, Prosper HS
  • Third Place – Sydney Thompson, Northwest Horizons online, Northwest Guilford HS

Personality Feature

  • First Place – Bella Russo, The Shield online, McCallum HS
  • Second Place – Maddie Moats, Eagle Nation Online, Prosper HS
  • Third Place – Liz Hipes, Tribal Tribune online, Wando HS



  • First Place – Julie Robertson, The Shield online, McCallum HS
    Judge’s comments: “This is a wonderfully detailed story with tons of quotes that let people tell the story about the coaching change.”
  • Second Place – DayOnna Carson, The Central Digest, Chattanooga Central HS
  • Third Place – Maya Waid, Juju Butler and Lucia Gable, hhsmedia, Harrisonburg HS

Photo Cutlines

Feature Cutline

News Cutline

Sports Cutline

  • First Place – Kelly FulfordODYSSEY newsmagazine, Clarke Central HS
  • Second Place – Shelby FosterThe Prowler News, Starr’s Mill HS
  • Third Place – Austyn KeeltyThe Dispatch, James Bowie HS


Academic Copy

Ads/Community Copy

Groups Copy

People Copy

Sports Copy

Student Life Copy

Theme Copy