If you haven’t entered your best work of 2014 for this years Communications Contest, be aware — the electronic deadline is February 9 with an earlier postmark February 2 deadline for hard copy such as books. With 64 entry categories there’s something for every communicator – journalists, writers, photographers, social media websites and blogs, authors, poets, screenwriters, playwrights, speeches, graphics, PR and advertising, and TV and radio.
The state website has information on the communications contest page and, as you scroll down, lists details about all the categories. If you’re impatient to enter directly, go to https://omnicontests4.com/?comp_id=6F36FE10-4DC7-49C0-B7FF-DCF5F024F34F and click the white REGISTER tab to begin the process. If you didn’t already jump ahead to the contest link, enter thru the NFPW site. Go to http://www.nfpw.org/communicationsContest.cfm and click on Enter the 2015 Competition and then follow directions. First REGISTER where you will also create your user name and password.
Entry fees remain $10 for the first entry, $5 for each additional entry for members. You will pay your fees to national and can use a credit card or pay offline.
State membership alone is $13, and is paid by check to NMPW, Loretta Hall, Treasurer, 3219 El Toboso Drive, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104. Also, if you are entering a hard-copy entry such as a book there is an extra $15 mailing fee to send by check to Loretta. Totally stuck and abysmally confused? Contact NMPW Communications contest chair Diane Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-890-8363, and arrange an evening time to go through the process over the phone, and she can also send you an additional instruction sheet on how to enter a book.
The system will allow you to interrupt your entries and return to them later, provided you’ve SAVED. If you don’t save, you have to start all over. The system will require you to enter the division and category and then save. After that you enter the rest of the information. If there is no co-entrant, be sure to check the NO box on that tab. If your category requires a one-page statement, you will upload that as well. When you upload, first select URL or UPLOAD so that the #1 box appears. If you are entering a hard-copy book, be sure to read the directions for hard-copy entries – you will also need to create and upload a short online info requested as well.
If you have a question about categories as you’re preparing your online entry, you can also look on the national web site www.nfpw.org/pdf/2014NFPWContestCategories.pdf
and see the 2014 category descriptions. They won’t change for 2015. You can also contact Diane Schmidt, communications contest chair, at email@example.com about categories.
You can upload pretty much any kind of file. But let’s say you have an entry with an elaborate layout that doesn’t convert well to an online entry, or you have a book and don’t have an e-version you can enter. You will still be allowed to send paper versions postmarked by the contest deadline. You can view all your entries. You can make changes until you hit the final submit. Once you click submit, you’re done.
Entries will be judged by out-of-state media and communications professionals and receive comments. All award places, including honorable mentions, receive certificates. All certificates are presented at the Saturday night banquet at the 2015 NMPW Conference, The Power of Storytelling, held at Ghost Ranch this year.
First place winners who are members of NMPW and the National Federation of Press Women will go on to compete nationally. The system is fairly simple and flexible. For those of you with more than one entry, it’ll help you to set up your own contest folder beforehand.
For those interested in the Zia Award, the deadline for that contest has been extended to Jan. 31. This year it is for non-fiction books by a New Mexico woman author published within the last three years.
Albuquerque Press Women, Santa Fe Northern New Mexico Press Women and Las Cruces Press Women are all active local chapters with monthly professional programs.